Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Elisabeth D. Lasch-Quinn
Community, Mass Culture, Nineties, Popular Culture, Television, United States
Arts and Humanities
“The Lonely Nineties” provides a close reading of six popular series on primetime American television in the 1990s, setting their depictions of community within the context of late 20th century problems and developments in civic disengagement. This dissertation examines Seinfeld, N.Y.P.D. Blue, Law & Order, The X-Files, Touched by an Angel, and The Simpsons within their respective genres, revealing what makes nineties television distinctive, and connecting those distinctions to related developments in American social and cultural history. In the final decade when the medium still offered regularly a simultaneous experience of mass culture, television imagined communities in various states of fragmentation just as America, itself, was grappling with a fragmented age.
Arras, Paul Andrew, "The Lonely Nineties: Visions of Community on Television between the End of the Cold War and 9/11" (2016). Dissertations - ALL. 420.