Gender territories: House hunting on American real estate TV

Mimi White*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations

Abstract

House Hunters is an American lifestyle TV program that focuses on home buying. Across episodes, the program represents a wide range of buyers - singles and couples, married and not, with and without children, gay and straight, young and old. Families are often multiracial, multiethnic, or international. The program mobilizes diverse buyers, budgets, and locations, representing the American domestic real estate market in terms of variety and difference. As these buyers assess homes, ideas about domestic needs, comforts, and ideals proliferate - ideas that carry specific gender implications. Through repetition, these gender differences accrue weight as familiar cultural touchstones. The conventional gendered domestic territory exists in tension with the program's emphasis on inclusiveness and diversity, as all kinds of people buy houses across the United States. With this tension, House Hunters provokes multiple and variable fantasies of American mobility, domesticity, security, and adventure through narratives of house hunting and home ownership.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)228-243
Number of pages16
JournalTelevision and New Media
Volume14
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2013

Keywords

  • Gender
  • HGTV
  • House Hunters
  • Lifestyle television
  • Reality TV

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • Visual Arts and Performing Arts

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