Oprah, Celebrity and Formations of Self argues that a reading of this popular TV show is contingent on understanding the cultural context in which it is produced. By examining versions of self in two key, conflicting American cultural traditions, and through a systematic analysis of the shows themselves and the Oprah persona, the book offers cumulative evidence that Oprah is an ambivalent text. The book argues that the persona of Oprah Winfrey is the embodiment of conflicts, acting as a conduit for a self-expression that emerges from the clash of antagonistic forces. Thus, The Oprah Winfrey Show is used as a case study to show how contradictory cultural constructions of self combine in a carinvalesque play to produce something new. It is this 'something new' that accounts for Oprah's popularity in contemporary popular culture.

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