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date: 16 November 2018

Abstract and Keywords

American popular culture’s complicated treatment of Mormonism in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries through films, books, television shows, and other products of popular culture have reflected a long-standing suspicion of Latter-day Saint theology, but they also demonstrate an increasing willingness to uphold Mormon individuals and families as “model minority” figures. Over the course of the twentieth century, Mormonism went from being perceived as a religion of vile polygamous debauchers to one filled with upright—and even uptight—knights of a vanishing moral code. This chapter explores three perennial themes that pertain to issues of Mormonism and popular culture: a fascination with Mormon sexuality; a suspicion of the LDS Church as a powerful and therefore dangerous institution; and uncertainties relating to Mormon assimilation into the American cultural mainstream.

Keywords: popular culture, media and Mormonism, polygamy, Mormon sexuality, assimilation

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