ERIC Number: EJ945510
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Apr
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
Learning from Popular Culture: The "Politics" of Competitive Reality Television Programs
Dreyer, David R.
PS: Political Science and Politics, v44 n2 p409-413 Apr 2011
Reality television programming has become a pervasive part of popular culture. Although such programming may seem to be mindless entertainment, it can serve as a tool to introduce political lessons in the classroom. This article examines how the concepts of alliance behavior and strategic voting can be explored by using the television program "Survivor". An analysis reveals that contestants often behave strategically when forming alliances and voting, in ways that are similar to the strategic behavior of nation-states and individuals residing in democracies, respectively. This article does not suggest that reading political science texts should be replaced with viewing reality television, but rather that instructors can introduce abstract concepts to undergraduate students through popular culture. Such a technique can spark students' interest in politics and demonstrate the broad relevance of political concepts, leaving students with the desire to delve more deeply into the investigation of political phenomena.
Descriptors: Television, Programming (Broadcast), Popular Culture, Instructional Materials, Voting, Political Science, Group Membership, Social Stratification, Competition, Communication Skills, Teaching Methods, Undergraduate Students
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education
Authoring Institution: N/A