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Television style/stylish television: Mad Men, television and the fashioning of the self

Kleinecke-Bates, Iris



Mad Men utilizes television, quotes television and contemplates and negotiates its role, to the extent that the show is also about television, mediating it as diegetic and non-diegetic, within and without, deliberately returning to the medium's early days in memory and celebration of itself and its origin, all the while making full use of the various media platforms that it has at its disposal today to promote itself and construct itself as a nostalgic object of desire. Part of a television experience that fetishizes the materiality of authentic objects, the show constructs a mise en abyme of longing and nostalgia that positions the television set at its very centre. This article will trace the role of television in AMC's Mad Men (2007-15). It will examine the medium's developing role in modern life, and the way it is used to integrate the show's narrative within a wider sense of history. Moreover, it will contemplate the way the medium is constructed both within the diegetic reality of the show and outside it, as authentic period prop and as a fetishized nostalgia object that is itself again framed and distributed by television.


Kleinecke-Bates, I. (2019). Television style/stylish television: Mad Men, television and the fashioning of the self. Journal of Popular Television, 7(2), 217-234.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Sep 17, 2018
Online Publication Date Jun 1, 2019
Publication Date Jan 1, 2019
Deposit Date Oct 16, 2018
Publicly Available Date Jan 2, 2020
Journal Journal of Popular Television
Print ISSN 2046-9861
Electronic ISSN 2046-987X
Publisher Intellect
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 7
Issue 2
Pages 217-234
Keywords Materiality; Television; Television materiality; Mad Men; Television history
Public URL


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