Synopses & Reviews
"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 heterosexism--so that they seem inevitable. 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.
'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.
Includes bibliographical references (p. -161) and index.
About the Author
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.
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 Genre