Benefits TV: representation of welfare claimants on British reality television

Mckenna, Aran (2015) Benefits TV: representation of welfare claimants on British reality television. BA dissertation, University of Portsmouth.

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    Abstract

    In recent years there has been an increasing amount of attention drawn to those who are aided by the welfare state in the United Kingdom. With significant cuts having to be made to public spending, those who receive such benefits have come under severe scrutiny and have become ever more excluded by society. The rise in popularity of reality television over the past decade has led to a sharp rise in the production of documentaries especially those focusing on the lower echelons of society. This dissertation argues that such documentaries have a damaging effect on the representation of the working-class and benefits claimants in particular and that these documentaries reinforce negative stereotypes through caricaturing the participants to look and behave in a certain way to the audience. It also examines how different British television channels have a varying degree of prejudice towards benefits claimants and how obvious this prejudice comes across to the viewer depending on the channel. The Dissertation then concludes by looking at the how the middle class have become morally powerful over the working-class and also proposes what the future of ‘benefits TV’ has to offer.

    Item Type: Dissertation
    Departments/Research Groups: Faculty of Creative and Cultural Industries > School of Media and Performing Arts
    Depositing User: Jane Polwin
    Date Deposited: 25 Nov 2016 14:30
    Last Modified: 25 Nov 2016 14:30
    URI: http://eprints.port.ac.uk/id/eprint/22703

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