As a reflector of culture, Seinfeld conveys that players in society are already capable of creating new signifiers that defer to a situation absent in current conversation. It truly conveys that the time of religiously abiding by concrete rules of science and reason is slowly, if not already, ebbing away from us, creating a more culturally/locally-directed way of conversing. Seinfeld highlights that meaning and truths are and can be created within and by groups of people based on day-to-day experiences, without believing in a lone, distanced, universal truth (Barker 209-211). As a contributor to culture, Seinfeld increases awareness of the people by presenting that there is no single truth, and that meaning is caused and created, and can also be destroyed. Thus, Americans of this time increasingly do create meanings drawn from experiences, a more participatory culture especially in today’s digital context (Jenkins 1).
a play on words and identities
Particular to the minority characters mentioned, all have caused or have taken part in disastrous situations for Jerry and his friends. For the viewers of this show, especially of those in the majority population, comparison and even more generalization cannot be helped. Even today, racial profiling and antagonism towards minorities are becoming more and more rampant, especially due the current economic recession. Anti-immigrant sentiment is on the rise, and it does not help that this widely appreciated situational comedy, that postmodernism dictates to be taken not for depth but surface, is “impregnated with European superiority” (Barker 266). Moreover, absence of ethnic minorities, particularly Blacks, in popular shows such as Seinfeld not only disproportionately represents multi-ethnic America, but also “promotes white ignorance about black people and black cultures. By ignoring black people, media coverage places them outside of mainstream society, signaling them as peripheral and irrelevant” (Barker 268). However, despite this racial exclusion, this show, other shows preceding this, those at the same time and those that succeeded show an effort in including as much ethnic variety and tolerance, notably All in the Family. Also, it is interesting to note that it may not be that the minorities are causing the distress on Jerry and his friends, but the opposite. It is widely known, especially highlighted in the finale where the group goes to prison, that they are a bunch of selfish, neurotic New Yorkers. Perhaps, Jerry Seinfeld and his friends, instead of being the ethnic majority, are the moral or ideological minority.