'Securitainment' in the post-9/11 era

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This article develops the notion of 'securitainment' to describe forms of popular culture that combine entertainment with instruction in managing the risks of the post-9/11 era. It argues that securitainment might be considered one example of a site in which state imperatives are offloaded onto the private sector, in keeping with emerging logics of neo-liberal governance. It uses the example of the popular Australian format, Border Security: Australia's Front Line, to outline the logics of securitainment, arguing that the genre invites viewers to adopt the framing and imperatives of state authorities while simultaneously enlisting them to participate in the project of securing themselves and their homeland. In this regard, the show operates as a public-private partnership that mobilizes the spectre of risk to sell both products and the state's framing of potential security risks. The paper argues that Border Security fits within the larger formation of what might be described as commercial nationalism and outlines the common themes of securitainment: the combination of entertainment and risk 'tutorial'; the moblilization of risk as an incitement to responsibilization (according to priorities and guidelines defined by the authorities); and the de-differentiation of categories of potential threat (to the self, to the economy, to the environment, to the state).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)165-175
Number of pages11
JournalContinuum: Journal of Media and Cultural Studies
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2011
Externally publishedYes

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