Reflection on Class Discussion: Women, Class and The Media
This class discussion got me thinking about how media texts play a big role in defining and shaping how society views social class. I think that the media has such a power over us since we are constantly being exposed to it on a daily basis, and subconsciously we include these perceptions into our lives as a way of "keeping up to date" with what is socially accepted.
The most interesting and provocative question was "What is your definition of class vs. what is the dictionary definition?" It has become increasingly difficult in the United States to categorize people within the two extremities of either the upper class or the lower class. I feel that many people do not fall under these categories, where maybe some workers can earn more than an owner of a small company. It might be more useful to classify Americans according to their socioeconomic lifestyle. However, class is such a delicate and uncomfortable topic to discuss which can create tension between the two groups; upper and lower class. In class we identified the upper and the lower classes with specific characteristics that drew a line between the two socioeconomic lifestyles. We described the lower class with; abandoned homes, overcrowded homes, and struggling to support their families, and the upper class with; expensive homes, owning several cars, and financially stable.
From this discussion I came to the conclusion that class defines the upper class as the economically privileged who enjoy luxurious lifestyles, and are least affected by economic recessions, on the other hand the lower class is economically oppressed with limited chances of upward mobility. The class system fails to include members of the middle class, who can be defined as being of a better economic standing than someone in the lower class however may never reach the luxurious lifestyle of an upper class person. Class is certainly a very changeable category where any economic recession can place you at either extremity.
Capitalist ideology is what has perpetuated in the media as the American dream in which every family owns their own house on their own land. The media takes on the role in keeping the lower classes “in their place” at the mercy of the upper-class. The media convinces people that everyone has an equal chance in this country, although these ideologies are only designed to serve as a basis for the economic security of the upper class through the perpetuation of the capitalist ideology.
By Stephanie Gomez