The Simpsons: Itchy & Scratchy & Marge: Study Questions

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Itchy & Scratchy & Marge: Study Questions Season 2, Episode 9

Discuss with your classmates how you can define media audiences in the contemporary world. Then examine together how media and media audiences are represented in “The Simpsons: “Itchy & Scratchy & Marge” before and after Marge Simpson’s campaign “S.N.U.H” (Springfieldians for Nonviolence, Understanding, and Helping).

What might Marge Simpson’s campaign be telling us about the nature of media audiences?

How does the Itchy and Scratchy Show help us understand the media/TV industry?

Make a list of the characters in the Smartline studio where cartoon violence and censorship are “discussed”. What might the sequence which brings all these characters together be telling us about how media works?

What message(s) might the show be conveying through the representation of an idyllic Springfield?

What critique might the show be offering through Michelangelo’s David and Springfield residents’ rising up against ‘the Renaissance Art”?

Comment on how the show satirically engages with the issues of gender, sexuality, social and economic class?

Where does the show stand as far as “free expression” and “freedom of speech” are concerned? Does it take a particular stance? Give your reasons. Comment on your own stance.

Comment on the media industry and audiences depicted in the show in relation to the theories by Adorno (media power) and Fiske (audience power) David Gauntlett examines in the second chapter of his book “Media, gender and Identity” (2008, 2nd edition, pp.22-32)

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