Global migration meets TV format adaptation: The post-Soviet diaspora, ‘Whiteness’, and return migration in Dancing with the Stars (US) and Ukraine’s The Bachelor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This article examines representations of the post-Soviet diaspora on US Dancing with the Stars and Ukraine’s version of the US Bachelor to show how their use of diasporic performers conflicts with narratives of national cohesion that are essential to the adaptation of reality TV formats to new markets. The first season of starred an emigrant from Odessa who is also a regular on the US version of the British franchise Dancing with the Stars. Cast because his diasporic identity and expertise helped facilitate the adaptation of the two TV franchises, his transnationalism came into conflict with narratives of nationalism that are key to formatting. In an effort to appeal to assumed local audience preferences for conservative versions of national identification, the two shows reduced his post-Soviet identity to that of a ‘Ukrainian’ return migrant or a ‘white’ US immigrant, which also obscured the failures of each national project with regard to migration.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)753-768
Number of pages16
JournalEuropean Journal of Cultural Studies
Volume17
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 27 2014

Fingerprint

bachelor
diaspora
migration
formatting
narrative
nationalism
appeal
expertise
migrant
immigrant
market
Whiteness
Return Migration
Post-Soviet
Diaspora
Dancing
Franchise

Keywords

  • Dancing with the Stars (US)
  • format adaptation
  • post-socialist TV studies
  • reality TV
  • return migration
  • The Bachelor (Ukraine)
  • the post-USSR diaspora
  • transnationalism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Education

Cite this

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abstract = "This article examines representations of the post-Soviet diaspora on US Dancing with the Stars and Ukraine’s version of the US Bachelor to show how their use of diasporic performers conflicts with narratives of national cohesion that are essential to the adaptation of reality TV formats to new markets. The first season of starred an emigrant from Odessa who is also a regular on the US version of the British franchise Dancing with the Stars. Cast because his diasporic identity and expertise helped facilitate the adaptation of the two TV franchises, his transnationalism came into conflict with narratives of nationalism that are key to formatting. In an effort to appeal to assumed local audience preferences for conservative versions of national identification, the two shows reduced his post-Soviet identity to that of a ‘Ukrainian’ return migrant or a ‘white’ US immigrant, which also obscured the failures of each national project with regard to migration.",
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