Working Stiff(s) on Reality Television during the Great Recession
AbstractThis essay traces some of the narratives and cultural politics of work on reality television after the economic crash of 2008. Specifically, it discusses the emergence of paid labor shows like Ax Men , Black Gold and Coal and a resurgent interest in working bodies at a time when the working class in the US seems all but consigned to the dustbin of history. As an implicit response to the crisis of masculinity during the Great Recession these programs present an imagined revival of manliness through the valorization of muscle work, which can be read in dialectical ways that pivot around the white male body in peril. In Ax Men , Black Gold and Coal , we find not only the return of labor but, moreover, the re-embodiment of value as loggers, roughnecks and miners risk both life and limb to reach company quotas. Paid labor shows, in other words, present a complicated popular pedagogy of late capitalism and the body, one that relies on anachronistic narratives of white masculinity in the workplace to provide an acute critique of expendability of the body and the hardships of physical labor.
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Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by MDPI, Open Access Journal in its journal Societies.
Volume (Year): 2 (2012)
Issue (Month): 4 (October)
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Web page: http://www.mdpi.com/
reality television; masculinity; working-class bodies; labor; late capitalism;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- A13 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - Relation of Economics to Social Values
- A14 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - Sociology of Economics
- P - Economic Systems
- P0 - Economic Systems - - General
- P1 - Economic Systems - - Capitalist Systems
- P2 - Economic Systems - - Socialist Systems and Transition Economies
- P3 - Economic Systems - - Socialist Institutions and Their Transitions
- P4 - Economic Systems - - Other Economic Systems
- P5 - Economic Systems - - Comparative Economic Systems
- Z1 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics
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