TV's Portrayal of the Working Class Film Review by Nicky

TV's Portrayal of the Working Class
A look at how Loretta Alper's film "Class Dismissed: How TV Frames the Working Class" addresses the portrayal of work and social class in television shows.
# 148821 | 979 words | 0 sources | 2011 | US
Published on Nov 06, 2011 in Communication (Television) , Sociology (Media and Society)

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The paper discusses how the film "Class Dismissed: How TV Frames the Working Class" is an eye opening look at how the media portrays the American working class. The paper looks at how the film considers various television shows and highlights their subtle messages that the working class is woefully inadequate as mothers and fathers, their families are laughable, they have no hope whatsoever of bettering themselves, and somehow, they are responsible for their own misfortunes because of ignorance or laziness. The paper explains that these shows make the audience feel better about themselves and their lives. The paper does points out that this film is lacking a view of the real working class people the media is portraying.

From the Paper:

"Oddly, I think the working class is the audience, because they do not see themselves as the "working class," and, as noted before, somehow they feel like they are better than these fictional characters, and they have more "class" than these people do. It helps them feel better about themselves and their work. Look at the "Jerry Springer Show," which often showcases "trailer trash" working class people with spectacular problems, and they often interact with the audience, which all seems to be working class people, too. This audience is interested in the guest's sex lives, personal lives, and problems and they seem to identify with them, even when they condemn them.
"Language is quite different in these shows and these situations. In Jerry Springer, for example, the audience and the guests often swear and are bleeped out, indicating to the viewer that they have few communication skills, and could not possibly belong to the middle class. Language is also manipulated to be funny and amusing, even at the expense of the characters and their intellect. Think about the puns and pokes of "Married With Children," or the language in "The Simpsons," or "Bevis and Butthead" which is elementary and unintelligent at best. These characters do not read books or magazines, do not seek out entertainment other than television, they drink beer, burp, and their language skills are rudimentary at best. They use this elementary language to represent the educational levels and understanding of the working class, which again, could not possibly match the levels of middle and upper class families."

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TV's Portrayal of the Working Class (2011, November 06) Retrieved December 08, 2023, from

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"TV's Portrayal of the Working Class" 06 November 2011. Web. 08 December. 2023. <>