The Universe is Indifferent

The Universe is Indifferent


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Centered upon the lives of employees at a Manhattan advertising firm, the AMC television series Mad Men touches on the advertising world's unique interests in consumerist culture, materialistic desire, and the role of deception in Western capitalism.

While the subject matters of the chapters in this collection have a decidedly socio-historical focus, the authors use basic topics as starting points for philosophical, religious, and theological reflections. The authors show how Mad Men reveals deep truths concerning the social trends of the 1960s and early 1970s in American life and deserves a significant amount of reflection from philosophical, religious, and theological perspectives. Some of the chapters go beyond mere reflection and make deeper inquiries into what these trends say about American cultural habits, the business world within Western capitalism, and the rapid social changes (gender, race, and sexuality) that occur during this period. Chapters examine paradigms of masculinity and femininity as well as the presentation of motherhood, fatherhood, sexuality, and childhood.

This collection shows how social change represents the undercurrent of the interpersonal dramas of the characters on Mad Men, from the staid and conventional early seasons to the war, assassinations, riots, and counterculture of later seasons.

""This exciting volume joins the growing scholarly chorus calling us to take popular culture seriously--artistically and politically, to be sure, but more daringly as vernacular philosophy and theology. In the acclaimed television seriesMad Menthis volumes strikes gold, which its authors mine with skill, humor, and great insight. It's a book that belongs on the shelf of every student of religion and popular culture.""
--Matthew S. Hedstrom, Associate Professor, Religious Studies and American Studies, Director of Graduate Studies,Department of Religious Studies, University of Virginia

""Duncan and Goodson have assembled a brilliant collection of essays that combine keen theological and philosophical insight intoMad Men. This book is a rare combination of outstanding scholarship and delightful reading. Of course, it's aboutMad Men, but it's also about God, love, relationships, work, ethics, and life in the modern world. It is, in short, about everything that matters.""
--David O'Hara, Associate Professor of Philosophy and Classics, Chair of the Department of Religion, Philosophy, and Classics, Augustana University

Ann W. Duncan (PhD, University of Virginia) is Associate Professor of Religion at Goucher College in Baltimore, Maryland. She is the coeditor of Church-State Issues in America Today (2007).

Jacob L. Goodson (PhD, University of Virginia) is Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Southwestern College in Winfield, Kansas. He is the author of Narrative Theology and the Hermeneutical Virtues: Humility, Patience, Prudence (2015).

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781625648976
Publisher: Wipf & Stock Publishers
Publication date: 11/09/2016
Pages: 428
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.95(d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments xi

Introduction Ann W. Duncan Jacob L. Goodson xiii

Part 1 Business Ethics

Chapter 1 "It's the Real Thing": Identity and Sincerity in Mad Men Howard Pickett 3

Chapter 2 The Business of Creativity: From SCDP to the Modern Creative Enterprise Jennifer Phillips 28

Chapter 3 Mad Manners: Courtesy, Conflict, and Social Change Sarah Conrad Sours 52

Chapter 4 "All the Research Points to the Fact that Mothers Feel Guilty" Maternal Desire and the Social Construction of Motherhood in Mad Men Ann W. Duncan 78

Chapter 5 Supporting this World's Ballerinas: Learning from Mad Men's Female Workers Kristen Deede Johnson 101

Chapter 6 "If I don't go in that office every day, who am I?": Culture, Identity, and Work in Mad Men David Matzko McCarthy 123

Part 2 Who Is Don Draper?

Chapter 7 Counterculture Beatrices? Don Meets Dante Gabriel Haley 145

Chapter 8 "Moving Forward" as Return: The Redemptive Journey of Don Draper Jackson Lashier 169

Chapter 9 "You Are Okay": Donsein's Despair and Our Road to Recovery Seth Vannatta 192

Chapter 10 Don Draper, Double Consciousness, and the Invisibility of Blackness Nsenga K. Burton 215

Chapter 11 The Erotic Reduction of Don Draper: Iconicity, Idolatry, and Madness Carole L. Baker 237

Part 3 Politics and Social Theory

Chapter 12 Zou Bisou Bisou: Feminist Philosophy and Sexual Ethics in Mad Men Jacob L. Goodson 265

Chapter 13 Exitus et Reditus in Marriage: Mad Men vs. Hollywood Remarriage Comedies Brandon L. Morgan Jonathan Tran 292

Chapter 14 Uneasy Bedfellows: On Pete and Trudy's Marriage Matthew Emile Vaughan Christopher J. Ashley 308

Chapter 15 Mad Men, Bad Parents: Representations of Parenting in Mad Men Susan E. Frekko 329

Chapter 16 "I Can't Believe That's the Way God Is": Sexism, Sin, and Clericalism in Peggy's Pre-Vatican II Catholicism Heidi Schlumpf 345

Chapter 17 "We Don't Know What's Really Going On": Mad Men as a Bellwether of the Politics to Come Jared D. Larson 368

Contributors 391

Subject Index 393

Author Index 399

Episode Index 403

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