Simpsonology: There's a Little Bit of Springfield in All of Us

Overview

In this amusing and informative appreciation of The Simpsons, sociologist Tim Delaney looks at the many ways America’s longest-running sitcom and animated TV program reflects American culture. For more than fifteen years, the Simpsons have touched upon nearly every aspect of the American social scene—from family dynamics and social mores to local customs and national institutions. With over four hundred episodes aired so far, Delaney finds a goldmine of insights couched in parody on any number of perennial ...
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Overview

In this amusing and informative appreciation of The Simpsons, sociologist Tim Delaney looks at the many ways America’s longest-running sitcom and animated TV program reflects American culture. For more than fifteen years, the Simpsons have touched upon nearly every aspect of the American social scene—from family dynamics and social mores to local customs and national institutions. With over four hundred episodes aired so far, Delaney finds a goldmine of insights couched in parody on any number of perennial topics:

• On television’s influence on American culture, Krusty the Clown says, "Would it really be worth living in a world without television? I think the survivors would envy the dead."
• On New Age religion, Homer says, "To think, I turned to a cult for mindless happiness when I had beer all along."
• On the thorny issue of gun ownership and home security, Homer purchases a pistol at "Bloodbath and Beyond" and then tells Marge, "I don’t have to be careful, I got a gun."
• On the theme of community spirit, Bart thoughtlessly signs up with a local Boy Scout troop while on a sugar rush from eating a "Super-Squishee." The next day he realizes what he has done: "Oh, no. I joined the Junior Campers!" To which his sister, Lisa, responds: "The few, the proud, the geeky."

Delaney finds many more episodes relevant to major sociological issues such as environmentalism, feminism, romance and marriage, politics, education, health, aging, and more. Students of popular culture and laypersons alike will learn basic sociological concepts and theories in a refreshing, jargon-free work that offers plenty of entertainment.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781591025597
  • Publisher: Prometheus Books
  • Publication date: 3/28/2008
  • Pages: 340
  • Sales rank: 1,391,799
  • Product dimensions: 6.06 (w) x 8.97 (h) x 0.85 (d)

Meet the Author

Tim Delaney (Oswego, NY) is assistant professor of sociology at the State University of New York at Oswego and the author of Seinology: The Sociology of Seinfeld, American Street Gangs, and Contemporary Social Theory, among other works.
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Table of Contents

About the Author     11
Preface     13
Acknowledgments     15
An Introduction to The Simpsons: "As far as anyone knows, we're a nice, normal family"   Homer Simpson     17
The Culture We Live In: "Would it really be worth living in a world without television? I think the survivors would envy the dead"   Krusty the Clown     32
Friendship and Community: "My mom won't let me be your friend anymore"   Milhouse Van Houten     63
Love and Marriage: "Our marriage is like soft serve ice cream and trust is the hard chocolate shell that keeps it from melting onto our carpet"   Homer Simpson     88
America's Family: The Simpsons: "Everybody in the kitchen! We're having a family meeting"   Homer Simpson     112
Gender Roles and Expectations: "Let's buy makeup so the boys will like us"   Malibu Stacy     137
Springfield: A Racial Melting Pot Often Lacking in Tolerance: "From this day forth, I am no longer an Indian living in America. I am an Indian American"   Apu Nahasapeemapetilon     164
Religion and Other Things We Believe In: "To think, I turned to a cult for mindless happiness when I had beer all along"   Homer Simpson     189
Beware the Enviromare: "This planet needs every friend it can get"   Jesse Grass     218
The PoliticalWorld of Springfield: "Ah, just one thing. Are you guys any good at covering up youthful and middle-aged indiscretions?"   Krusty the Clown     245
The Wide Diversity of Sports in Springfield: "Mom, I never won before, and I may never win again"   Bart Simpson     274
Springfield's Educational System: Where Every Child Is Left Behind!: "I have had it with this school! The low test scores, class after class of ugly, ugly children"   Superintendent Chalmers     306
Physical and Mental Health in Springfield: "All my life I have been an obese man trapped inside a fat man's body"   Homer Simpson     335
Tricks and Treats: "Well, I'll be a son of a witch"   Bart Simpson     362
The Animation Domination of The Simpsons: "Oh, Marge, cartoons don't have any deep meaning. They're just stupid drawings that give you a cheap laugh"   Homer Simpson     388
Bibliography     401
Index of Cited Episodes     407

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