Delaney offers a unique and entertaining look at many sociologically relevant social topics covered in the popular Seinfeld television sitcom....the book has a number of strengths....[he] does such an excellent job describing each segment, including giving the necessary background information, that even students who are unfamiliar with the show could easily follow along....the book is written in a very clear, understandable, and down-to-earth style that would most likely be a welcome relief for most students from the standard textbook format....finally, the book and its many Seinfeld examples are entertaining. At various points while reading I found myself laughing out loud....it would probably be extremely useful for popular culture, media and society, and similar courses.-Teaching Sociology, Journal of the American Sociological AssociationThis book is an engaging and entertaining way to learn basic sociological concepts and perspectives. Tim knows his sociology and knows his Seinfeld. He writes in a jargon-free, reader-friendly style, whether the reader is a student in an introductory sociology course, an advanced sociology student, or just a fan of Seinfeld. Tim is truly master of his domain. No yadda-yadda here. You'll be amazed at what Seinfeld and Delaney can teach you about work, gender, sex, crime, family, religion, sports, aging, and death. I recommend this book to everyone interested in painlessly learning more about the sociologist's take on life.-Norm Weiner, Distinguished Service Professor of Sociology, State University of New York at OswegoDelaney takes a brilliant approach to understanding sociology, one that students will both enjoy and understand. Through episodes of Seinfeld, Delaney illustrates sociology to the reader that any audience can identify with. Pairing sociological concepts with Seinfeld's humor he creates Seinology. In doing this Tim Delaney takes us through the major fields in the discipline providing real examples of how sociology can be seen in daily activities. This book would make an excellent reader for any introduction to sociology or media class.-Cherylynn Bassani, Ph.D., Researcher and Instructor, University of British ColumbiaSociologist and avid Seinfeld fan, Tim Delaney explores what sociologists and all interested readers can learn about themselves and their society from this tremendously popular sitcom. His work represents a fascinating blend of popular and contemporary culture with the keen observations of a scholar trained to assess social behavior. Delaney uses excerpts from many of the now-classic episodes to illustrate key facets of social interaction. In fifteen chapters, amusingly titled after some of the show's famous incidents, he reviews what its characters teach us about ourselves and the complex society in which we live.Fans of Seinfeld will enjoy reliving their fondest memories associated with each episode. Students and laypersons alike will learn basic sociological concepts and theories in this jargonfree work. Seinology provides Seinfeld fans an opportunity to view this brilliant television show through the sociologist's well-trained eye.Tim Delaney is assistant professor of sociology at the State University of New York at Oswego.
Informative and entertaining introduction to the study of popular culture. As the “culture of the people,” popular culture provides a sense of identity that binds individuals to the greater society and unites the masses on ideals of acceptable forms of behavior. Lessons Learned from Popular Culture offers an informative and entertaining look at the social relevance of popular culture. Focusing on a wide range of topics, including film, television, social media, music, radio, cartoons and comics, books, fashion, celebrities, sports, and virtual reality, Tim Delaney and Tim Madigan demonstrate how popular culture, in contrast to folk or high culture, gives individuals an opportunity to impact, modify, or even change prevailing sentiments and norms of behavior. For each topic, they include six engaging and accessible stories that conclude with short life lessons. Whether you’re a fan of The Big Bang Theory or Seinfeld, the Beatles or Beyoncé, Charlie Brown or Superman, there’s something for everyone.
The notion of common sense and abiding by its implications is something that, seemingly, everyone agrees is a good way of making behavioral decisions and conducting one's daily activities. This holds true whether one is a liberal, moderate, or conservative; young or old; and regardless of one's race and ethnicity, gender, or sexual orientation. If utilizing common sense is such a good idea, why then, do so many people seem to violate it? This is just one of many significant questions surrounding the idea of common sense explored and discussed in this book. This volume presents common sense as a ‘paradigm of thought’ and as such, compares it to other major categories of thought — tradition, faith, enlightened and rational. Combining a balance of practical, everyday approaches (through the use of popular culture references and featured boxes) and academic analysis of core and conceptual methodological issues, Delaney demonstrates: The limitations of common sense and its place in everyday social interactions How we learn about common sense Why common sense is so important Common Sense as a Paradigm of Thought introduces readers to a rich variety of sociological authors and will appeal to students and researchers interested in fields such as: sociology, philosophy, social psychology, cultural studies, communications and health studies.
Why do billions of people around the world love sports? The popular media is increasingly dedicated to the heated rivalries of sports teams, academic institutions are held in its thrall, sports metaphors are commonplace in our language, and most individuals participate in athletics or follow a team sport in some variation. This entertaining and informative book attempts to find out why—by examining sports in all its facets. The authors provide an overview of the history of sports, with a constant focus upon the social conditions through which sport arises and by which it continues to thrive.
In this amusing and informative appreciation of The Simpsons, sociologist Tim Delaney looks at the many ways America’s longest-running sitcom and animated TV program reflects American culture. For more than fifteen years, the Simpsons have touched upon nearly every aspect of the American social scene—from family dynamics and social mores to local customs and national institutions. With over four hundred episodes aired so far, Delaney finds a goldmine of insights couched in parody on any number of perennial topics: • On television’s influence on American culture, Krusty the Clown says, "Would it really be worth living in a world without television? I think the survivors would envy the dead." • On New Age religion, Homer says, "To think, I turned to a cult for mindless happiness when I had beer all along." • On the thorny issue of gun ownership and home security, Homer purchases a pistol at "Bloodbath and Beyond" and then tells Marge, "I don’t have to be careful, I got a gun." • On the theme of community spirit, Bart thoughtlessly signs up with a local Boy Scout troop while on a sugar rush from eating a "Super-Squishee." The next day he realizes what he has done: "Oh, no. I joined the Junior Campers!" To which his sister, Lisa, responds: "The few, the proud, the geeky." Delaney finds many more episodes relevant to major sociological issues such as environmentalism, feminism, romance and marriage, politics, education, health, aging, and more. Students of popular culture and laypersons alike will learn basic sociological concepts and theories in a refreshing, jargon-free work that offers plenty of entertainment.