Barthes on Jamie: myth and the TV revolutionary

Gillian Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article looks at the legacy of the work of Roland Barthes half a century after the publication of Mythologies, exploring its relevance to the construction of our modern world through Lifestyle Television. In particular, it looks at the work of Jamie Oliver in exploiting popular myths to sell aspiration to viewers, and suggests that the radical potential of such schemes is now concentrated on the politics of food and “transformation TV” for improving one’s world. It looks at the influence of critical and cultural theory in the educational backgrounds of some of these producers, and asks if this has raised a consciousness in television production, developing a discourse which has the potential for revolution. Finally, it asks if television, led by the feel-good factor of the myth, shows that aspiration and consumption can successfully mask the dominant power relations in society while introducing a new discourse in Lifestyle TV.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Media Practice
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2012

Bibliographical note

© 2012 The author(s)


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