The (Re)production of Nature on Natural Resource Based Reality Television




Clark, Kendal

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University of Guelph


In the last ten years, reality television series focused on primary sector activities such as fishing (e.g., Deadliest Catch), mining (e.g., Yukon Gold), and forestry (e.g., American Loggers) have been ratings hits for major television networks. These series are a new iteration in the way that nature is (re)produced on television that have the potential to influence imaginaries about human-environment relations in these rural regions. This thesis empirically examines 100 episodes across 15 different series and critically analyzes how this genre mediates human-environment relations. The thesis argues that the documentation of resource based reality series and their depictions of a particular masculine nationalism works to save a virtual image of the imaginary frontier. In doing so, this research highlights the need for more critical analysis of the proliferation of natural resource based reality television on major television networks and greater consideration of the implications for public narratives surrounding human-environment relations.



Media Geography, Television, Human-environment, Gender