Cultural Illusion: Consumer Imagery and the Construction of an Artificial Dream
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This paper aims to provoke discussion on the consumption of images in contemporary Western society and their capacity to influence the social and cultural perceptions that shape notions of the Australian Dream specifically in relation to reality TV shows : 'The Block', 'House Rules' and 'Better Homes and Gardens' America has long influenced Australian notions of identity and culture through modes of visual communication and entertainment, specifically television, films and advertising. The suburban utopia so often visually represented through these visual modes has played a significant role in Australia's cultural identity, paving the way for generations of consumers and their collective desires. Australia has in recent time's devoured America's obsession for reality TV shows. We are currently being flooded with DIY home building and renovation shows such as 'The Block1', 'House Rules' and the still popular 'Better Homes and Gardens'. 1 At the time of submission 'The Block' (9 Network) presenter Scott Cam had just won the 2014 Gold Logiepresented to the 'Most Popular Personality on Australian TV'. As Television networks continue to feed us a diet of reality TV shows the “reality” of their motivations is itself questionable. Often driven by large sponsorship deals to foot the renovation and building costs, the TV shows own image is often influenced by these investments. How does this barrage of idealistic and branded representations affect the audience's notion of the Australian Dream and for how long can we conceal the cracks in the attainability of this façade?
Popular Culture Association of Australia and New Zealand 5th International Conference
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