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The Golden Girls Scholarship, Articles, & Research


Leaving Brain Cells All Over the Eastern Seaboard

It's not all just laughs about incontinence or killing men during sex. The Golden Girls touches on a lot of heady themes and lovely life advice, and brilliant scholars have discussed them in actual published journals and papers.

Dig into some of the scholarly themes we discuss on the podcast -- you know, the "intellectualizing" part -- or read some actual published academic research about The Golden Girls below.

A Non-Exhaustive List of Important Scholarly Themes Throughout The Golden Girls



A feminist show not just by virtue of having four leading ladies, The Golden Girls proved at every turn that women were just as strong and worthy as men.



Spoiler: Women like sex, too, and they have it all throughout their lives! All four of the girls get plenty throughout the series -- and talk about it, too.



Bringing along their divorcee, widow, and life experience baggage, the girls consistently confronted their demons and continued on the better for it.



Your friends are your chosen family, and often understand you better than blood relatives do. It's a wonderful and valid option to live with them.



There are countless times the girls chose the higher road for themselves when tackling a tough issue, and modeled dignity by doing so.



The first of its kind to focus on what happens past 50, this show took on all facets of aging -- the physical ones as well as the emotional ones.



From pans of harmful Reagan and Bush policies to portraying loving interracial relationships, the show shone a spotlight on moving forward.



From Coco to Clayton and Danny Thomas in between, there's a reason this show is revered in the gay community for being ahead of its time.



The gals took pride in the democratic process and exercised their right to protest, sign petitions, and mobilize their community to get shit done.



The girls talked over and tackled potent subjects from discrimination to homelessness, and always arrived at the morally right thing to do.

Published Scholarly Research about The Golden Girls (like, for real)

Sex and the City, Platinum Edition: How The Golden Girls Altered American Situation Comedy
Brown, Jared Clayton. Graduate College of Bowling Green State University, May 2013.

The Golden Girls: Addressing Issues of Gender, Stigma, and Illness on Network Television 

Martin, Miles. University of Rhode Island, 2017.

'Staying Golden': The politics of gender, sexuality, and Jazz in The Golden Girls.

Powell, Elliott H. Jazz Research Journal, University of Minnesota, Jan. 2018.


"Sitcoms in a League of Their Own: A Critical Analysis of Situational Feminism in The Golden Girls and Sex and the City." 

Glatzer, Elizabeth A. Boston College, 2010. 

Thank You for Being a Friend: How The Golden Girls Shaped American Feminism
Issac, Susan. Seaver College at Pepperdine University, 2016.

The Golden Girls: A Sociological Analysis of One Model of Communal Living for the 21st Century.

Ruggiero, Josephine A. Sociology Between the Gaps: Forgotten and Neglected Topics: Vol. 2., Providence College, 2016.

The Golden Girls Live: Residual Television Texts, Participatory Culture, and Queering TV Heritage Through Drag

Patterson, Eleanor. Feminist Media Studies Journal, Feb. 2016.

“Thank You for Being a Friend:” The Politics, History, and Fandom of The Golden Girls and Its Feminist Message for the Coming Decade

West, Thomas J. MP: An Online Feminist Journal, Aug. 2010.

'Don't Make Me Laugh': Age Representations in a Humorous Context

Giles, Howard & Harwood, Jake. Discourse & Society, University of California, Santa Barbara, 1992

Ancient Archetypes in Modern Media: A Comparative Analysis of Golden Girls, Living Single, and Sex and The City

Macey, Deborah Ann. School of Journalism and Communication and the Graduate School of the University of Oregon, Sept. 2008.

Thank You For Being a Friend: The “Golden Girls” as a Media Model of Successful Aging

Mahal, Satinder K., DO. & Nie, Pei Huey, MD. The American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, March 2014.

Sex Toys for Women with Arthritis: From the Golden Girls to Grace and Frankie 

Recio, Rocio Palomeque. Universitatea Hyperion, 2018.

Female Foursomes & Their Fans

Burns-Ardolino, Wendy. Brooks College of Interdisciplinary Studies, Grand Valley State University, 2013.

Golden Girls, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, and the Legacies of Hysteria

Stayton, Amanda and Keown, Bridget. Nursing Clio, 2018

The Golden Girls Share Signature Stories: Narratives of Aging, Identity, and Communal Desire

Berzsenyi, Christyne A. Americana: The Journal of American Popular Culture, Fall 2010.

Developing Media Literacy Skills to Challenge Television's Portrayal of Older Women

Cohen, Harriet L. Journal of Educational Gerontology, 2002.

Sex and Death and St. Olaf: Deconstructing the Magic of The Golden Girls

Kypker, Nicole S. Journal of Comedy Studies, Volume 10, 2019.

Women, Comedy and Liberation: An Analysis of Representations of Second-Wave Feminism in the American Sitcom Genre, 1970-2000

Kypker, Nicole S. Brunel University London, 2020.

The Golden Girls (TV Milestones Series)

Browne, Kate. TV Milestones Series, Wayne State University Press, 2020.

‘Back in St. Olaf…’: American Dialects in The Golden Girls

Ann, Jean. Watching TV with a Linguist, Syracuse University Press, 2016.

Deconstructing HIV and AIDS on The Golden Girls

Sewell, Claire. Nursing Clio, 2018.


Golden Girls: Feminine Archetypal Patterns of the Complete Woman

Kaler, Anne. The Journal of Popular Culture, 2004.

Check out tons more scholarly goodies, like interviews and in-depth analyses
about The Golden Girls, on the blog >>>

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