Skip to main content

Mad Men’s Mid-Century Modern Times

  • 199 Accesses

Abstract

Mad Men’s seventh season introduces a conspicuous and ominous element of mise en scène: the mammoth IBM 360 computer. It is an obvious metaphor for change, but a deeper analysis reveals more about who and what constitutes an ‘employee’ in an evolving capitalist landscape. Much like Chaplin’s Modern Times (1936) reflected anxieties about the welfare of labourers of the early twentieth century, Mad Men offers a similar kind of exploration of work in America after the midpoint of the century. This chapter offers an intermedial perspective of how these two texts from different eras are strongly in dialogue with one another. I argue both interrogate themes that offer a warning of dehumanization through techno-displacement and illuminate fears over technology as panacea.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Buying options

Chapter
USD   29.95
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • DOI: 10.1007/978-3-030-31091-2_10
  • Chapter length: 14 pages
  • Instant PDF download
  • Readable on all devices
  • Own it forever
  • Exclusive offer for individuals only
  • Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout
eBook
USD   109.00
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • ISBN: 978-3-030-31091-2
  • Instant PDF download
  • Readable on all devices
  • Own it forever
  • Exclusive offer for individuals only
  • Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout
Softcover Book
USD   139.00
Price excludes VAT (USA)
Hardcover Book
USD   139.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)

Bibliography

  • Dinerstein, Joel. 2006. Technology and Its Discontents: On the Verge of the Posthuman. American Quarterly 58 (3) (September): 569–595.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Edgerton, Gary R. 2011. Introduction: When Our Parents Became Us. In Mad Men: Dream Come True TV, ed. Gary R. Edgerton, xxi–xxxvi. London: I.B. Tauris.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Lyons, Dan. 2016. Disrupted: My Misadventure in the Start-Up Bubble. New York: Hachette Books.

    Google Scholar 

  • Mellen, Joan. 2006. Modern Times. London: BFI Publishing.

    Google Scholar 

  • Musser, Charles. 1988. Work, Ideology, and Chaplin’s Tramp. Radical History Review 41: 36–66.

    Google Scholar 

  • Sandberg, Sheryl. 2012. Harvard Business School Class Day. 23 May 2012, Harvard Business School, Cambridge, MA. Keynote.

    Google Scholar 

  • Sturken, Marita, and Douglas Thomas. 2004. Introduction: Technological Visions and the Rhetoric of the New. In Technological Visions: The Hopes and Fears That Shape New Technologies, ed. Marita Sturken, Douglas Thomas, and Sandra J. Ball-Rokeach, 1–18. Philadelphia: Temple University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Terkel, Studs. 1974. Working: People Talk About What They Do All Day and How They Feel About What They Do. New York: The New Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Welty: “The Computer as a Tool Used in Media Planning is Here to Stay.” The J. Walter Thompson Company News, 24 (5) (31 January, 1969): 3. https://dukelibraries.contentdm.oclc.org/digital/api/collection/p15957coll4/id/12233/page/0/inline/p15957coll4_12233_0.

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Editor information

Editors and Affiliations

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

Copyright information

© 2019 The Author(s)

About this chapter

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this chapter

Roman, Z. (2019). Mad Men’s Mid-Century Modern Times. In: McNally, K., Marcellus, J., Forde, T., Fairclough, K. (eds) The Legacy of Mad Men. Palgrave Macmillan, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-31091-2_10

Download citation