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Domesticating the Simpsons - Four Types of Citizenship in Monitorial Democracy

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Abstract:

Inspired by Michael Schudson, four types of historically informed citizenship (cast in the cartoon characters of The Simpsons) are presented, developing gradually in an ongoing struggle between liberal and communitarian politics. The four types are succesive in time, but not mutually exclusive. Based on data from the MODINET project, we claim that the Danish Simpsons are somewhat more trusting and associational than their American counterparts. The Marges, Homers, Lisas, and Barts of Denmark live together in a relatively peaceful Institution of Citizens' Affairs (ICA), supplemen- ting one another rather than struggling between communitarian and liberal codes of conduct. Public service media has played an important part in these processes.

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