What Mad Men says about women…


In The Guardian Amanda Marcotte discusses the depiction of women in the TV show Mad Men. The piece focuses upon the different women in the show. It almost treats the different characters as ideal types that can be used to explore the different circumstances that women found themselves in the 1960s. The depiction of these women is set against certain sets of social changes. In this case Marcotte links the different characters into the contemporaneous rise of feminism. One of the questions considered in the piece is whether we can see feminist ideas emerging in the lives of the different characters.

I’ve written before on this blog about sociology and mad men. I suggested in that previous post that Mad Men provides a kind of impressionistic sociology. That is to say that we find social transformations in the shadows of the show. The result is that the impact of social change on the individual lives of the characters is often implicit in the show, rather than being foregrounded. I think you can see some suggestion of thus in Marcotte’s piece. If I get chance I might develop this idea a bit further in the future. But there is certainly some scope for thinking further about the sociological imagination in Mad Men. I think it probably needs to be added to the popular forms of sociology I’ve described elsewhere (or see p233-252 in here).

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