What is it about?

The negative way that poor people are portrayed in popular culture reflects the values of capitalism. The underlying message is that the weak deserve their victimisation by the strong and powerful. Reality television shows about people in marginal housing situations often also display a misogynistic element.

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Why is it important?

Reality television both reflects and helps to shape the views of people who watch it. If the poor, women and people from minority groups are contantly portrayed as deserving their victim status, this reinforces negative sterotypes which undermine societal cohension.


I went from laughing along with the comic elements of 'Renters' to questioning the way in which I was being manipulated into condoning the victimisation of marginalised groups. This left me feeling extremely uneasy about the corrosive nature of much of the viewing fodder that is placed before me and I resolved be a lot more discerning in my choice of viewing in the future.

Jo Anna Burn

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Renters: Disgust, judgement and marginalization of the dirty poor, Australasian Journal of Popular Culture, December 2022, Intellect,
DOI: 10.1386/ajpc_00053_1.
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