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Argumentative Essay: Analyzing Reality TV and Classism

Classism and class hierarchy are enduring issues in modern American culture because the entertainment industry has such a profound impact on public opinion. This paper examines whether specific film and television genres, especially reality TV, reflect classism and the drive for financial success. This paper investigates how cutting-edge media impacts society’s discernment of economic imbalance and its trust in advancement. A nitty-gritty examination of appearances such as “Keeping Up with the Kardashians” and other sources illustrates that reality TV appearances, primarily “Keeping Up with the Kardashians,” have a noteworthy effect on how we see classism and how interesting it is.

Reality TV has become progressively well-known within the amusement trade. It appears like “Keeping Up with the Kardashians” gives a focal point through which we may think about how classism and the US fixation with the social chain of command are depicted. Michael Parenti’s exposition, “Course and Ethicalness,” clarifies how the media strengthens social lesson divisions. He argues, “The media often depict the rich as virtuous and benevolent, implying that their wealth is a result of hard work and moral superiority, while the poor are portrayed as lazy or morally deficient” (Parenti 507). This concept can be utilized in TV shows like “Keeping Up with the Kardashians,” which centers on the ways of life of influential and affluent families. They seem to romanticize their extravagant way of life, quietly recommending that victory and riches are available to individuals who share specific standards.

The paper “Tall School Secret: Notes on High Schooler Motion Pictures” by David Denby investigates how classes are depicted in youngster motion pictures. “The girls need the seal of approval conferred by the converted jocks; the nerds need money and a girl” (Denby 513). He focuses on the fact that tall school habitually appears in adolescent movies as a smaller-than-expected adaptation of society, total with the same course divisions and social structures within the genuine world. High school movies and reality TV may have an unclear association, but they both deal with the issue of social status and lesson stratification. This relationship can be observed in reality TV programs like “My Super Sweet 16,” which feature teens from wealthy homes. These programs uphold the idea that social standing and material wealth are necessary indicators of success.

“Keeping Up with the Kardashians,” a reality TV show about the Kardashian-Jenner family, renowned for their wealth, opulent lifestyles, and celebrity status, follows this. They are portrayed favorably on the show, highlighting their achievements in the entertainment and commercial sectors. Denby noted, “If they had held on for a few years, they might have been working at a hip software company” (512). This reflects that social mobility can modify the system and lead to success. The media often portrays the Kardashians as diligent business owners whose success and wealth stem directly from their efforts. In addition, “Keeping Up with the Kardashians” encourages aspirations of social mobility. For many viewers, the extravagant parties, high-end clothes, and lavish vacations featured on the show are sources of inspiration. Ascending the economic ladder is a dream many have, and the front adds to our interest in class stratification by making this lavish lifestyle seem attractive and possible. Even though the truth is significantly more complicated, it conveys that anyone can achieve such affluence with enough drive and ambition.

Reality TV programs featuring adolescent protagonists from wealthy families reflect Denby’s discussion on how class differences are portrayed in juvenile films. “My Super Sweet 16” is a perfect illustration of that. The show centers on teens throwing wild, lavish parties to celebrate turning sixteen. These festivities frequently feature expensive presents, high-end apparel, and private locations. The show perpetuates that financial wealth is a crucial indicator of success, even for youngsters, by presenting such lavish occasions. This portrayal supports Denby’s claim that class divisions in the adult world are reflected in teen films, highlighting the importance of financial standing.

In conclusion, classism and our interest in class hierarchy are perpetuated by the reality TV genre, as demonstrated by shows like “Keeping Up with the Kardashians” and similar ones. These programs blatantly display the media’s propensity, as Michael Parenti has highlighted, to present the wealthy as successful and morally superior while simultaneously portraying them as hardworking and devout. Additionally, David Denby’s analysis of teen films reveals how these depictions of class and hierarchy in the media mirror those in the real world, further solidifying that material riches are a crucial marker of success. It is clear from these illustrations and the insights drawn from the readings that American entertainment media significantly influences how we view class and how much we want to go up the social and economic ladder. Given the pervasiveness of reality TV in today’s culture, it is crucial to evaluate the signals it sends about success and class.

Work Cited

Denby, David. “High school confidential: Notes on Teen Movies.” pp. 510-515.

Michael Parenti, “Class and Virtue.” pp. 506-509.


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