Social Class And The Middle Class

2099 Words Dec 11th, 2016 9 Pages
Social class can be defined as a social construct which is used to describe a group of people with similar levels of wealth, influence and status. They tend to have dramatically different values and mannerisms to others groups, for example, the working-class are seen as uneducated and unskilled workers, whereas the middle-class are seen as highly educated people with high incomes (Harcourt, 2016). Despite there being other social class groups, including, the upper-class, this essay will explore the portrayal of the working-class, lower-class, also known as the ‘underclass’, and the middle-class in reality television, using the example of Wife Swap.
The working class and the lower class groups have been increasingly visible on British television screens in recent years, mainly because the increasingly popular genre of reality television features them heavily (Morley, 2009). Debates have sparked on whether the use of ordinary people on such programmes is democratising or exploitative. It could be argued that because the working-class were not on such programmes, audiences and society therefore had no access to them and their lifestyles. However, the great exposure of working-classes on reality television programmes now provides access to them and allows people to observe and judge how they behave and how they live.
It is not a recent discovery that disadvantaged individuals, families and communities are portrayed in negative lights by the media (Crossley and Slater, 2014),…
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