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Representation of Class and Culture

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catherine dove

on 7 November 2013

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Transcript of Representation of Class and Culture


The representation of class (chav/ lower class)

The representation of class is a
cultural ideology
, especially when looking at the ‘CHAV’. It was popularised in the first decade of the 21st century by the British mass media to refer to an antisocial youth subculture in the United Kingdom.

Why are the lower classes negatively represented?
Representation could be seen to reinforce the
theorist Antonio Gramsci’s theory of
Therefore the viewpoints associated with the group inevitably become embedded in the society itself.
How does this representation benefit us?
Due to the humorous nature it provides in comedy television. An example such as TV series ‘Shameless’.
Shameless does what all good British drama do, and shows life in the raw.
How are distorted or exaggerated figures represented in the media?
Most violent stories in Britain involve dysfunctional and aggressive ‘chavy’ teenagers. This idea of the ‘chav’ has become a
moral panic
in society.

We will be focusing on lower class, regarding Imogen Tyler’s article “Chav Mum Chav Scum”

Chav Mum Chav Scum- Imogen Tyler
Culture is Ordinary- Raymond Williams

On your hand-outs write down 3 key words/ phrases or ideas which you associate with the word ‘CHAV’
Underage drinking
Teenage pregnancies
Violence (usually associated with guns and knives)

'Chav Mum Chav Scum'
Tyler see’s the ‘Chav’ as a negative representation
Focuses on the circulation of the chav figure throughout popular culture
Disgust that the middle class have towards the chav
The traditional distinctions between the working and middle classes have deteriorated.
The term ‘cut and paste'

Vicky Pollard
‘Vicky Pollard’ from ‘Little Britain’ represents the portrayal of female ‘chavs’ in the media.

Antisocial behaviour
Excessive jewellery
Sports clothes
White trainers
Baseball hats
Alley ways
street corners
Night time
Aggressive tones
Culture and human society
'The making of a society is the finding of common meanings and directions' p.93
Society is both 'traditional and creative'
'The shaping of minds: the learning of new skills, the shifting of relationships, the emergence of different language and ideas. p.92

How can one define Society?
Does Society need social classifications in order to function?

Dellingpole states the function of 'chav bating' is to "mock them into extermination" do you agree? p.23

How important is social mobility to you?

With the increase of social broadcasting through portable recording, phonings and on-street-interviews, do you think social mobility will improve?

Do you think satirical fiction and parodies in the media have a significant effect on social class/ culture, or do you think they are just a bit of fun?

The 'Chav'
In relation to social class
Media representations
Social mobility

'Chav Mum Chav Scum'
Social Hierarchy
Media Representations
Cheap 'Kappa' tracksuit
Tacky gold jewelery
Excessive amounts of makeup
False Nails
Basic Lexis
Social Mobility
Social Class as a Tool in Media
Using famous social stereotypes as a marketing tool
Familiarity means audience can relate to advert
Humour makes advert memorable and more interesting
The paradox between sophisticated banking system and the common 'chav'
‘Laughter is often at the expense of another, and when we laugh we effectively “fix” the other, as the object of comedy… ‘ p.23
Even comedy becomes a way of separating us from the despised ‘other’ - of establishing/reinforcing class boundaries.

The Catherine Tate Show
The Catherine Tate show is another example
of media representation of chavs. One of the main characters Lauren is a chav.
We can see this by what she wears for
example her big hoop earrings and chain.
As well as the way she speaks and her
body language
such as hand gestures.
Lauren is known for her catchphrase 'Am I bovvered?'. She uses this while arguing with authority figures.
The middle class control the media, they are able to
use this to parody the figure of the chav this sustains the class difference.
An idea into character form
Creation of categories
Misrepresentations are spread through society
Repetition throughout the media
Cut and paste tendency

An imitation of the style of a particular writer, artist, or genre with
deliberate exaggeration
comic effect
'The film is a parody of the horror genre'
The use of
humour, irony, exaggeration
, or
to expose and
criticize people’s stupidity or vices
, particularly in the context of
contemporary politics
and other topical issues:
'The satire is directed at the rich aristocracy'
You are perceived as of the 'lower class'.
You have no opportunities to broadcast your views, and no reputation to help validate them.
Many people would not respect your opinion, believing you have a lack of education and moral values.

Middle classes demean and mock you
The middle classes have the opportunities to broadcast their views about the lower classes.
The public are only subjected to a certain group of arguments and opinions that have been developed by the middle and upper classes.

Working classes/ 'chavs' are unable to speak out
This cycle carries on, reinforcing and repeating the 'chav's demeaning reputation.
The opportunities for the lower classes become even more limited.
What is Social Class?
Social classification is the process of dividing people into social categories, for example gender, race and sexuality.
Slide 2
Slide 1
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Slide 4
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Slide 7
Slide 8
Slide 9
Culture is ordinary-Raymond Williams
Austin Powers
Legally Blonde
Scary Movie
Vicky Pollard is typified as the teenage 'chav' mum through her incomprehensible, thickly regional Midlands accent. (Tyler, 2008: 37)

Cumulative Effect
'Economic inequality, class-based discrimination and open snobbery are made palatable through claims that this vicious name calling is "ironic" or has a "satirical" function.' p.23
Satire is a way of criticizing an attitude/ culture/ contemporary issue in a less direct, aggressive manner.
A way or criticizing delicate topics
Oscar Wilde
Monty Python's life of Brian
The Thick of It

With the increase of social broadcasting do you think this cycle will finish?
Full transcript