Document Type



Bachelor of Arts in English


Margaret Case, Ph.D.


This thesis examines why Jersey Shore (2009-Present), MTV’s popular reality show, is so interesting to viewers despite the fact that many dislike the show. In order to understand why, it is crucial to study cultures featured in the show. The cast members place an emphasis on the culture of drinking alcohol, the culture of sex, and the culture of appearance. Examining these three cultures reveals imbedded interests: danger, violating social norms/taboos, and vicarious participation. Although there is much controversy over this show, it is evident that the show prompts much interest. Raymond Williams, the famous popular culture theorist, would agree that studying these cultures helps viewers understand their own wider culture, which ultimately helps audience members better understand their society as a whole.