Please join us as celebrate the local book launch of True Story: What Reality TV Says About Us by Danielle J. Lindemann.
Light refreshments will be served. Please call the shop to reserve a copy, or order online here and select pay at the store/pick up at the store.
What do we see when we watch reality television?
In True Story: What Reality TV Says About Us, the sociologist and TV-lover Danielle J. Lindemann takes a long, hard look in the “funhouse mirror” of this genre. From the first episodes of The Real World to countless rose ceremonies to the White House, reality TV has not just remade our entertainment and cultural landscape (which it undeniably has). Reality TV, Lindemann argues, uniquely reflects our everyday experiences and social topography back to us. Applying scholarly research—including studies of inequality, culture, and deviance—to specific shows, Lindemann layers sharp insights with social theory, humor, pop-cultural references, and anecdotes from her own life to show us who we really are.
Whether we’re watching conniving Survivor contestants or three-year-old beauty queens, these “guilty pleasures” underscore how conservative our society remains, and how steadfastly we cling to our notions about who or what counts as legitimate or “real.” At once an entertaining chronicle of reality TV obsession and a pioneering work of sociology, True Story holds up a mirror to our society: the reflection may not always be pretty—but we can’t look away.
Danielle Lindemann is an Associate Professor of Sociology at Lehigh University interested in gender, sexuality, the family, and culture, particularly as they relate to occupations. She is the author of Commuter Spouses: New Families in a Changing World and Dominatrix: Gender, Eroticism and Control in the Dungeon. Her research has been featured in media outlets such as the Wall Street Journal, The Economist, The Atlantic, the Washington Post, CNN.com, Billboard, and The Chronicle of Higher Education. She has spoken about her work on National Public Radio and has written op-eds for Fortune, Newsweek, and Change: The Magazine of Higher Learning.