TABLE OF CONTENTS

PAGE

CHAPTER 1
RESEARCH PROPOSAL

1

CONTEXT OF STUDY

1

1.1

Purpose of the study

1

1.2

Background of the study

1

1.3

Relevance of the topic

3

1.4

Relationship of the topic to the discipline

4

of Communication
1.5

Other research in the field

4

2

LITERATURE REVIEW

4

3

TYPE OF STUDY

6

4

FORMULATION OF THE RESEARCH PROBLEM
AND RESEARCH QUESTIONS

7

4.1

Research problem

7

4.2

Research sub problems

7

4.3

Research questions

7

4.4

Research objectives

8

4.5

Theoretical approach

8

6 Conclusion 34 .3 Sampling 11 5.3 Defining reality television 20 2.5 6 METHODOLOGY 9 5.1 Methodological orientation 9 5.4 12 Data collection and interpretation ANTICIPATED FINDINGS 13 6.2.4 The reality television audience 30 2.2 The history of reality television 18 2.1 Introduction 16 2.2.2.2 Anticipated contribution of the study to the discipline of Communication 7 STRUCTURE OF THE DISSERTATION 13 14 CHAPTER 2 2 THE GENRE OF REALITY TELEVISION 16 2.2.1 Population 11 5.2 Time dimension 11 5.2 Data collection method and techniques 11 5.5 The future of reality television 33 2.1 Anticipation of findings 13 6.

3 Interactivity and technology 39 3.4 Television and the Internet: media and cultural convergence 45 3.3 The Project Fame contestants 58 4.7 Conclusion 70 CHAPTER 4 4 CHAPTER 5 5 AUDIENCE-CENTRED THEORIES 72 5.4 The Project Fame teachers 64 4.1 Introduction 35 3.3 Defining the ‘audience’ in audience-centred theories 77 .6 The Project Fame viewers’ experiences 67 4.6 Conclusion 55 PROJECT FAME 56 4.5 The Project Fame board 66 4.2 The Project Fame concept 57 4.5 Intertextuality: reality television as media event 47 3.CHAPTER 3 3 INTERACTIVE TELEVISION 35 3.2 Traditions of audience-centred theories 73 5.2 Defining interactivity 37 3.1 Introduction 56 4.1 Introduction 72 5.

5.7 Data collection: focus group interviews 104 6.1 5.12.3 Critique of the uses and gratifications theory 88 The cultural studies approach to reception theory 91 5.12.4.9 Pilot study 110 6.10 Composition of groups 111 6.1 Introduction 99 6.6 78 The origin and characteristics of reception theory 91 Critique of cultural studies 94 The uses and gratifications theory and cultural studies as active audience approaches 95 Conclusion 97 CHAPTER 6 6 RESEARCH METHODOLOGY 99 6.3 Research objectives 101 6.2 Categories of needs gratification 86 5.7 The origin and characteristics of the uses and gratifications theory 5.6 Defining key concepts 103 6.1 5.5 Research questions 103 6.2 5.5.2 Moderator’s guide 114 .4 The uses and gratifications theory 5.4.5.4 Research problem 102 6.12 Preparation of focus group interview material 114 6.4.5 78 5.11 Focus group interview setting 114 6.1 Pre-group questionnaire 114 6.8 Sampling 107 6.2 Demarcation of the study field 100 6.

17 Data analysis 120 6.13 Conducting the focus group interviews 116 6.6.2 Interactive participation 124 7.14 Transcribing the data 117 6.11 Research conclusions 156 7. 18 Conclusion 123 CHAPTER 7 7 DATA ANALYSIS AND FINDINGS 124 7.15 Reliability and validity 117 6.7 Escapist needs 144 7.5 Personal integrative needs 138 7.3 Cognitive needs 128 7.3 Role of the moderator 115 6.16 Unit of analysis 119 6.6 Social integrative needs 142 7.12 Evaluation of theoretical framework 158 7.13 Suggestions for further research 161 ATTACHMENT A PRE-GROUP QUESTIONNAIRE 162 ATTACHMENT B MODERATOR’S GUIDE FOR FOCUS GROUP INTERVIEWS 166 .1 Introduction 124 7.10 Interactive technology 154 7.9 Reality television 151 7.4 Affective needs 132 7.12.8 The audience and message interpretation 147 7.

ATTACHMENT C TRANSCRIPTIONS OF FOCUS GROUP INTERVIEWS 168 Focus group interview 1 169 Focus group interview 2 180 Focus group interview 3 191 Focus group interview 4 202 SOURCES CONSULTED 213 .