Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

A pentadic analysis of Alaskan reality television: Tracking the changes within America's frontier myth
by Smith, Dana-Jean C., M.A., California State University, Long Beach, 2013, 174; 1527588
Abstract (Summary)

Utilizing Kenneth Burke's dramatistic pentad, I argue that the rhetoric of Alaskan reality television produces a new strain of the American frontier myth wherein agents struggle to live within an omnipotent scene. After tracing the evolution of the pentadic elements in literature and film embodying the eastern and western variations of the myth, I analyze Deadliest Catch, Flying Wild Alaska, and Gold Rush and thereby discover that the discourse does not revive older versions, but instead formulates a contemporary iteration that diminishes tension between the dialectical values of individualism and community. As the United States faces daunting exigencies concerning the economy, technology, and the environment in the new millennium, the myth of the Alaskan frontier offers ways for people to cope with their anxieties. This thesis concludes with a discussion of implications and ideas for future research.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Rasmussen, Karen
School: California State University, Long Beach
School Location: United States -- California
Source: MAI 52/05M(E), Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: American studies, Communication
Publication Number: 1527588
ISBN: 978-1-303-79627-2
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