Jean Baudrillard, “Simulacra and and Simulations” (1981)
Jon Kraszewski, “Country Hicks and Urban Cliques: Mediating Race, Reality, and Liberalism” (2009)
The Real World, season 1 episode 1 (1992) (I will upload this screening later, please do the other three questions first)
“The Montreal Screwjob,” episode of Radiolab podcast (2015) https://www.wnycstudios.org/podcasts/radiolab/segm…
Please respond to the following four questions in full sentences. Each response should be around 100 words. When possible, make specific references to the original text or media object.
1. Baudrillard’s “Simulacra and Simulations” is a dense theoretical text. One of his points is that life in the early 1980s had become less “real” because people were surrounded by media representations of “real life.” Can you see a way that this is relevant to reality TV in the present?
2. Kraszewski’s “Country Hicks and Urban Cliques” opens with a discussion of how The Real World constructed its vision of reality. What are some of the tools and tactics that the show uses? What kind of cultural “reality” does it present to viewers?
3. When watching the first episode of The Real World, can you see the techniques that Kraszewski describes? Point to specific moments where you see “reality” being constructed by the show.
4. “The Montreal Screwjob” episode of Radiolab discusses reality and entertainment media in the context of wrestling. What questions does wrestling raise about “realness” vs. fiction?