A graduate student at ACU chose to write her thesis on Duck Dynasty, an increasingly popular show which stars millionaires doing everyday activities and staying true to their Christian values.
Sarah Beardsley, communications graduate student, chose the show because of her previous interest in it.
“I started thinking about this project because I was fascinated with the show and the rate at which it was growing in popularity,” Beardsley said.
Beardsley said that Lauren Lemley, director of graduate studies, told her to pick a topic that she would not mind being fully immersed in.
“I obviously did not mind having to watch it countless times to dissect the series,” Beardsley said.
She looked at how the show counters this century’s gender stereotypes as well as communicates contemporary Christian faith.
“My thesis was a rhetorical analysis over season one of the show,” said Beardsley.
Beardsley said she looked at how the family tries to escape stereotypes as well as creating their own. She also evaluated how the family is seen portraying Christianity.
“I found that the family spreads their faith through their ways of living and the subtle touches of Christianity such as modest dress, simplicity, lack of vulgar language, lack of premarital sex, lack of drugs and drinking and lack of violence,” she said.
Although she knew most of her information from the show, she did learn more about the family from their books, which she said reveal the family is trying to have a good, wholesome show, Beardsley said.
“It’s funny because they don’t really understand why people are fascinated by them or anything,” said Beardsley.
The show had two pilot episodes, said Beardsley, to see if it would be successful or not and it clearly has been.
Beardsley said she knows that producers will exaggerate or craft certain situations but her feelings for the show have grown stronger because they are real.
“I really appreciate how they are just having fun and having someone record their lives,” said Beardsley.
Beardsley also said she appreciated that they live their lives in a Christian manner, not forced on them by family or producers.
“I like how they stick to what they believe and want to stay true to their roots,” said Beardsley.