Students in Keith Brown’s classes at Kell High School are learning sociology in a unique way – by studying a reality television show! Brown made contact with the producers and cast of There Goes The Neighborhood, a competition reality show filmed in Kennesaw in mid-2009. Members of the cast visited with Brown’s classes in March, sharing their experiences and providing the class with a basis to analyze the sociological elements of the show. Students had the opportunity to ask questions of the cast members related to their relationships with neighbors before and after the show and how the process of participation affected the families’ lives.
Throughout the school year, Brown’s classes studied the neighborhood participating in the program as its own small society, identifying values, norms and competition. Brown and his students developed a classroom simulation of the show; each Friday, groups of student “families” participated in mock challenges and are faced with similar sociological decisions as the show’s participating families.