In modern social theory, mass media have been seen as providing ideological support for the reproduction of class inequalities, and structures of exploitation and domination, in industrialized economies. Similarly, cultural anthropologists saw American stratification as contributing no less direct support of the status quo. However, selected Hollywood movies depict an actor-based and inclusive vision of American stratification. In close viewings of Pretty Woman (1990), Good Will Hunting (1997) and The Descendants (2011), I adapt Northrop Frye’s “modes of fiction” framework (1957), which I couple with modern mass media theory and trace back to American exceptionalism, to argue that this vision promotes a comic vindication of class inequality in American society.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||18|
|State||Published - 2021|
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
With thanks to Karen Ho, Gary Marks, Sherry Ortner and an anonymous reader, who opined on drafts of this article, as did the late Mischa Penn?to whom it is dedicated.
© 2021 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.