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Feminism, Gender, and Politics in NBC’s «Parks and Recreation»

Erika Engstrom

Widely hailed as one of the best feminist-oriented series on television, NBC’s Parks and Recreation (2009–2015) presents a multifaceted text for examining the incorporation of feminist ideology into its storylines. This book analyzes the various ways the series presented feminism as a positive force, such as the satirical portrayal of patriarchy; alternative depictions of masculinity; the feminist ideology and political career of main character Leslie Knope; the inclusion of actual political figures; and depictions of love and romance as related to feminist thinking. A much-needed treatment that adds to the literature on feminism in media and popular culture, this book serves as an ideal resource for instructors and scholars of gender and mass media, women’s studies, and media criticism by investigating Parks and Recreation’s place in the continuum of other feminist-leaning television programs.

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Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Names: Engstrom, Erika, author. Title: Feminism, gender, and politics in NBC’s Parks and Recreation / Erika Engstrom. Description: New York: Peter Lang, 2017. Includes bibliographical references and index. Identifiers: LCCN 2016034705 | ISBN 978-1-4331-3356-5 (hardcover: alk. paper) ISBN 978-1-4331-3355-8 (paperback: alk. paper) | ISBN 978-1-4539-1882-1 (ebook pdf) ISBN 978-1-4331-3735-8 (epub) | ISBN 9781433137365 (mobi) Subjects: LCSH: Parks and Recreation (Television program) | Feminism on television. Television programs—Political aspects—United States. | Sex role on television. Classification: LCC PN1992.77.P2655 E54 2017 | DDC 791.45/72—dc23 DOI 10.3726/978-1-4539-1882-1 LC record available at Bibliographic information published by Die Deutsche Nationalbibliothek. Die Deutsche Nationalbibliothek lists this publication in the “Deutsche Nationalbibliografie”; detailed bibliographic data are available on the Internet at

Cover image reprinted courtesy of NBC/Photofest

© 2017 Erika Engstrom Peter Lang Publishing, Inc., New York 29 Broadway, 18th floor, New York, NY 10006 All rights reserved. Reprint or reproduction, even partially, in all forms such as microfilm, xerography, microfiche, microcard, and offset strictly prohibited.

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