Poplife. a Strategy to Mitigate the Social Risk

Monday, July 14, 2014: 4:30 PM
Room: Booth 52
Oral Presentation
Letteria Grazia FASSARI , Dipartimento di Scienze Sociali e Economiche, Sapienza. UniversitÓ di Roma, rome, Italy
The research is centered on the hypothesis  that the propensity of a significant number of young people to partecipate to a reality show is related to social risk and uncertainty in planning their own life. Such an hypothesis is captured under the concept of realytism. From a theoretical point of view, realitysm” may be defined as a social logic characterizing the relationship between reality and imagination as strategy to cope with fundamental social risk. Such a logic has been very pervasive in the past fifteen years in Italy as well as in many other countries. From an empirical standpoint, the research is supported by 750 video interviews, and pictures of individuals wishing to participate to the reality show "Big Brother" (Italian edition). The results show that realitysm is, in many cases, the response of individuals to the fragmentation and the precariousness of social experience from both neo-liberalism and failure of societal institutions in keeping alive the emancipatory promise. Particularly, the logics of the action of the young people surveyed are specified in two directions. In the first, they show a sort of " camouflage " through which they intend to mitigate the discovery of a social insecurity that becomes existential and that seeks to transform the feeling of confusion and demoralization in challenge and euphoria. In the second, participation to the reality show it is only a realistic strategy. They use imaginary to be able to live an “ordinary” life that is now made impervious by social conditions. It is the project of life that is configured, today, for them, as " microutopia”. As a result, the audition replaces the “social proof” and the Big Brother house becomes a space suspended between imagination and reality having the appearance of a melancholy therapy to survive.