Royles, Fools and Horses: class and the sitcom

Harris, Sophie (2012) Royles, Fools and Horses: class and the sitcom. BA dissertation, University of Portsmouth.

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    Television remains the most influential medium, for reinforcing the dominant ideology to an easily influenced, less powerful mass audience. Thus, social class is relevant in analysing how assumptions and stereotypes are naturalised and incorporated into the British sitcom. In this dissertation I demonstrate that within the exploitative and oppressive framework of British capitalist society, the sitcom humiliates and demeans the working class. The study plays particular attention to the arguments of the Frankfurt School as a method of examining how the exploitative nature of the culture industry maintains its undermining of the masses through a ‘cycle of manipulation’ (Adorno & Horkheimer, 2002, p. 95) between those who control the means of production and the masses. To demonstrate this, I explored the recurring social themes and issues in two British sitcoms: 'Only Fools and Horses' (Sullivan, 1981 – 1991) and 'The Royle Family' (Allen & Wilhide, 1998 – 2000). Both sitcoms reveal that the working class are repeatedly marginalised through a set of negative connotations. The conclusions arrived at validated my claim that the culture industry has continued to promote products that order and preserve social divisions in society.

    Item Type: Dissertation
    Departments/Research Groups: Faculty of Creative and Cultural Industries > School of Media and Performing Arts
    Depositing User: Jane Polwin
    Date Deposited: 30 Jan 2014 14:45
    Last Modified: 28 Jan 2015 12:33

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