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Reality television shows may be said to be the programs that present unscripted situation or are able to document real events as they happen, and are often featured by real individuals as opposed to the use of professional actors. In some cases, it may be in form of a contest where prizes may be awarded. This paper looks at the sociological concept and theory that defines ‘Cheaters’ TV reality show that has picked up in America, and is aired on a number of channels.
Sociological Analysis of ‘Cheaters’ Reality TV Show
This is a weekly reality television show, where hidden cameras are employed to document individuals who are suspected of being engaged in illicit sexual affairs, such as cheating on their spouses, committing adultery and so on. The show is a culmination of investigations conducted by the detective agents of Cheaters, and is hosted by Joey Greco. The complainants in the show are married people, young people in relationships, and this is inclusive of both same-sex and opposite-sex couples. The show runs in three phases: first with the interview of how the complainants met their partners, and what makes them suspect their partners. The second phase is after the investigation has been done and evidence is found. This is the confrontation stage where the host shows the complainant the graphic footage of investigation, and the complainant may be taken to meet the suspect at the point the suspect is involved in the suspected affair. Finally, we have conclusion, where the life of the couples and the people found cheating is evaluated after the show (Screen International, 2002, p. 44).
The sociological concepts portrayed in this reality show include love and affection, class conflicts in relationships, and gender roles. Love and affection are portrayed in the context that the complainants interview after proving the alleged suspicion, often are filled with outrage over their beloved that was betrayed. In addition, the concept of gender roles is always portrayed with regard to the impacts it has on the relationships. Most couples often end up blaming the other of not fulfilling their roles as a man or woman in the home. In the interviews, the complaints of suspected individuals neglecting their responsibilities are popular. Finally, the concept of class is often portrayed with regard to relationships. A number of episodes have revealed how people went to suspected behavior because of class differences. For instance those who had money got into extra marital affairs. Through the interview, a number of complainants have pointed out that money and class differences tore their relationships apart (Peter, 2004, p. 3).
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The theory depicted in ‘Cheaters’ reality television show is the conflict perspective theory. This show presents a negative and ever changing nature of today’s society. People who loved each other are presented to betray each other in front of cameras. Unlike the functionalist who defend status quo, the show challenges the status quo, and shows how things can change over time. Individuals who are rich get poorer and their relationship are affected as well as those who become rich and are involved in extra-marital or suspected sexual affairs (Screen International, 2002, p. 34).
Overall, ‘Cheaters’ reality TV show portrays many other themes depending on the cases which were suspected and proved. There have shown the nature of the society to be changing from bad to worse, with people not valuing anymore the important of being faithful to their partners and handle relationships casually. The show is a reflection of what happens in the real American society as well as other parts of the world.