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ULM communication professor pens book chapter on reality television

Published March 27, 2014

Dr. Christopher Mapp, assistant professor of communication and Director of Student Publications at the University of Louisiana at Monroe, contributed a chapter to the book, “Reality Television: Oddities of Culture.”


The book analyzes reality television shows that have shifted their focus from everyday topics onto subjects that are strange, unfamiliar, and “out-there,” Mapp said.

“One of the reasons shows like ‘Here Comes Honey Boo Boo’ and ‘Duck Dynasty’ are so popular is because they take the traditional reality show structure and turn it on its head. These days, it seems like the weirder and wilder, the better.”

The book explores these non-traditional shows that illustrate odd, unique, or peculiar aspects of our society, Mapp said.

Mapp’s chapter, “Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew: A Wicked Brew of Fame, Addiction, and Cultural Narcissism,” explores the program and whether it accelerates the downfall of the participants, advances Dr. Drew’s celebrity status, or a combination of both.

“[My chapter] also examines the more toxic tendencies of our narcissistic culture and how it feeds into, and off of, reality TV. It seems we relish watching celebrities self-destruct even as we strive to be more like them,” Mapp said.

“Reality Television: Oddities of Culture” was published by Lexington Books on Feb. 16, and is currently available for purchase.