Mad Men as health communication: health-related themes in the hit AMC television series.
As a popular contemporary text, the appeal of cable television's Mad Men (AMC) lies in its capacity to highlight the differences between 1960s sensibilities and 21st-century assumptions. Viewers can enjoy a sense of superiority by recognizing the "folly" of the beliefs and actions of the characters with the benefit of historic hindsight, as well as noting the evolution of technology, philosophy, and human rights. Health-related scenes and themes in the series are a particularly interesting focus for analysis. We employ Burke's four master tropes as an analytical lens and argue that the dominant dramatic technique of irony, particularly in the form that we call strategic anachronism-derived from an audience's enjoyment of historical hindsight-highlights the racism, sexism, homophobia, and overall conservatism of the early 1960s while simultaneously serving to obfuscate the ways in which we still have much to critique in the delivery of contemporary health care and other body politics.
Published In/Presented At
Baglia, J., & Foster, E. (2015). Mad Men as health communication: health-related themes in the hit AMC television series. Health communication, 30(1), 50–60. https://doi.org/10.1080/10410236.2013.835782
Medicine and Health Sciences
Department of Family Medicine