In America, the term â€œworking classâ€ is often seen as an undesirable status, despite the fact that a majority of Americans are working class. In surveys, most people (even very low income) prefer to label themselves as â€œmiddle classâ€, and we are often told that we are a â€œmiddle class countryâ€ despite the fact that the U.S. has very high levels of economic inequality (which has risen significantly in the last two decades), and a shrinking middle class, based on wealth and income. To compare the U.S. to other western countries in terms of income inequality, one way that political scientists & economists compared countries is through what’s called the “Gini coefficient”; you can see a mapping of gini coefficient here. Generally speaking, greater economic inequality is correlated with various ills like political corruption, poverty, or less faith in social institutions.
So, your question is: what role does TV representation play in how we understand social and economic class? What points in the film Class Dismissed did you find interesting & why? What role does the commercial nature of TV play?
Here’s an interesting video that went viral a few years ago (back when “income inequality” in the US began to become more of a talked about issue), that helps give some data-visualization go along with this prompt:
Wealthy Inequality in America (6 mins, 2012)