Mad Men, Corporate Culture, and Violence against Women

Date
2019-12-01
Authors
Lucht, Tracy
Marcellus, Jane
Lucht, Tracy
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Greenlee School of Journalism and Communication
Abstract

Synthesizing Pierre Bourdieu’s concept of symbolic violence and Rosabeth Moss Kanter’s framework of corporate roles to examine Mad Men’s representation of women’s work, Tracy Lucht and Jane Marcellus investigate the show’s construction of the Secretary, Corporate Wife, and Token High-Level Woman in relation to symbolic violence, which looks beyond physical manifestations of violence to consider social relations that deny women’s subjectivity. Viewed through these paired theoretical lenses, the narrative arcs of women on Mad Men illustrate how work, appearance, social position, sexuality, and material property are appropriated and exchanged for male gain. Addressing the connections linking gender, status, capital, power, and social practice, Bourdieu’s notion of symbolic violence and Kanter’s corporate work roles serve to illuminate the oppression embedded in corporate practices on Mad Men.

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This accepted book chapter is published as Lucht T., Marcellus J. (2019) Mad Men, Corporate Culture, and Violence Against Women. In: McNally K., Marcellus J., Forde T., Fairclough K. (eds) The Legacy of Mad Men. Palgrave Macmillan, Cham. Dec 1 2019, Section 2(chapter 4);115-129. Doi: 10.1007/978-3-030-31091-2_8. Posted with permission.

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