MetaTOC stay on top of your field, easily

Mad Men in Bib Overalls: Media’s Horrification and Pornification of Rural Culture

, ,

Critical Criminology

Published online on


The media play a key role in stereotyping as “ignorant and uncouth hillbillies” people who live in rural US communities. As well, since the early 1970s, popular films frequently portray rural areas as dangerous locations, places where urban people are at high risk of being savagely killed and tortured by demented, in-bred locals without conscience or constraint. Further, with the advent of the Internet, rural women continue to be depicted in a degrading, highly sexualized manner and “gonzo” pornographic videos of them are widely and freely accessible. Informed by feminist and cultural criminological modes of inquiry, this paper presents some exploratory research on rural horror films and pornographic videos. A key argument is that with the help of new information technologies, these media are normalized, mainstreamed, and contribute to the horrification/pornification of rural culture, and by doing so, mask the real issues about crime, violence, and gender relations in the rural context.