PhD defence B. (Balázs) Boross


Prof.dr. S.L. Reijnders


Prof.dr. M.S.S.E. Janssen

Thursday 25 Feb 2021, 15:30 - 17:00
PhD defence
Senate Hall
Erasmus Building
Campus Woudestein
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On Thursday 25 February 2021, B. Boross will defend his PhD dissertation, entitled: ‘Inside Interventional Television. Media rituals in the age of participation’.

This dissertation focuses on television productions as participatory spaces for ordinary people. In the past decades, television has become not only to watch but, increasingly, also to do: every day around the world, candidates in large numbers apply to be part of programmes that offer their participants self-improvement, conflict management, relationship advice or life-changing experiences that promise to be extraordinary in other ways. Nevertheless, such programmes are often received controversially: they are praised for their educative potential on the one hand but criticized for being fake, voyeuristic or harmful to their participants on the other. Despite of these debates, research into what happens behind and beyond the screen is scarce and, in consequence, little is known about how and why ordinary people lend their lives to these programmes. What drives them to participate and how do they perform in front of a crew and an imagined public? What roles do production crews play in the process of participation? And more generally, what do such participatory practices tell us about the power of television in today`s  thoroughly heterogoenous media world? To answer these questions, this research was based on a series of in-depth interviews with television participants and production members, aiming to nuance popular assumptions about what participation in reality participation 'does' to people, and to shift the attention towards what the participants do with the possibilities of televisual visibility.

Due to corona, the PhD defences do not take place publicly in the usual way in the Senate Hall or in the Professor Andries Querido Room. The candidates will defend their dissertation either in a small group or online.

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