If This Is a "Real" Housewife, Who Are All These Women Around Me?: An Examination of The Real Housewives of Atlanta and the Persistence of Historically Stereotypical Images of Black Women in Popular Reality Television

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2014-04-07
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Virginia Tech
Abstract

Stereotypical images of blacks have persisted throughout multiple forms of media for decades, with one of the most recent arenas being reality television programming. This study examines the Bravo Television network series The Real Housewives of Atlanta to consider the impact of reality television on the image of black women in America today. This increasingly popular show is the most viewed in The Real Housewives franchise, and demonstrates that black women in America do not embody any one historical or contemporary stereotype of black women in particular, but rather are a compilation of these stereotypes depending on the situation at hand.

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Keywords
black women, stereotypes, reality TV, Real Housewives
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