From the press release:

In a new book published by Wiley-Blackwell, “The Office and Philosophy:Scenes From The Unexamined Life?, Editor and contributor Jeremy Wisnewski has assembled an impressive team of fellow philosophers who take a good look at the popular NBC Television program, “The Office?.

Originally a BBC creation, the hugely popular show has spawned not just the multi-award winning American version, but French, German, and Canadian versions as well. Each plays to their individual cultures. This speaks volumes about the depth and insight of The Office.

According to the editor, Professor J. Jeremy Wisnewski, “This show is hilarious, but it has something to say. Our book was written by fans for fans – every day folks who appreciate the show and who are a little more like Michael Scott than Socrates. We grouped the sections like office memos; each one reveals something new about The Office. It raises issues and lets us enjoy ourselves at the same time.?

Readers will identify with the topics the book raises in chapters such as “Laughter Between Distraction and Awakening: Marxist Themes in The Office,? and “Attacking with the North: Affirmative Action and The Office.? The authors cite the perception of class and race differences in the office environment, as well as the differences between the British and American versions of the program. The Office and Philosophy examines the close and personal connection that viewers feel towards a fictional interpretation of a collective and common reality.

The book works to further break down the “4th wall? of the show’s audience. The author contemplates why viewers are fascinated by a world where it is acceptable to make outrageous statements and voice beliefs not normally appropriate in a workplace. “The program offers insight into social expectations and plays with the boundaries of behavior and social mores.? [VF1]

The manner in which the characters resolve and cope with these remarkable circumstances allow the audience to identify with how they may be able to resolve their own issues. The book delves into the process of self-discovery and self-deception. “We can see bit of ourselves in each character?, says Wisnewski. “We’re the analyst and the analyzed at the same time.?

Political correctness, sexual harassment, business ethics, office flirtation, and humiliation are hot button points that show up in this snapshot of life. Even as it captures something of the human condition, The Office put the ‘fun’ in dysfunctional. “This is philosophy that is meant to introduce you to, and help you understand, issues in a way that is as enjoyable as the show itself.?

Check out http://www.blackwellpublishing.com for more info.

Category:general -- posted at: 2:23am EDT
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