At a time when debates about social inequality are in the spotlight, it is worth examining how the two most popular media of the 20th and 21st centuries-film and television-have shaped the representation of social classes. How do generic conventions determine the representation of social stereotypes? How do filmmakers challenge social class identification? How do factors such as national history, geography and gender affect the representation of social classes? This collection of new essays explores these and other questions through an analysis of a wide range of American and British productions-from sitcoms and reality TV to documentaries and auteur cinema-from the 1950s to the present.
Nicole Cloarec is an associate professor in English at the University of Rennes 1 in France. She is the author of a doctoral thesis on Peter Greenaway and a number of articles on British and North American cinema. David Haigron is an associate professor in English at the University of Rennes 2 in France. His research focuses on political ideology and communication, as well as social representations in cinema and television productions. Delphine Letort is an associate professor in English at the University of Maine, Le Mans, France. Her research deals with issues of race, class, gender and historical representations in American cinema.