Squid Game (Dong-hyuk 2021) – Season 1

Squid Game – Season 1 (Dong-hyuk 2021)

Join us for the full discussion.

Our first foray into television. This was recorded when Squid Game was at peak popularity. The show is brilliant in execution and rife with sociological content. The series especially excels at drawing connections the show makes between structural circumstances and individual agency, which is the foundation of the sociological imagination. These connections are sometimes taught as the relationships between a buffet (structure) and what people choose to put on their plate (agency). People can only really make choices from the options that are presented to them. In an individualistic culture like the U.S. we focus intently on what people have on their plate, while often completely ignoring the options that were presented in the buffet. Squid Game consistently and clearly makes these connections clear and we are here for it!

This is a long episode and we still definitely didn’t cover all the sociology in it, but we did what we could.

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Squid Game (Dong-hyuk 2021)

TOPIC INDEX – Squid Game  (Dong-hyuk 2021) (times are approximate) 

0:30 – Introductions

6:00 – Discussion begins
6:00 – thoughts on the ending
10:30 – laying out our topics
16:00 – structure and agency
18:00 – linking game to society
30:00 – Zimbardo’s prison experiment
32:00 – Mills’ sociological imagination
34:30 – anomie
35:00 – is the Squid Game better?
38:00 – sociological imagination
40:00 – structure vs agency
46:00 – heroes and villains
49:00 – social contract
56:00 – dyads and tryads
57:00 – the ending plot recap
1:13:30 – marble game
1:19:30 – is it horror?
1:23:00 – white collar crime
1:26:00 – structural vs individual violence
1:31:00 – ethnicity and nationality
1:32:00 – Korea, communism, capitalism
1:46:30 – sexuality

14:20 – SPOILERS begin

1:02:00 – filmmaking and plot movement
1:23:10 – grading the series using the Collective Nightmares Evolving Rubric of Social Responsibility

Related Episodes
Wiener Dog (Solondz 2016)
Dark Waters (Haynes 2019)


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“Horror films are our collective nightmares.”

Episode 110

horror, podcast, sociology, social contract, tv show, trust, capitalism, structure, agency, inequity, myth of meritocracy, meritocracy, equality of opportunity, guilt, complicit, existential, pessimism, optimism, communism, capitalism, Korea, sociological imagination, dyads, tryads, gender, family, children