September 15


The role of Consumerism in supporting the capitalists in making money. Do the reality shows only promote talent or their own interest ? Are we being judgmental in determining the status of reality shows in the modern times? Do reality show effect the Indian society in a negative way only?


reality behind reality

What is a reality show? The types of reality shows? Its origin. Its advent in India.

Human behavior under the constant gaze of the camera. Who makes the money ? Role of consumerism in supporting the capitalists in making money? The psychology of the viewers reasons behind watching the shows ? Do reality show affect the society only in a negative way only? How did reality show gain a position in contemporary social debate ?

Human behavior is a very complex phenomenon and its inner and outer perspective can be known through survey only and not the opinion of any single individual as opinions are biased .We have tried to find the present scenario of the mindset of the people viewing the reality shows and their ultimate reason behind watching

such shows and the way the capitalists have gained a position of immense importance in promoting such shows. There are many different reasons behind promoting such shows it is not necessarily the reasons of which we are aware of ; hence we have tried to bring out those reasons through these intriguing questions. We have tried to find out the relation behind the services provided and the way people have utilized those services .It actually signifies the

We have used a combination of primary and secondary sources. Under the primary sources we have interviewed a participant of a reality show and also have taken up public opinion to support our data. In the secondary sources we have taken the help of the world wide web to compliment the data collected by us and also to get an outer broad picture on the subject matter.

Reality shows are at present a very important part of the entertainment sector in India . Hence to determine what is the actual reason behind such seasonal shows and its popularity. The human psychology behind watching such shows and if there is any specific motive lying behind watching such shows. The capitalists have certain interests behind promoting such shows . The interest publicized to the viewers may not be the ultimate reason ,thus a random survey has been done to evaluate the present scenario.

Our primary sources include an interview of a participant of the reality show.

Mode of interview: Through the medium of trunk call. Date of interview : Wednesday 9th September2008. Time of interview:9:07 pm -9:20pm

Executive engineer in the electricity board.

MOTHER’S NAME: Madhuri bidwaiker OCCUPATION: House wife. SIBLINGS: One [elder sister] AMBITION: To become a doctor. QUESTIONS ASKED:

Reason for contesting for CHOTE USTAD. The answers taken from Miss Shailey Bidwaiker are completely unbiased and is a product of personal involvement in the reality shows. Miss Shailey Bidwaiker is currently a student of standard eight. According to her, She had taken part in the Sa Re Ga Ma Little Champs talent show where through the auditions she had been selected but unfortunately due to certain problems she could not continue. In that process the crew of the show had come to know her very well and the next time the talent show CHOTE USTAD’s auditions were held she was encouraged to take part in it The auditions were held in Jharkhand and there were 15 lakh entries, hence auditions were done until the list had come down to

top 12 .therefore the correct number of times the auditions were done are not known to the participant.. Preparation technique. In the first round of auditions Miss shailey had to prepare herself in her own way.s She has learning the art of music from her childhood,she is trained in Classical music and her teacher and mentor being her mother. After the second round of auditions she was a part of grooming classes which was held for all the participants . Back stage experience and Comments and Complements received. She admitted that her backstage experience was much better than the onstage one. The judges namely Shaan and Shreya Ghoshal had always complimented her backstage but onstage they had to go according to the script provided by the channel authorities. She even admitted that the judges regretted some of the descion they had to ‘read out’. The main reason behind Public voting. According to her experience public voting was done for two purposes .Firstly to see the popularity of the shows region wise and also to determine the popular contestant of the show. Personal experience. According to Shailey Bidwaiker,though she was not a winner in the show but at a young age she had learnt A lot many things. At present she is called to different shows as the guest of honour. Through the participation of the show she has come to know some of the popular celebrities and at present she is called in different programmes as the guest of honour.

1. Mode of survey: Random 2.Criteria on which it is based: Age group ,sex and educational qualification Questionaire:

According to you which are the popular reality shows and why? Talent shows : as it promotes some of talent Game shows: As it is fun and entertaining. iii.Celebrity shows: As it gives you insight in the life ofpopular personalities
i. ii.

Why do you think reality shows are gaining popularity ? i. ii. People are bored with the concept of plot based programmes

People want something different as a reality shows.

iii. The channel authorities host the programme at a certain time in the day to target a certain age group c . Do Reality shows motivate you take part in it? i.Yes ii. No iii.sometimes iv.not appplicable d. Do you feel that certain reality shows promote obscene scenes in context to the Indian society. i. Yes ii. No e ) When you think of a winner in the reality you valourize in him or her. iBravery ii. Personality iii. Talent iv.Presence of mind. f ) Are reality shows real. i. Yes ii. No iii. Cannot be determined shows what would

QUESTION NO. A B C D E F I 6 2 4 5 2 ii 4 3 2 2 iii 1 1 5 3 iv 2 -

QUESTION NO A B C D E I 4 3 4 3 ii 1 1 1 3 1 iii 1 2 1 3 Iv 2







What is a reality show ?

A reality show is a show which not based on any specific script. It mostly tries to feature ordinary people put in certain regulated situations and their behavioural pattern in such situations.Here the performers are expected to act naturally and according to the situations in which they are put in primarily to bring out the way an individual dwells with the situation he or she is in. There are different types of reality shows and each show has a special motive. But the ultimate motive behind the shows is not only to promote some kind of talent but to also to encourage acts done in certain deviant way in order to attract viewers.

The different types of reality shows.

Celeb-Reality: Reality shows with celebrities are a rage with the audience. Prank-Reality: Reality shows that t involve pranks played on ordinary people and capturing their candid reaction. Game Shows: Reality shows that are based on games. Talent Hunts: Reality shows that are looking for talented people be it singers, dancers or even actor Job-hunts: Shows that are synonymous with live on air interviews are listed under this category. Makeovers: Reality shows with make over stories. Be it a personal makeover or a home make over, these shows are very popular with the audience. Dating-Shows: Reality shows that gave a platform for dating men and women on air. Social Experiments: A relatively new genre of reality television that involves interaction of distinct social groups. Adventure/Fear based shows: A genre of TV shows that challenges the participants with difficult and weird tasks. Some reality shows provide artists a good platform to get noticed, some shows help people win money and fame but almost all of them keep the audience hooked on to the action and craving for more!

The origin of reality shows in India?

The origin of reality shows dates back to the channel V’s talent hunt for making a musical band. The band of girls called Viva that emerged from this show enjoyed short-lived popularity but marked the beginning of reality shows in India.India’s reality shows are still on a nascent stage and produces Indianaised versions of the shows promoted in America.

4. Human behavior under the constant gaze of the camera.
Self-consciousness It means acute self-awareness, in which one freezes the movements or expressions due to unpleasant feeling of being observed or watched by someone. The participants feel shy, restricted, frozen; they become introverted and behave unnaturally. Camera-consciousness This is the state of mind where one succumbs to self-objectification. One is aware of the video camera. As a result of self-objectification the participants try to look nice, photogenic; become more extroverted and dramatic, and behave unnaturally.

Collective-consciousness The celebrity participants slowly developed collectiveconsciousness. In this process, the group began to develop formal or informal values and rules to be followed by everyone to achieve certain objectives collectively. A group resorts to collectiveconsciousness with the purpose of co-existence. It gets into the social mode. This is not particularly applicable in the context of usability testing (one user at a time). But it may be applicable if the users are tested in the group activity. Natural-self Off and on the participants also become their natural selves. After spending several weeks in the house of Big Boss, the participants

have forgotten about cameras and have turned into their natural selves. During lab usability tests, very rarely the user gets time to become natural self. It asks for more time. Situational-consciousness The participants arrive at a stage, wherein they scheme to meet personal objectives. Their desires and traits are noticeable. Those who are tired of isolation, desperately wish to get evicted . They deliberately work towards getting voted out by viewers. There are some who want to continue for longer duration so as to make more money. Also their inter-personal equations in terms of friendship, hate, rivalry, disgust and other complex human emotions are evidently visible. It is an interesting case for observing groupdynamics.

The psychology of the viewers in watching the shows:
According to the general view the people value expedience not morality. In certain shows the possibility of watching the shows is not due to the fact that something different is being shown but due to devience from the ethical point of view from one’s own consent. The viewers have even reported that they watch the shows in order to get a topic to talk to their friends and co-workers.The viewers in this case do not have any special or particular motive but it merely a case where such shows rouse the interest of the viewers as they want to see how an individual deals with the different tests he is put through and in a way he tries to put himself in such apposition and determine his status

Role of consumerism in supporting the capitalists in making money.
The term consumerism determines two concepts that is belief in benefits of consumption and also a materialistic attitude that values acquisition of material goods. Here the capitalists have a motive of

money making they claim to have amoral purpose in promoting such shows to recognize talents but apart from that they also have their gain criteria which is of more importance to them and they use different techniques to attain that purpose . The capitalists have an upper hand in controlling the entertainment world. It is because of the consumer demand that the producers of such shows promote such reality shows . Since the viewing of such shows are voluntary and when through TRP’s it is found that such shows are gaining popularity then the producers of these shows try to promote these shows and make them even better. But the fact that these shows have the same plot and same format so their popularity decreases with the passage of time.

Do reality shows affect the Indian society in a negative way only?
The reality shows affect the Indian society not only in the biased negative way but also in positive ways also. The talents of the individuals participating in the reality shows get recognized. It is a platform where ordinary people get a chance to prove themselves. The society gets a mode of entertainment .In certain cases it influences people to show their talents and in this process it provides jobs to many new prospective and promising anchors. Along with anchors many people related to media ,production ,entrepreneurship also get jobs. There are also many negative effects of the reality shows such as the participants of most of the shows have been subjected to intense pressure. Sometimes the intense competition between the participants of the show lead to stress which lead to trauma and depression on the part of the participants of the show. Such disorder sometimes make the participants to commit suicide and also leads to mental stress which affect their social life. Every individual have thir own ideology and they try to stick to their own idea of values due to which when they are not able to reach thir goal they feel frustrated and affect their mental status in a negative way. IN certain cases ,reality shows promotes scenes not suitable for all age groups , but due to the content of such shows many teenagers

are influenced in a negative way . With the passage of time such shows have become only a method of time killing . The idea of putting ordinary people in front of the camera and recording their every movement is not at all a productive work.

Firstly and foremostly the television channels and their owners earn the cream of the profit. The winners have also a part in the profit. But their profit margin is decided by the producers of the shows .The advertisers also share a part of the profit. In reality the advertisers tie with the channel authorities to have a symbiotic relation in gaining profit. More popular the show , more are the advertisements during the time. They also gain money TRPs (television rating points) , voting on SMS, broadcasting video and photo ,products marketing ,ticket charge The money won by winners is only 10% whereas the advertisers gain 90% of the money. They also gain revenue from SMS .Their strategy is to raise the SMS charge and after deducting the tax the whole profit is acquired by them. On an average a popular reality television show gets about 7million cell phone text messages. At rupees 4 per SMS that adds up to 28 million , hence over an year

These shows compete with the prime time family sagas. Its content is innovative, though reality shows involve natural behavior; it also involves a bit of drama. Moreover the presence of different celebrities and the comments passed by the judges rouses interest among the viewers and also controversies. The scenes shown in reality games shows are subjected to censorship which further rouses controversies and also debate on the topic of the reality of the reality shows .

Media has played a massive role in influencing and making reality show a topic of debate as during modern times media has been known to take up trivial matters. Hence due to this notion media and news paper has taken up every aspect of the shows such as the appearance of the judges the comments passed by the celebrities etc have become a part of the daily news .There is censetionalisation of the reality shows.

According to Max Weber there are different types of social actions and behind every action there is a reason which is in a way logical according to the doer. There are many different means in achieving a certain goal ,hence it does not depend upon the view of the second person in determining whether theaction is rational or not. Rationality is defined by Weber in terms of the knowledge of the actor rather than the observer. Sometimes certain actions are done not to attain a definite action or goal but because to fail to the action is dishonourable. Hence in such cases the actor is acting irrationally because he or she tries to stick to their own idea of honour. , Moreover , the viewers watch these certain shows to remain in the ‘in group’ .