Exploratory Essay

Submitted By JohnAquino12
Words: 1080
Pages: 5

Southern Stereotypes in Reality Television Programs All backgrounds come with different stereotypes. From Italian Americans to African Americans, stereotypes have always been a part of the world we live in. Television has always done a good job of portraying these stereotypes through reality television series. The southern culture brings a number of typical stereotypes to the table including southerner’s love for hunting as well as their love for football. Although stereotypes of the southern culture are commonly taken into offense by many southerners, reality television series such as “Swamp People”, “Texas Women”, “Sweet Home Alabama”, “I Love Lucy” and “Duck Dynasty portray these stereotypes in a way that illustrates how southerners are proud of their culture. Both Gina Bellafonte’s article Down South, Where The Stereotypes Bloom and Karen Cox’s Article, The South Ain’t Just Whistlin Dixie use reality television shows such as Sweet Home Alabama as well as other television programs to illustrate the southerner’s pride for their culture through the typical stereotypes made towards them. Both articles make reference to the show entitled Sweet Home Alabama and it’s choice of theme song, which draws attention to the proud attitude of the southerners. The theme song is called A Country Boy Can Survive by Hank Williams Jr. The name of the song in itself tells the audience that the southerners are proud of their culture and more specifically southern men. On the other hand, the choice of theme song displays the southerner’s stereotypical obsession with country music. For these reasons, the two articles are somewhat similar. In addition, the two articles are different in that they use different television programs to successfully get their point across. However, although the two articles are different, they are similar in that they utilize the television programs to prove the same point that the southerners are proud of their culture and embrace it despite the stereotypes made towards them. Bellafante’s article refers to the reality television series entitled, Texas Women which revolves around four women from Texas who spend their days at the shooting range and barrel racing and their nights going out to the bars. Cox’s article, uses Swamp People to illustrate the southerner’s love for hunting. Both of these shows have very different plots, yet they both successfully depict the southerner’s embracement of the stereotypes present in the two programs. Roger Catlin and Sarah K Eskridge are two very different writers. The two approach the topic of southern stereotypes in a different way. However, although the two writers are different, they are also similar in that they both address similar stereotypes. In Catlin’s article, Reality TV’s Explosion of Southern Stereotypes, he utilizes shows such as Duck Dyansty as well as a few other modern television programs, to illustrate the southerner’s reaction to the stereotypes made towards them. On the other hand, In Eskridge’s article, There Goes Old Gomer, she makes reference to older television programs such as I Love Lucy and uses it to show how the southerner’s could possibly take offense to the program’s focus on the stereotypical southern aspects of the program. Duck Dynasty portrays a family who made a fortune off of duck call whistles. The humor in the show is centered around the stereotypical appearance of the characters as well as their strong southern accents. I Love Lucy was a television program that was entirely different from Duck Dynasty. Although the program is not devoted to the southern culture, it is the characters within the show that are stereotyped the most. The focus on the characters accents as well as the focus on their rural hometown stands as a stereotype in itself in that it takes away from the accomplishments of the characters in the show. The characters in both Duck Dynasty and I love Lucy suffer from stereotypes made towards their accents as…