Volume 5, Issue 1
  • ISSN 1878-9714
  • E-ISSN: 1878-9722
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In this paper, we study discourses of emotion management on the reality television show Survivor. We analyze segments of the program that feature emotionally charged interactional moments and examine how these interactions are interwoven with contestants’ confessional interviews and framed by the narrator’s introductions of the segments. In a two part analysis, we first analyze the talk produced by the contestants and the host as individual texts, using a discourse analytic perspective that focuses on the details of the talk itself. We then consider the ways the talk constitutes a series of layered texts and analyze these texts, using a discourse analytic approach that attends to macro-level and critical perspectives. We conclude that Survivor largely reinforces dominant cultural discourses of emotion management as strategic interactional practice that allow a person to be competitive. Furthermore, the analysis links performances of emotion management to representations of specific aspects of contestants’ social identities.


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