Communication Studies, Department of


Date of this Version



Text and Performance Quarterly 3:2–3 (2016), pp. 95–114.

doi: 10.1080/10462937.2016.1158415


Copyright © 2016 National Communication Association; published by Routledge/Taylor & Francis. Used by permission.


This essay argues that recent male performances of disaster preparedness in reality television recuperate a preindustrial model of hegemonic masculinity by staging the plausible “real world” conditions under which manly skills appear necessary for collective survival. Representations of masculinity in uncertain times intensify the masculinity-in-crisis motif to cultivate anticipation of an apocalyptic event that promises a final resolution to male alienation. An examination of Nat Geo’s Doomsday Preppers illustrates how these staged performances of everyday life cultivate a dangerous vision of apocalyptic manhood that consummates a fantasy of national virility in the demise of feminine society.