Television as psychical object: Mad Men and the value of psychoanalysis for television scholarship

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

276 Downloads (Pure)


Claims that Mad Men (2007-15) is an obedient postfeminist text overlook the drama’s images of both women and the history of feminism and its potential to impact on contemporary understandings of gender politics. Mad Men can be seen as a psychological object, helping viewers to explore links between their own experience and that of characters on screen as the narrative unfolds. Making links between the social re-emergence of feminist awareness, the drama’s representations of second wave feminism, and a psychoanalytic understanding of mourning, I suggest that that a return to psychoanalytic methodologies has the potential to enrich television scholarship.

© 2019, SAGE. This is an author produced version of a paper published in CRITICAL STUDIES IN TELEVISION: THE INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF TELEVISION STUDIES uploaded in accordance with the publisher’s self- archiving policy. The final published version (version of record) is available online at the link below. Some minor differences between this version and the final published version may remain. We suggest you refer to the final published version should you wish to cite from it.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)289-306
Number of pages18
JournalCritical Studies in Television: The International Journal of Television Studies
Issue number3
Early online date13 Aug 2019
Publication statusPublished - 31 Dec 2019

Cite this