The working class is practically nonexistent in mainstream media. If anything, the women typically represented are the middle class women who are seeking out careers, where as working class women are rarely depicted. Alongside of these missing representations, this article also expresses that the representations we do see, tend to reenforce stereotypes of middle class males who are the the educated, white-collar workers and that the working-class males are “dumb, inarticulate and old-fashioned.” A prime example of this is the television sitcom series Roseanne, whose plot line focused around the Conners who were an American working class family struggling to get by on a limited household income. It has been considered one of the first shows to portray the blue-collar American family with two parents working outside the home. Though they address critical issues, they still received the image of the stereotypical working class family, with the father being a mechanic, come home from work, have a beer and watch TV kind of guy.
Media representation is the platform where “the cold war” of class struggle is fought out on even in our efforts to believe that we have achieved classlessness in the United States. However, I don’t think it takes much looking around to see that classes are evident and seem to be getting more evident by the day. With our economy forcing college graduates into job they are overqualified for and as a result getting significantly underpaid, we are seeing a greater dived between the upper class and the lower class. The middle class dwindles and the richer get richer and the poorer get poorer. It makes me wonder if there will be an elimination of the middle class if our economy continues in the direction its going. Central components of the daily lives of the large majority of a national population are treated as somehow not worthy of media attention. According the the LA Times, “America’s working-class majority has never received publicity in proportion to its numbers. It enjoyed a brief modishness following its “discovery” by the media in 1969.” If we aren’t being presented with the real story and acknowledging the working class who is an essential part of keeping our country running, how can we work to create solutions that are so greatly needed in these times of economic hardship.
John Lennon’s “A Working Class Hero” [Lyrics]