David Feltmate is Associate Professor of Sociology at Auburn University at Montgomery. His research areas include the Sociology of Religion, Religion and Popular Culture, Humor Studies, Social Theory, New Religious Movements, and Religion and Family. He has published in a variety of journals and his book Drawn to the Gods: Religion and Humor in The Simpsons, South Park, and Family Guy will be available from New York University Press in April 2017.
In this podcast Associate Professor David Feltmate, author of Drawn to the Gods: Religion and Humor in The Simpsons, South Park, and Family Guy, chats to Breann Fallon about the manner in which these three television shows create a broad commentary on religion for the general public.
Using humour to understand in-group dynamics is especially important in this case since McIntyre’s case studies (LDS and evangelicals) are tight-knit communities that can see themselves as set apart from the rest of the world. As such, their in-group solidarity is particularly important for understanding how they construct their popular culture, which in turn supports their religious worlds. McIntyre makes an astute observation that in-group religious comedy is similar to popular music within these subcultures.