, Montfort University, University of Illinois Press, 2009, £47.00. ISBN : 9780252033919
Television talk shows have fuelled debates about television’s faltering role as a medium for social interaction, but this book points out that many viewers don’t just absorb the shows ; they react to them and even talk back to their televisions. By observing and analyzing the daily viewing habits of a dozen women viewers, Helen Wood interprets these experiences as daily rituals of self-reflexivity, focusing on the performance of gender as a doubling of place in contemporary conditions of modernity. Directly challenging the fundamental assumption that new media forms are uniquely interactive, Talking with Television reveals that televisual styles, particularly talk-based TV, have always sought to encourage a participatory relationship with viewers at home.