Love and Ideology in the Afternoon

Love and Ideology in the Afternoon : Soap Opera, Women, and Television Genre

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Description

'Why do I like soap operas?' Laura Stempel Mumford asks, and her answer emerges in a feminist analysis of soap opera that participates in current debates about popular culture, television, and ideology. She argues that the conventional daytime soap has an implicit and at times explicit political agenda that cooperates in the 'teaching' of male dominance and the related oppressions of racism, classism, and heterosexismNso that they seem inevitable. Unlike other critics of the genre, Mumford situates her argument within her own history as a soap opera viewer and her struggle to reconcile her pleasure in the genre with a recognition of the form's repressive tendencies.Mumford blends theory, criticism, and personal practice into a detailed analysis of the genre and its viewers: the different levels of viewer competence crucial to understanding soap opera narratives; how soaps blur the boundaries between public and private spheres to construct a particular kind of community; the functions of clusure in programs' narratives and viewer expectations about particular storylines; the paternity mystery, a fictional restatement of the power of the father; and, various elements surrounding soap operas, such as fan magazines, network programming strategies. "All My Children", "General Hospital", "Another World", "One Life to Live", "Days of Our Lives", "The Young and the Restless": a close reading of their texts will also answer some larger questions about television and its place in the broad landscape of popular culture.show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 176 pages
  • 139.4 x 208.8 x 14.7mm | 278.68g
  • Indiana University Press
  • Bloomington, IN, United States
  • English
  • 025320965X
  • 9780253209658
  • 2,034,005

Back cover copy

'Why do I like soap operas?' asks Mumford. The answer emerges from a feminist analysis engaged in current debates about popular culture, television, and ideology. She argues that the daytime soap has an implicit and at times explicit political agenda that advocates male dominance, racism, classism, and heterosexism. Unlike other critics of the genre, Mumford situates her argument within her own history as a soap opera viewer and her struggle to reconcile her pleasure in the genre with a recognition of the form's repressive tendencies.show more

About Laura Stempel Mumford

LAURA STEMPEL MUMFORD has written about TV, women s fiction, feminist theory, style, and about the experience of being an independent scholar. She lives in Madison, Wisconsin."show more

Table of contents

Chapter 1: Viewing Histories and Textual Difficulties Chapter 2: What Is This Thing Called Soap Opera? Chapter 3: Public Exposure: Privacy and the Construction of the Soap Opera Community Chapter 4: How Things End: The Problem of Closure Chapter 5: Plotting Paternity: Looking for Dad on the Daytime Soaps Chapter 6: Beyond Soap Opera: Ideology, Intertextuality, and the Future of a Television Genreshow more

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