MTV Reality Programming & the Labor of Identity Construction

Since I am on a “Millennial” kick lately, I thought I would share this really insightful and rigorous blog about Gen Y and Identity construction, and how MTV Reality TV Program in particular actually shows that, even though we talk about how diversity is a part of this generation’s expected social reality, that finding your identity niche amongst all of that diversity is actually of critical importance. Youth identify by their subculture tribes in many cases and if Sociology’s Labeling theory holds true, also tend to live up to the stereotypes of that subculture identity. I love the examples from Jersey Shore, Buckwild, etc….a good debate starter at minimum and a really astute piece from The Judgemental Observer….

judgmental observer

Note to the reader:Below is a work in progress. I am sharing it here in the hopes of generating discussion and recommendations for further reading and research. 

American children born after 1980 are the largest, most racially and ethnically diverse generation in U.S. history. They have seen an African American be reelected as the President of the United States of America. Many high schools now have Gay-Straight Alliance clubs (even as the bullying of gay students continues). Thus, Millennials are often labeled as “post racial,” “post gender,” or “pomosexual,” as if they have solved the eternal problem of human difference that none of us, stretching back for centuries, have been able to solve. However, according to studies conducted by the Applied Research Center, today’s youth still see race (and identity in general):

“The majority of people in our focus groups continue to see racism at work in multiple…

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