DIRECTED REALITY OR A TAIL THAT CHASES THE DOG
Text topic: Reality Programmes in Serbia – A GLOBAL OR NATIONAL PHENOMENON
Text author: Јелена Сладојевић Матић, Драган Илић и Јасна Милошевић Ђорђевић
This paper provides an analysis of cultural, psychological and communication patterns that could be used to explain popularity and receptivity of the audiences that consume reality programmes. These programmes have started broadcasting in 2006, through the format of Big Brother. They have gained great popularity since then, and the number of viewers has not decreased. In order to better understand the phenomenology of reality programmes, closely analysed their characteristics, especially concerning their format, both the selection and characteristics of reality programme participants, the dramaturgy and the wider social context these shows are realized in. The authors are dealing with specific characteristics of this television form,communication processes that lead to the desired “outcomes” necessary for increasing the viewership, by tendentiously directed roles and behaviour patterns (conflict, sexual content) as well as with possible psychological perspectives that could, to a certain extent, explain the motivation of the audience to engage in the consumption of such content (watching the content, commenting on social networks, voting, favouring certain participants). Some of the psychological explanations for the popularity of such programmes could be found in the high level of identification with the participants who externalize most intimate contents of their inner worlds, and also in the complete equalization of the private and public sphere, as well as in the analytical concept of a Shadow that is related to the inferior and in acceptable parts of the human nature. Our Ego recognizes such content as “someone else’s”and connects it more frequently with the behaviour of others than with our own behaviour. Very often, the bearers of those projections are representatives of the so-called marginal groups, therefore the selected participants of reality shows “provide” the space for Shadow projection.Finally, we analysed the wider social context suitable to sustain and„nourish” this form of public discourse. This is actually a relational and contextual question that opens a space for understanding of the needs that underlie the collective dipping into naked privacy and primary processes of the group that we observe through reality programmes.