In Foucault‚Äôs genealogical account; the 19th century development of psychiatry fused the religious institution of the confession with a scientific discourse in order to create a confession regulated theory of human sexuality. Foucault identifies a number of ways in which this fusion was effected. Through development of new methods and techniques that postulate sexuality as the primary cause human behaviour. Foucault‚Äôs work has cited in support of the pervasiveness of a therapeutic culture on Television. I argue instead that is necessary to recognize that there are demotic and celebrity forms of confession. The Celebrity talk show; unlike its more demotic variants; represents a controlled process of revelation which is designed to display the celebrity‚Äôs persona from a position of authority in relation to the host (as an professional equal) and the audience (live and mediated) as an admiring mass.
The paper concludes with a brief analysis of the Tom Cruise- Oprah Winfrey May 2005 interview as an example of the pragmatics of the celebrity para-confession.
Inter: A European Cultural Studies : Conference in Sweden 11-13 June 2007
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