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CGCS Visiting Scholar Seminar: Transcultural Television Formats and their Audiences: A Comparative Study on the Appropriation of the Top Model-Format in Different Cultural Contexts

December 1, 2011
12:00PM - 01:30PM

Annenberg School for Communication, Room 300
3620 Walnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104

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Categories: Seminar

“Transcultural Television Formats and their Audiences:  A Comparative Study on the Appropriation of the Top Model-Format in Different Cultural Contexts”

By Miriam Stehling (Leuphana University Lueneburg)

Abstract:  In this talk, Miriam will present first findings from her Ph.D. research project on global reality television formats and their audiences in different cultural contexts. In particular, the project is concerned with the question of how the narrative of the “gendered enterprising self” is reproduced in the Top Model-format, and how it is appropriated and negotiated by young female viewers in Germany and the USA. Drawing on the theoretical framework of governmentality by Michel Foucault and the theoretical concept of transculturality, empirical audience research is used to understand the worldwide success of the Top Model-format and its negotiation in the everyday life of viewers. Through the method of focus groups, the study shows that viewers appropriate and negotiate the television text in their specific cultural and social contexts, while at the same time transcultural patterns of appropriation and negotiation strategies and processes which are shared across different cultural contexts become evident.

About the Speaker: Miriam Stehling is research fellow and PhD student at the Institute of Communications and Media Culture at the Leuphana University of Lueneburg, Germany. Miriam holds an M.A. in Cultural Studies with specializations in Business Administration, Language & Communications as well as Media & Public Relations from the Leuphana University of Lueneburg. She was Erasmus exchange student at the Universidad Autònoma de Barcelona in 2006/07 and completed an internship at the German Embassy in Washington D.C. in 2008. She teaches classes at the Leuphana University of Lueneburg in the field of media commmunications and media culture and has published articles and presented papers on the topics of global reality television formats, transcultural research and the female enterprising self in reality tv (in German: “Die ‚Unternehmerin ihrer selbst‘ im Reality TV: Geschlechtsspezifische Anrufungen und Aushandlungen in Germany’s next Topmodel“).