Television: Global Formats, Gender and Identity: The Search for "The Perfect Bride" on Italian Television
Reality television emerged in the late 1980s and early 1990s as a survival mechanism by networks faced with fragmented audiences and decreasing budgets. The author discusses reality programming within the context of Italian television. The program "La sposa perfetta" ("The Perfect Bride") examined the boundaries of orthodox marriage and heterosexual relations in a country that had recently witnessed heated debates on gay marriage, abortion, and women's rights. The program was strategically used on the public network RAI to strengthen a cemented vision of identity in Italy by concealing more problematic notions of gender, identity, and nationality.