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Social class theory
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Social class theory

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    Social class theory Social class theory Presentation Transcript

    • Harry Goldsmith Media Studies
    • What is it?   People are shown throughout the media to have stereotypes attributed to them.  These stereotypes can then be broken up into different sectors.  One of these is class, for example the class system:     Lower Class Working Class Middle Class Upper Class
    • Key Point   Throughout the media, they are rarely seen to focus on the class structure to cause problems within society, as some people believe.  Some people think that most problems in society are caused by the conflict inflicted by the class system  Some people think that the class system underpins society. This is rarely shown through the mass media.
    • Monarchy (Nairn 1988)   Nairn noted in 1988 that throughout the media, the monarchy (the highest class within the system) are always shown positively. They are always given good media coverage in a positive light.  They cover most aspects of their life, and they ensure that they are adding a sense of glamour, in order to provide the positive impression. They are also making people more interested in them by not giving all information.  This can also be seen as giving a sense of national identity, someone for the country to look up to as their leader.  Because of this the coverage of events including royalty, become national events.
    • Representations of the Upper Class and Wealth   People sometimes argue that these people are shown as at the top of the hierarchy within the media.  They are shown to be deserving of their wealth and status, for example they are celebrities or connected to royalty.  They are rarely seen in a critical light, and they are not seen to draw any reasoning for the inequalities between them and the public.
    • Newman (2006)   Newman believed that the media focuses positively on wealthy people and the upper class.  He thinks that they focus too much on the consumer goods they have and things that are not realistically in reach for the general public. They are things that they cannot afford.  He also thinks that they are over covered by the media, especially these areas.
    • Representations of the middle classses   You can make four broad observations of the middle class:  They are over-represented on the media  Some forms of media are targeted solely at middle class, e.g. daily mail  The media assumes that middle class people are worried about the lack of moral standards within society, and they are proud of being British. This is why newspapers such as the Daily Mail focus on these issues and news stories.  Most of the creative workers in this media are middle class, they possess the authority.
    • Representations of the working class   Newman says that when the news is focusing on the working class, they are trying to identify them as the problem, for example welfare cheats, drug addicts or criminals.  Groups such as mods or skinheads normally cause moral panics and other issues such as unemployment are the cause of individuals rather than the government policies.  The media portrays unreasonable workers instead of employers.
    • Curran and Seaton (2003)   Newspapers that are aimed at the working class assume that the people who read them are not interested in the more intellectual news, they are more interested in gossip, rather than the news about the economy, markets, etc.  When discussing political debates they simplify it, assuming people of this class cannot understand it in the same way.  They provide information to this class such as gossip, celebrities and sport.