labor, class and power
Mantsios argues that our general lack of discussion around economic differences ?obscures the class structure and denies any sense of exploitation? (306). Further, he argues that people are limited by ?institutional forces that are largely beyond individual control. Class domination is one of these forces. People do not choose to be poor or working class; instead, they are limited and confined by the opportunities afforded or denied them by a social and economic system? (316)
Brecher, Costello, and Smith describe two opposing responses to such power systems: adaptation and transformation. As our texts explore, at times people may become alienated and doubt the possibility of creating change or feel powerless. Other times, people have attempted to impact class relations by working collectively to demand better work conditions and/or by transforming media representations of poverty and economic hierarchy.
Considering the film and readings, respond to the following prompt in a 4-5 page thesis-driven essay:
What is the relationship between class structures and power, and can it be altered?
You might also consider:
Are people able to impact class relations and labor conditions? Should they?
How do people negotiate between individual and collective interests and identities as they seek change?
What role does tension play as people struggle to alter power relations in society?
On what grounds are social movements initiated and built, and how do they produce social change?
How powerful are marginalized people when they unite? Can they create lasting change?