Entertaining Mobility: The Racialized and Gendered Nation in House Hunters International

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House Hunters International invites viewers in the United States to temporarily and vicariously escape their daily lives through the stories of those fellow citizens and the occasional foreign nationals fortunate enough to buy homes abroad, including vacation homes in the tropics. Of course, other people, including viewers with access to the show, actually live their daily lives in those vacation paradises. The actors are presented as seeking an “authentic” experience away from the local population that is often tokenized and seen as static or invisible. In many instances, women and people of color who are a part of the visual landscape represent these places. This paper considers the ways the show frames mobility as entertainment, which ignores the politics of gender, race, and class that enables such mobility in the first place. This article concludes by considering María Lugones’ conceptualization of “traveling worlds” in order to propose a different way to articulate international house hunting.


Race; Gender; Class; Tourism; House Hunters International; Mass media

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