Rural representations in fashion and television: Co-optation and cancellation | Intellect Skip to content
Volume 1, Issue 1
  • ISSN: 2050-0726
  • E-ISSN: 2050-0734



In the late 1960s and early 1970s, Colombia Broadcasting System (CBS), a major US television network, cancelled all of its popular rural programming (e.g. The Beverly Hillbillies [Paul Henning, CBS, 1962–71], Green Acres [Jay Sommers, CBS, 1965–71]). Known as the ‘rural purge’, the cancellations made way for more urbanthemed shows and strove to cater to higher ‘quality’ (presumably urban) viewers. At the same time, US Vogue Magazine featured the peasant look: a decidedly rural style, but one co-opted from ‘other’ places and times. In this article, we analyse contradictory and ambivalent representations of ‘rurality’, which we describe as the construction and appropriation of non-urban life as a kind of cultural authenticity that is alternately disparaged and celebrated. Using Fred Davis’s (1992) concept of identity ambivalences and Henri Lefebvre’s (1991 [1974]) theories on the production of space, we explore cultural discourse in the late 1960s and early 1970s to interpret the complex rural-urban dynamics in fashion and television.


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  • Article Type: Article
Keyword(s): fashion; rural; sitcom; space; television; Vogue
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