The course's first half, as described by Dawson, is concerned with "the political economy of television in the post-network, post-TiVo universe." Students study the changes taking place within the television industry during the ‘90s that made the market ripe for the reign of reality television....And from that course website:
The course's other endeavor – to entrench students in a real-stakes game of "Survivor" – explains the crowded mid-size lecture hall. For the first half of the class, Dawson's castaways were divided into four tribes, named for the professor's favorite "Survivor" seasons, and as tribes, students were expected to compete against each other for immunity. Immunity challenges, or weekly group quizzes, bring both tangible and academic rewards, from Starbucks coffee and hot chocolate to the ultimate prize – a pass on Dawson's midterm exam. Dawson even buried a Hidden Immunity Idol, a "Survivor" standby, on campus, and leaks clues via Twitter. And any students who abuse computer privileges in class are sent to Exile Island.
Learning Objectives. After taking this class, students will be equipped to:I may have added one of the items.
- Critically analyze popular reality TV programs and formats
- Explain the relationship between the reality TV boom of the last decade and broader developments within the American and global media industries
- Participate in debates on the impact of reality TV on American culture
- Backstab, lie, cheat, bamboozle, and hornswoggle