Journal or Book Title
Feminist Media Studies
In this paper we position gendered affluence as a representational trend in dramatic comedies (e.g., Sex and the City [SATC]) and docusoaps (e.g., The Real Housewives [TRH]) that coalesces around themes like hyper-femininity, nouveau riche values, and conspicuous lifestyle. Through our analysis we suggest that institutional practices (identity politics, cybernetic commodification, and post-feminist technological interactivity) situated in a neoliberal context and a remediated environment enable the systematic reproduction of gendered affluence in the broader landscape of women’s television. The process of remediation is used as a lens to examine how the docusoap differs from (the immediacy of mediated self-performance) and resembles (the hypermediacy of mediated irony and post-feminist interactivity) the fictional portrayals of gendered affluence found in dramatic comedies like SATC. Our case analysis of TRH demonstrates the specific way non-fictional portrayals of gendered affluence are transforming genre (via an ethos of affluence and a consumerist ethic) and artfully maintaining the status quo in terms of gendered, raced, and classed intersections. Ultimately we argue that the docusoap is accomplishing this in a remediated environment that promotes a neoliberal agenda via affective engagement grounded in mediated self-performance and rational disengagement grounded in mediated irony.
UMass Amherst Open Access Policy
Brzencheck, Alison and Castañeda, Mari, "The Real Housewives, gendered affluence, and the rise of the docusoap" (2017). Feminist Media Studies. 51.