So I recently saw this on the University of xxxxxxx main page:
Here is the description of this event: "Uxxxxxxx presents an academic conference on America's pop culture reality hit the Jersey Shore. The conference will feature four keynote addresses, nine panel discussions, and an episode screening, as it aims to use the reality show to explore problems around gender roles, ethnic identity, celebrity, the influence of mass media, the notion of ‘reality’ itself, and much more. The all-day conference kicks off at 9:30 AM in Ida Noyes Hall, and concludes with an evening reception at 8:00 PM"
What? I mean, really? The University of xxxxxxx , one of the most prestigious colleges in the country, hosted an "academic" seminar on the "Jersey Shore?"
On the one hand, a discussion on the notion of "reality" might have been interesting. I can only hope that it pointed out the clear disconnect between what is portrayed on television as reality, and what the average person actually experiences as reality.
I certainly do believe that there are problems surrounding gender roles, ethnic identity, celebrity, and the influence of mass media. But I don't know that an entire seminar viewing these problems through the lens of the Jersey Shore is necessarily beneficial to understanding the problem.
I believe that a seminar with a broader focus would be much more effective. Body image in the media could be discussed in conjunction with "The Swan." Reality TV that is clearly scripted, as passed off as unscripted, could be viewed through the lens of "The Hills," "The Simple Life," or "Keeping up with the Kardashians." There are, of course, many other prime examples, admittedly including "The Jersey Shore."
Ethnic identity could be discussed quite well through the lens of "The Jersey Shore," but other shows could be considered as well. Perhaps MTV's "Cribs," or MTV's "Flavor of Love."
Also what could be discussed are Reality television's competition shows. Perhaps there could be a discussion about how the "favorite" contestants on American Idol are given extra help from vocal coaches and stylists, thus tilting the "competition" in their favor. Or, perhaps the fact that shows like the Bachelor make women seem desperate for love. Or, perhaps there should be a discussion about how the "romantic" reality TV shows rarely involve real love.
I understand the feeling, Pauly D. Right there with you!
I don't know. I guess the whole point of this rant is that the University of xxxxxxx should hold itself to a higher standard. This is a school where the current estimated cost per year for an undergrad is $58,955. THAT'S PER YEAR, making a 4 year undergraduate degree cost a whopping $235,820! If a student is spending that much money on an education at a school that regularly lands on top ten lists, then perhaps the school should hold itself to a higher standard, and not host such frivolous conferences.