A growing stereotype: Prince Farming's reality of agriculture
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Reality television has seen an influx in success over the past ten years, exploding into a popular culture phenomenon (Miller, 2013). As reality television appears to present unmediated portrayals of events, audiences believe they are receiving an unfiltered glimpse into the real lives of program participants (Hall, 2005). Thus, creating a believable “reality” to audiences despite the carefully constructed content. With multiple agricultural reality television programming on a variety of networks, it is important to understand how the industry is being portrayed to audiences. This study investigated the portrayal of agricultural stereotypes in Season 19 of The Bachelor and Season 10 of The Bachelorette, which featured Chris Soules, a corn farmer from Iowa. A qualitative textual content analysis was conducted to investigate the research questions. Four themes were identified to represent the portrayal of agriculture in Season 19 of The Bachelor and Season 10 of The Bachelorette: the romanticized farmer, the pastoral fantasy, a limited understanding of agriculture, and traditional values. The pastoral fantasy, limited understanding of agriculture, and traditional values were found to reinforce previous stereotypes in agriculture, while the romanticized farmer broke previous stereotypes of the industry. Further, emerging stereotypes focusing on rural style, technology, social culture, gender roles and the farmer mold developed.