Working and Werking: Queerness, Labour and Neoliberal Self-Branding in Reality TV

  • Michael Lovelock


Lovelock explores how reality TV has represented queer people as ‘ideal’ labourers within contemporary economies of neoliberalism and self-branding. Focusing on case studies including RuPaul’s Drag Race, How To Look Good Naked and Stut, this chapter argues that reality shows have animated queer histories based in resilience to heteronormative and racist marginalisation, such as the concept of ‘werking,’ and reconfigured these as routes of the creation of successful reality TV self-brands. Reality shows, Lovelock maintains, have probed the struggles inherent to being queer in a heteronormative world, only to idealise how queer people can seemingly ‘get over’ their experiences of marginalisation and mould their identities into neoliberal self-brands predicated upon the apparent dividends of being authentic in the face of marginalisation.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michael Lovelock
    • 1
  1. 1.Ho Chi Minh CityVietnam

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