Mad Men Sociological / Semiotic Analysis Essay example

Words: 2807
Pages: 12

Every so often there is a television program that attracts a large audience because it is brilliantly written and entertaining. One of the most recent television shows to do this has been Mad Men. The show revolves around an advertising agency in the 1960’s and it’s key players in the company, more specifically Don Draper. Being set in the 1960’s, it is important to do both a sociological and semiotic analysis of the show. Society and human interactions have changed dramatically over the past fifty years and while it is a scripted television show and not a documentary, the drama prides itself on paying close attention to details and keeping everything true to the time period. It would be interesting and informative to do an analysis …show more content…
While Joan is head of secretaries, Peggy now has her own secretary. Peggy becoming a junior copy-writer went against the anomies or social norms of Sterling Cooper, as well as the rest of society in the 1960’s. Women had just entered the workforce and there wasn’t a huge place for women to do more than secretarial work for the men who were doing the “real work.” Women were faced with trials and tribulations every day they went to work, ranging from sexual harassment from the men to the glass ceiling they were constantly suffering from. A common social norm found in Mad Men is the unspoken yet well known practice of men sleeping with the secretaries in the office. Don Draper, the main character does it many time throughout this show, with Peggy actually being the exception since he saw there was something more to her. Sterling, Campbell, Draper, all known for their trysts with secretaries around the office. This wouldn't be as readily accepted in today's day and age, and is the reason for a lot of the sexual harrassment laws today; however in the 1950s, and at the fictional Sterling Cooper ad agency, it was the norm. Joan and Peggy are both constantly in this sexist environment but react to is in very different ways. “Their behavior and comments highlight alternative ways that women behave. Joan rises to the occasion, showing off her femininity in poses,