• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

How does the Television Drama Series Shameless, Disrupt Stereotypes of Working Class Ideologies?

Extracts from this document...


How does the Television Drama Series Shameless, Disrupt Stereotypes of Working Class Ideologies? Introduction Ideologies are ideas presented as truths and as White mentions in terms of TV, 'the ideological perspective assumes that television offers a particular construction of the world rather than a universal truth' (1992, p. 172). Television programmes bring along a certain set of definitions, underlying assumptions, standards of performance and norms. These ideological methods are generally seen as 'universal' and aid in naturalising the events and stories we see on television (White, 1992). From a Marxist position you would argue that as the dominant bourgeoisie class owns and operate the television industry, their ideologies and beliefs are reflected in the industry and therefore all viewers are buying into these ideas that are represented as universal truths. As mentioned within the title, what this research aims to investigate is the way in which the television drama Shameless goes against the dominant (mostly negative) stereotypes of the working class. In order to carry this out, first we will be taking a look at theoretical work from secondary sources on representations of class, family and gender. This should provide us with the basic knowledge and foundations to which we could then critically analyse episodes (in this case two episodes) of the British drama series Shameless. We will be taking a close look at characters and analysing them against their function within the family unit. Not only will we be seeing how families go against dominant representations but also how they might offer something new. At this point, it would be worthwhile mentioning what is meant by the term 'working class'. 'Class divisions are established based on who owns and controls the means of production and who labours within it' (White, 1992, p. 164). In other words social class is determined largely by occupation and the working class are identified by their dependence upon manual labour. ...read more.


Daughters in particular grow to be very dependable on their father as they will always remain 'daddy's little girl' and always look to the dad for security and emotional support. Where as sons initially are more emotionally connected to their mums and then as they grow have to break that connection off in order to obtain some sense of masculinity and follow in their fathers footsteps. Analysis of Shameless Shameless, Paul Abbott's creation of a TV series based on a fictional estate in Manchester called Chatsworth Estate represents the disorderly lives of the working class. The Channel 4 television series centres itself on the main character Frank Gallagher and his unruly and dysfunctional family. Frank Gallagher is an unemployed alcoholic single farther and leaves his children in a poverty stricken estate to fend and look after themselves. From this, peoples initial ideas on stereotypes and representations of working class life, fit dominant traditional ideologies. However, Shameless does a good job of disrupting the dominant ideologies of working class, some of which we mentioned in the previous section. Below we will be looking at some of the individual characters and the families as a whole over two episodes (the pilot episode and last episode of series 7) of the TV series. We aim to look at how everyone within the programme works to go against the dominant ideologies of this section of the working class as being how Marx describes it, 'lumpen'. While the Gallagher family and others around them are dysfunctional, chaotic and sometimes cruel, one of the main features that stand out from beginning to end of almost each episode and especially within the pilot is the strong sense of community. Each member of the family stick by each other through the thick and the thin and are very loyal to each other although it may not seem it at first. This large sense of community is so strong you could almost class majority of the people there as living together as one big family. ...read more.


Joe, although not all the time, is looked upon as a villain and betrayer of the community so when Joe attempted to kill Karen after a dispute Ian murdered him in order to save her life and protect her. This in someway shows a moral story in which loyalty and community will always prevail. Just as the pilot episode finished, the last episode finished on the same element of community. When Roscoe, rival gang member and outsider attempts to kill the two of the Maguire children in the pub, the remaining son of the Maguire family, Mickey, manages to steal the guns that were handed in to the police at the pub. These guns were then sneakily passed around to all the characters in the pub and when called for, everyone drew their guns out and pointed them at Roscoe and his gang. Everyone in the community came together to help fellow members of their community, and they succeeded. It is also important to mention that Frank Gallagher also played his part in assisting which was the first time he showed guts and determination to help other members of his community. This was probably the biggest representation of community and positive light in Shameless to date. Conclusion In summary Shameless does a very good job of disrupting the negative stereotypes and stereotypes in general of working class ideologies. 'The series is made in such a way as to be particularly uncomfortable for respectable middle class viewers, involving them in the lives of people who they would never encounter in their own neighbourhoods and challenging conventional assumptions about what constitutes normality and morality' (Morley, 2009, p. 501). Although the lives of families on Shameless are chaotic and dysfunctional, the bonds of loyalty between community and family always prevail to show an aspect of working class life that go against dominant representations and largely tops aspects of respectable middle class society. Shameless deserves credit for encouraging us to think about representations of working class on television in more complex ways (Morley, 2009). ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our University Degree Television & Radio Studies section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related University Degree Television & Radio Studies essays

  1. An analysis of the Sitcom, Will and Grace.

    Gender roles in Will and Grace could be argued as typically "21st Century." Grace is a strong female character, who runs her own business and has a good sense of humour. She is not oppressed by men and can't even cook.

  2. The Sexual Exploitation of Women in the Music Industry - study of the portrayal ...

    Video #19 had 5 observations. The last video, video #20 had eight observations. With there only being two videos that had none of the observations, that leaves 18 with at least one. This proves H1, that at least half the videos would have s****l exploitation of women.

  1. How queer sexuality is mediated in "Glee".

    One of the biggest critiques of the media?s portrayal of homosexuals and same s*x couples is that they are shown as straight people would want to see them. Gay men are usually seen as overly flamboyant and feminine leading to that stereotype.

  2. In a world that consistently undervalues women in general and black women in particular, ...

    At times the plain folk method of persuasion was used, whereby artistes claimed to be ?just like us, trying to achieve a goal in their lives?. These persuasions were actually effective in influencing the way one thinks and acts. These are just a few of highly effective techniques of persuasion.

  1. My essay is based on how Blacks and Arabs are represented in the media, ...

    Most of the decision makers in Britain news and entertainment media are white. Media ownership is mainly concentrated in the hands of white males and white people hold the most creative positions in the entertainment media, as writers, directors and actors.


    This means that by accepting the ideologies told to us through the media it makes those social institutions more powerful and the audience more submissive/passive. For him Culture Industry is the ?entertainment business? that deceives the audience into thinking that it represents everyday life and promises an escape from every day troubles.

  1. The Portrayal of Women in The Walking Dead TV Show.

    She consistently toys with his emotions, and shifts from warm to hostile in the blink of an eye. Maggie wants Glenn when he is emotionally unavailable, yet scorns his efforts when he tries to develop a relationship with her. From ruining Glenn?s clothing to making rude jokes at his expense, Maggie is downright cruel to Glenn at times.

  2. Little White Lies - the Fukushima nuclear incident and media representations.

    Since the cover-ups have continued about the Fukushima station being sanitary and unpolluted again, the radiation that arrived from Japan has caused ?the infant mortality rate [to have] risen on the west coast by 35% [and by] 2% across our nation? (Cohen).

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work