The New Narcissus in the Age of Reality Television: 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

The New Narcissus in the Age of Reality Television

1st Edition

By Megan Collins


172 pages | 25 B/W Illus.

Purchasing Options:$ = USD
Paperback: 9780367332952
pub: 2019-04-15
SAVE ~$9.99
Hardback: 9781138206977
pub: 2017-12-14
SAVE ~$29.00
eBook (VitalSource) : 9781315463490
pub: 2017-12-14
from $27.48

FREE Standard Shipping!


This book explores the emergence and encouragement of the new narcissus in our society and the ways in which this is portrayed in reality television. Through studies of well-known reality shows, including Toddlers and Tiaras, Hoarders, Sister Wives, Catfish: The TV Show, Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew and The Real Housewives, the author examines the combined effects of narcissism and consumerism, shedding light on the ways in which people are pushed to focus on their own biographies and self-promotion to the point of creating a false self within the individual and the development of a sense of dissatisfaction, dis-ease and unhappiness.

Applying Freud’s concept of narcissism and tracing it through the work of key social theorists including Durkheim, Lasch, Goffman, Riesman, Baudrillard and Giddens, The New Narcissus in the Age of Reality Television constitutes an insightful analysis of the modern ideology of greatness, perfection or ‘being the best’, that permeates society – an ideology that overwhelms and ultimately drives the individual to dissemble and project an artificial self. A compelling argument for the importance of understanding the persistence of a powerful and dangerous trait in modern society, this book will appeal to scholars of sociology, social theory and cultural and media studies with interests in reality television, celebrity culture and modern narcissism.

Table of Contents

List of Figures

Series Editor’s Preface

1. Introducing the New Narcissus

2. Learning the Importance of Falseness: Toddlers and Tiaras

3.Consequence of Believing the Lie: Hoarders

4.The Ease of Falseness: Sister Wives

5. Avoiding Reality: Catfish: The TV Show

6.Experts of Falseness: Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew

7. The New Narcissus Goes Global: The Real Housewives

8.Entranced by the New Narcissus’ Reflection Gazing Back at Us



About the Author

Megan Collins is Assistant Professor of Sociology at Prairie View A&M University, USA.

About the Series

Classical and Contemporary Social Theory

Classical and Contemporary Social Theory
Classical and Contemporary Social Theory publishes rigorous scholarly work that re-discovers the relevance of social theory for contemporary times, demonstrating the enduring importance of theory for modern social issues. The series covers social theory in a broad sense, inviting contributions on both 'classical' and modern theory, thus encompassing sociology, without being confined to a single discipline. As such, work from across the social sciences is welcome, provided that volumes address the social context of particular issues, subjects, or figures and offer new understandings of social reality and the contribution of a theorist or school to our understanding of it. The series considers significant new appraisals of established thinkers or schools, comparative works or contributions that discuss a particular social issue or phenomenon in relation to the work of specific theorists or theoretical approaches. Contributions are welcome that assess broad strands of thought within certain schools or across the work of a number of thinkers, but always with an eye toward contributing to contemporary understandings of social issues and contexts.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Sociology / General