The 19th season of ABC’s The Bachelor stars Chris Soules, an Iowa farmer who is pursuing a wife. Soules appears to exhibit all the qualities of a gentleman farmer desired by the contestants: good looks, kindness, strong family values, and courteous manners. However, research of previous reality television programs has concluded negative views of agricultural lifestyles typically are present. The Bachelor aired during prime-time television hours and exposed millions of viewers to agricultural imagery, which is why an analysis of this season is important to agricultural communicators. This qualitative discourse analysis examines the representation of agriculture and rural communities through selected videos and episodes of The Bachelor that show Soules and the bachelorettes in agriculture-related settings. Previous research indicates entertainment media have impacted audience’s perceptions of agriculture and reality television programming is adept at perpetuating stereotypes. Repeated exposure to stereotypes through media representation causes viewers to absorb those images into their social reality and, in turn, impacts their beliefs, attitudes, and behaviors toward the subject of those stereotypes. The Bachelor Season 19 contains both positive and negative agricultural stereotypes, including isolated small-town life, hard-working farmers, and “country” as a personality type. Farm-centric content is used to elicit laughs and to build romantic tension with the effect of minimizing the importance of agriculture. The researchers plan further investigation of the perceptual effects of the program’s televised content and the related social-media conversation surrounding “Prince Farming.”

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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 License.