Representations of an ‘othered’ underclass: the Jeremy Kyle Show as ‘poverty porn’?

Murphy, Hannah (2013) Representations of an ‘othered’ underclass: the Jeremy Kyle Show as ‘poverty porn’? BSc dissertation, University of Portsmouth.

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    This research explores the notion of ‘poverty porn’ through critical examination of nine episodes of The Jeremy Kyle Show. Misrepresentations of poverty in the media are argued to support the existence of an underclass group culturally separated from mainstream society. The Jeremy Kyle Show has been specifically utilised in the political sphere to encompass this concept through the assertion of a criminal, workshy and disenfranchised “Jeremy Kyle generation”. This study utilised ethnographic content analysis to uncover symbolic meanings within the show. This approach enables an appreciation of how these messages resemble and influence wider social definitions and understandings. It found The Jeremy Kyle Show was institutionally constrained to a middle class norm, embodied in and expressed through the dominating power of the host. The show’s prevailing emphasis on individual choice and responsibility parallels with underclass discourses which regard social exclusion as a consequence of individual rejection of the values of social inclusion. In the current context of cuts to social welfare and overt demonization of benefit claimants in tabloid newspapers, I argue the unquestioned nature of these values and the purposes for which they are employed require urgent examination.

    Item Type: Dissertation
    Departments/Research Groups: Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > School of Social, Historical and Literary Studies
    Depositing User: Jane Polwin
    Date Deposited: 02 Dec 2013 11:08
    Last Modified: 28 Jan 2015 12:31

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