AbstractsLanguage, Literature & Linguistics

A Rhetorical Analysis of Modern Day Retro-Sexism: MisogynyMasked by Glamour in Mad Men

by Hannah Noelle Caton

Institution: University of Findlay
Year: 2015
Keywords: American History; American Literature; Epistemology; Aesthetics; Evolution and Development; Families and Family Life; Film Studies; Gender; Gender Studies; Individual and Family Studies; Modern History; Modern Literature; Rhetoric; Womens Studies; Rhetoric; Mad Men; Rhetorical Analysis; 1950s; 1960s; 1970s; Culture; Anti feminism; Aesthetics; Retro Sexism; Don Draper; Sexism; Television; Gender; Film Studies; Modernism; Family Life; Evolution; Counterculture; Misogyny; Glamour
Posted: 02/05/2017
Record ID: 2130971
Full text PDF: http://rave.ohiolink.edu/etdc/view?acc_num=findlay1439993165


AMC's original series Mad Men portrays American culture during the 1960s and 1970s, focusing on the negative behaviors that were prominent during the time depicted. The main themes throughout the seven season series is smoking, alcoholism, chauvinism, homophobia, infidelity, bigotry, anti-Semitism, the development of feminism, and the home lives that were kept so private during this time period. Mad Men emphasizes isolation, societal movement and heartlessness as minor developmental points throughout the show, entertaining the idea that retro-sexism is achievable through the dedication of viewers to allowing the mindset of the 1950s and 1960s into their homes. Even though the theme has negative undertones through its plot, and poor character behavior, the show cultivates a feeling of nostalgia among viewers through the careful attention to the costumes and set. The series works hard to remain disconnected from current society by setting the show in a different time period and not incorporating any modern day elements, while the show uses retro-sexism in order to hold a strong attachment to the decades being portrayed. In short, Man Men serves as a rhetorical outlet to discuss issues that still concern society, such as sexism. Through an analysis of gender inequality, corruption of marriage and the time period portrayed, this analysis will use costumes, character behavior and sets, in order to prove that Mad Men strives to accurately depict the decades it aims to represent through hidden messages of nostalgia within the show. Advisors/Committee Members: Tulley, Christine (Advisor).