Identity-Immersion Journalism and the Experience of Authenticity
This chapter examines how passing is used as an educational tool in immersion-journalism narratives of race, ethnic, class, and gender passing. It analyzes six texts and one TV series spanning 1961 to 2006: Black like Me, Soul Sister,Bessie Yellowhair, Nickeled and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America, Self-Made Man: One Woman’s Year Disguised as a Man, and the reality TV series Black. White. While searching for authentic truth, passing becomes a problematic tool buttressed by narrative tactics of Othering, doubling, objectivity, emotion, and the reveal. This chapter addresses how these factors work together to lean toward fluid or multiple identity constructions before ultimately supporting dominant ideologies of Truth, identity, authenticity, and the “real.”
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