In the summer of 2010, Ragan Fox was one of twelve people selected to participate in the twelfth season of CBS's reality program Big Brother. Offering a rare, autobiographical, and behind-the-scenes peek behind Big Brother's theatrical curtain, Fox provides a scholarly account of the show's casting procedures, secret soundstage interactions, and viewer involvement, while investigating how the program's producers, fans, and players theatrically render identities of racial and sexual minorities. Using autoethnography, textual analysis, and spectator commentary as research, Inside Reality TV reflects on and critiques how identity is constructed on reality television, and the various ways in which people from historically oppressed groups are depicted in mass media.
Table of Contents
1 Investigating the Reality TV Paradox
2 “Just Be Yourself,” and Other Casting Fairy Tales
3 “Fagan: Awesome Representative of the Gay Community”
4 Performatively Spectating Houseguests of Color
5 Life After Big Brother
Ragan Fox is Professor of Communication at California State University, Long Beach. He is the author of two poetry collections, Heterophobia (2006) and Exile in Gayville (2009). In the summer of 2010, Fox was a contestant on the twelfth season of CBS’s Big Brother. He currently lives in West Hollywood with his French bulldog, Beau.