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Title:A marriage made in heaven: the functioning of patriarchy and nostalgia in 'Boer soek 'n vrou'
Author:Steenkamp, Hilke
Periodical:Communicatio: South African journal for communication theory and research (ISSN 1753-5379)
Geographic term:South Africa
gender relations
External link:https://doi.org/10.1080/02500167.2016.1216459
Abstract:This article explores the functioning of patriarchy and nostalgia in a South African reality television series, Boer soek 'n vrou. A hermeneutical analysis is used to unpack visual and verbal narratives that depict romantic relationships and an idealised future. Concepts such as nostalgic appropriation, benevolent patriarchy and the courtship narrative are explored to illustrate the latent patriarchal agenda which is conveyed to the audience. Interactions between the two genders not only naturalise but also reaffirm gender stereotypes. Throughout the series, female contestants are relegated to the sphere of domesticity whereas male farmers are shown as active social agents. Footage that sentimentalises the farmers' feelings is also used to regenerate Afrikaner masculinity, arguably as a direct result of the perceived loss of male authority. This 'renegotiated' image of a white, heterosexual man is indistinguishable from the historical, patriarchal portrayal of men. In the series, patriarchy and nostalgia collaborate to create a cultural product that can be commercially marketed. The colonial gaze is employed to depict farms as picturesque spaces where benevolent patriarchal power relations are enforced. Selective erasure, however, distorts reality and exploitative power relations remain hidden from the audience. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract]