Education Policy | Post Primary | Preschool | Primary | Tertiary | Search

 

TV talkshows modern forum for confession

AUT academic dubs TV talkshows the modern forum for confession

Talkshows and reality television are the modern equivalent of confession, complete with declarations of guilt and absolution, according to AUT University's Professor Barry King.

"Reality shows and talkshows draw on the confession heritage of the Church for a set of background expectancies of what constitutes a 'true' confession, in order to nurture popular interest and engagement," says Professor King.

The format of demotic shows – Oprah, Dr Phil, Jerry Springer – owes much to the Protestant practice of testimony and bearing witness before the group, he says.

"The basic dramatic materials are personal testimony, argumentation, frank exchanges and cross-examination, consciousness-raising and the acceptance of the need for 'starting to stop' negative practices and bad behaviours, and the recognition of self-complicity in inflicting such behaviours."

Professor King also notes the disparity in the way regular guests are featured in talk shows, in contrast with their celebrity counterparts.

"Not all confessants are equal in the process of self-disclosure."

"The 'celebrity talk show', unlike its more demotic variants, represents a controlled process of revelation which is designed to display the person from a position of authority in relation to the host, as a professional equal, and the audience, live and mediated, as an admiring mass."

Professor King says Tom Cruise's couch-jumping antics in his 2005 interview with Oprah Winfrey were shocking to audiences because they were outside the routine pragmatics of the celebrity interview.

"It is an example [of a celebrity interview] which, through its ungainliness, was widely perceived as laughably abnormal."

Professor King is delivering his inaugural professorial address "On the Para-Confession" at AUT University this week.

Trained as a sociologist at City University, London, Professor King received his doctorate from the London School of Economics. He has taught in universities in the UK, US and Sweden and his research interests lie in the areas of communications and cultural theory.

Professor King is director of AUT University's Centre for Performance Studies, located in the Creative Industries Research Institute.


ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 
Kakī: World’s Rarest Wading Bird Released In Mackenzie Basin

Conservation Minister Maggie Barry says the birds will add to the 60 released into the Tasman valley earlier this month, significantly boosting the wild population. More>>

ALSO:

IHC Tribute: Colin Meads

"While Colin is best known for rugby, to us he is one of a small number of distinguished IHC New Zealand Life Members recognised for their significant support for people with intellectual disabilities," says IHC Chief Executive Ralph Jones. More>>

ALSO:

Howard Davis Review: Tilting at Turbines - The Trip to Spain

Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon have now both broken the Big Fifty barrier, which seems to have brought a whole new level of angst to their midlife adventures ... More>>

Review: A Rose By Any Other Name Would Smell As Sweet

The Royal New Zealand Ballet has accepted the challenge of this heart-touching tragedy and largely succeeded. More>>

ALSO:

NZ's First Male IAAF Gold: Tom Walsh's Historic Shot Put Victory

Although feeling very sore but with a great feeling Tom Walsh took his place as number one on the victory dais to receive his much deserved gold medal. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Review Of Books: Q&A: Hard To Find Books

"Unfortunately we are in crisis and this friendly dinosaur faces extinction… Our only hope is to try and raise funds to buy the building and restore it to its glory, either fully funded or with a viable deposit." More>>

 
 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • CULTURE
  • HEALTH
  • EDUCATION
 
 
  • Wellington
  • Christchurch
  • Auckland