First there was "The Simpsons: Sitcom as Political and Social Satire," then "The Strategy of StarCraft," they even offered a class on "Arguing with Judge Judy: Popular ‘Logic’ on TV Judge Shows," so why wouldn't the University of California at Berkley offer a class that teaches the 1960's through Mad Men! This semester, UC Berkeley students devoted themselves to analyzing the hit AMC show like they would a novel by Kafka, a play by Shakespeare, or a poem by Dickens.

"I think we have a fascination with what we didn't live through," said Katie Dowd, a senior English major. "It's particularly interesting to our generation because our parents lived through it."

Katie Dowd and her roommate began the student run class as a way to look at the deeper meanings and social structure of an era filled with turmoil and social upheaval.

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"It's such a thought-provoking show," said Dowd. "It asks you to engage a little more than other shows do and invites you to think about the characters' motivations and symbolism as you would reading a good book."

Each week the class analysis the latest episodes. They focus on themes and topics such as racism, sexism, marriage, women in the workplace, social class, and family dynamics.

"It's not predictable or formulaic," said Christian Bustus, an English major. "It doesn't feel like a show; it feels more like a long film. Yeah, there's sexism and racism in it, but we get it because we understand that that's the way it used to be."

[source: SF Gate]

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