Media Representations of Social Class | Media | AQA A-Level Sociology
- A-Level, IB
- AQA, Edexcel, OCR, IB, Eduqas, WJEC
Last updated 12 Nov 2023
This key topic video provides A Level Sociology students with an essential summary of sociological ideas about media representations of social class. The video summarises some key points and studies along with relevant evaluation.
- Overview of Media Representations of Social Class:
- The video explores how media depicts the interests and lifestyles of various social classes.
- The portrayal of social classes in media is a subject of debate between Marxists and pluralists, with the former claiming intentional representation and the latter arguing for reflection of real-life situations.
- Stereotyping and Marginalization in Poverty Representation:
- Individuals in poverty, particularly those reliant on welfare benefits, are often marginalized in media representations.
- Media tends to attribute poverty to cultural factors or unforeseen circumstances rather than examining it structurally.
- Reality programs often label the underclass as welfare-dependent, reinforcing stereotypes of being workshy and demanding.
- Working Class Representation:
- While some argue for an idealization of the working class in soap operas, others like Owen Jones claim media demonizes them by emphasizing distinctive subcultural values.
- The working class's interests are often trivialized or ignored, evident in media coverage of events like the EU referendum in 2016.
- Middle Class as Default Audience:
- The middle class is considered the default audience for media coverage, with media professionals primarily reflecting middle-class ideas.
- News coverage tends to focus on middle-class interests, such as economic performance, at the expense of the working class.
- Upper Class and Monarchy Representation:
- Traditionally, the media has been reverential towards the upper classes and the monarchy, presenting their lifestyles as aspirational.
- However, recent shifts, especially with the rise of digital media, have led to increased scrutiny of the upper class, including politicians and the monarchy.
- The rejection of meta-narratives, including those related to social class, is observed, with individuals challenging media sources and denouncing them as spreading false narratives or fake news based on individual worldviews.