Perceptions of assertiveness among women: Triggering and managing conflict in reality television

Title: Perceptions of assertiveness among women: Triggering and managing conflict in reality television

Year: 2012

Journal / Publication: Discourse & Communication

Volume: 6

Issue: 4

Pages: 379 – 399

Authors: Gómez, Antonio García

Abstract:

Since the 1990s, the reality television phenomenon has transformed the face of television in many countries (O’Loughlin, 2004). In Spain, for instance, the private domain has gradually invaded the public domain in an attempt to increase audience ratings and also reflect patterns of asymmetrical societal organization (García-Gómez, 2009). Different television formats, which range from docusoaps to the most blatant examples of so-called ‘voyeur television’ (Higgins, 2009), have occupied the prime-time hours. In particular, a wide range of reality television shows has taken the place that mini-series, sitcoms and films of the week used to occupy. These reality television programmes show the transformation of the private domain into one which can be manipulated and incorporated as an essential element in the theatricalization of the intimate experiences of anonymous people (Myers, 2001). By addressing the relationship between mothering and gendered styles, this study adds to the field of research on reality television research by investigating language and gender within the institutional setting of a docusoap and throwing light on the discursive strategies which two different generations of women use to express anger and assertiveness and impose on others. The study reveals that the strategies used by the Spanish female teenagers under scrutiny are associated with hostile laddish verbal behaviour, whereas the mothers’ strategies relate to an instrumental view of aggression.

Link: http://dcm.sagepub.com/content/6/4/379.abstract

Keywords:

Femininity

Gendered Discourses

Linguistic Strategies

Reality Television

Verbal Conflict