Love and Ideology in the Afternoon

Love and Ideology in the Afternoon

Soap Opera, Women and Television Genre
Russell E. Mumford
Distribution: Global
Publication date: 08/22/1995
ISBN: 978-0-253-11588-1
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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.

Author Bio

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.


““ . . . sophisticated and entertaining.” —Women’s Philosophy “. . . a provocative book that restores some of the impulses that made the early feminist and cultural studies so exhilarating.” —Journal of Popular Film and Television An engaging critical study of how soap operas reinforce dominant ideas of gender and sexuality—and why soaps seem so pleasurable that women viewers, including feminists, keep coming back to watch. Mumford argues that the daytime soap has an implicit and at times explicit political agenda that advocates male dominance, racism, classism, and heterosexism.”

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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