The Frontline Documentary Analysis

Superior Essays
Economic struggle; something that affects almost every country and every family or person in society. The expected dominant culture is that being in the upper class is the goal in which we all strive to meet. However, some say that goal is almost impossible to meet because of the economy and job security both being unreliant. Being part of the middle class, some say is just as difficult as reaching the upper class. Citizens have to deal with low wages and menial part time jobs. Many Americans live paycheck to paycheck, barely keeping their heads above the water. The Frontline documentary is a compelling story of how two American families struggled to survive the economic crisis in the 1990’s. The Frontline documentary “Two American …show more content…
Over the last several decades, the middle class has struggled to keep pace with smaller paychecks, mounting debt and shrinking opportunities for steady work (Frontline Charts, 2013). One of the many problems for middle class citizens is less pay (Frontline Charts, 2013). The average middle class income has shrunk greatly over the years (Frontline Charts, 2013). Another issue is less union positions available making it much harder to move up in a job position (Frontline Charts, 2013). The decrease in union positions is drastic. This is important because the average union employee makes much more than a non-union employee, on average they would make ten thousand more dollars a year (Frontline Charts, 2013). Another struggle is finding a job, to add to that many of the jobs are only part time and not full time (Frontline Charts, 2013). Because of this many families cannot get benefits from their employers. Finding work is also much harder than it was because of the companies that ship their jobs overseas. Given the economy today, it is very difficult to find a well paying job with benefits. Another issue brought up is the mass media. The mass media portray the economic problems as decreasing, when in reality they are not. The poverty level continues to fluctuate, more so in a negative manner. We are living in a time where there is a culture of poverty. The rich keep getting richer, …show more content…
Gans corresponds with the Frontline documentary “Two American Families.” The existence of poverty ensures that society’s dirty work will be done (Gans, 1971). In the video Claude ended up working for the city’s sanitation department just to make ends meet. Society forces people who have no other option to do the menial work that no one else would do (Gans, 1971). “...the function of the poor is so important that in some Southern states, welfare payments have been cut off during the summer months when the poor are needed to work in the fields,” (Gans, 1971). This shows the importance of the poor and how much society values them, but certainly does not appreciate them. Those Southern states are using social control to get the poor to work for them in the summer months. “...poverty helps to guarantee the status of those who are not poor,” (Gans, 1971). The power elite benefit from the existence of poverty, they can always know they are apart of the upper class. Another aspect the essay brings up on the positives of the poor, is the economy. The poor buy stuff others would not buy, this helps the economy and does not waste items such as; second hand clothes and day-old bread (Gans, 1971). Another thing that the poor do for the country is stabilize the American political process (Gans, 1971). The Neumanns and the Stanleys did not want to be apart of the secondary group, lower class, for a long

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