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‘These cameras are here for a reason’- media coming out, symbolic power and the value of ‘participation'

By B. (Balázs) Boross and S.L. (Stijn) Reijnders


This article addresses the increasing popularity of coming out as mediatized practice, by focusing on the example of the internationally successful Dutch television programme Uit de Kast (‘Out of the Closet’). While the choice of coming out in front of the cameras is often received controversially both by the public and the protagonists’ immediate environment, youngsters keep applying to participate in the programme. To understand the continuous appeal of this form of self-disclosure, in-depth interviews were conducted with 10 participants from different seasons about their motivations, experiences and evaluations of taking part in the show. By following their journey into the world of media production, this article highlights the implications of media participation for the process of coming out, as related to questions of empowerment, visibility and agency, and ultimately, to the perceived symbolic value of (participating in) broadcast media in the new media age

Topics: agency, coming out, factual entertainment, media participation, ritual, symbolic power
Publisher: 'SAGE Publications'
Year: 2016
DOI identifier: 10.1177/0163443716643152
OAI identifier:

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