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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Lifestyle TV for Men: The Nostalgic Fantasy of History Channel's Blue-Collar Infotainment
by Menders, Stephanie Ann, M.A., The University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee, 2020, 108; 27961183
Abstract (Summary)

This work considers the commercial and ideological implications of History's branding shift as exemplified by the debut of its reality programming slate in 2007. History's blue-collar infotainment, which focuses on men in rugged and traditional forms of work, represents a masculinized and conservative response to the feminized and often socially liberal-minded lifestyle-programming trend. The social, industrial, and cultural context within which these texts exist, particularly the 2008 recession and the growing emphasis on workplace and TV diversity, are foundational to History's rejuvenated brand. Themes from Ice Road Truckers, Ax Men, Swamp People, Pawn Stars, American Restoration, American Pickers, and Forged in Fire hail a nostalgic male viewer and suggest the fantasy of an authentically masculine lifestyle. Nostalgic narrative frames, homogenous casting, and the representation of labor illuminate the forms of race, gender, and bodily ability that are valorized within these series.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Levine, Elana
Commitee: Newman, Michael
School: The University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee
Department: Media Studies
School Location: United States -- Wisconsin
Source: MAI 81/12(E), Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: Mass communications, Gender studies, Communication
Keywords: Forged in Fire, History Channel, Labor, Masculinity, Reality television, White
Publication Number: 27961183
ISBN: 9798662383401
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