Social Class and the Struggle

As media consistently represents the stereotypes related with ideal feminine beauty and body image,  gender and sex socialization, femininity, masculinity etc. it also has a remarkable impact on creating our basic understandings of family and social class. Although the representations in mass media are highly shaped by the nations’ customs, norms and traditions there is an important consensus in television (series, soap operas etc.) that social class in family is determined by individuals’  level of education, economic opportunities (wealthiness), life style (their preferences of clothing, restaurants, clubs etc.), their access to be elegant and sophisticated. Social class is a term which sharply divides upper-class, middle-class and lower-class families in terms of participating in the activities of where to eat, from where to shop, what to wear and even belonging to the specific places that only high class families have access to. A Turkish series called Ask-i Memnu is a perfect example of the differences of lifestyles between an upper-class and a lower class family. The main character Bihter is an attractive women coming from an upper-class family, getting married with a wealthy man called “Adnan”, who is a way older than Bihter, and committing suicide at the end of the series because she cheated on Adnan with Adnan’s nephew Behlul. The media shows a stereotype that middle class families are happier and emotionally more connected with each other. By showing these deceptions and traumas media is trying to impose their idea of “the more money the unhappier you are”.

On the other hand this television series shows the class struggle among the lower-class family. As Bihter gets married with Adnan and move on to the mansion, the tension between Bihter and the servants in the mansion, who have been very loyal to their employee Adnan, becomes very explicitly shown at the end of the series. Bihter starts to shout at the servants when they bring her something wrong or try to humiliate them. In the video I posted Bihter fires a servant called Cemile.

The second video that I like to show is that, the girl who came from village, is taught by a modern woman for girl to be as modern as her. She is taught how to walk, to suck her belly in etc. Again here we see class differences and this differences could be eliminated by applying the right activities such as how to eat and talk.


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