In this article we discuss discourses of white mobility in reality television, a genre whose problematic post-racial and neoliberal discourses have long been exposed. Moving beyond the widely researched Anglophone media landscapes, we interrogate the discursive construction of white mobilities in the Swedish romance reality show Bonde Söker Fru – Jorden Runt (TV4, 2019-2020) [Farmer Seeks Wife – Around the World] where Swedish North-to-South migrants working as farmers abroad seek a partner from Sweden through the assistance of reality TV. By focusing on the discursive and visual strategies through which the show perpetuates racial hierarchies, we discuss the colonial imaginaries, the absence of border policies (such as residency, employment, or integration), and the significance of individual migratory preferences in the mobility discourses. We identify three forms of white mobility – the tourist, the adventurer, and the philanthropist – and show that migration is depicted as something reversible, an adventure, and a possibility for self-development, rather than a life-long decision with high stakes.

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Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision
VIEW Journal

Aitaki, Georgia, & Carlsson, Nina. (2021). Farmer Wants a (Swedish) Wife: White Mobilities in the Reality Romance Show Bonde Söker Fru – Jorden Runt. VIEW Journal, 10(20), 64–82. doi:10.18146/view.270