Hooks Seeing and Making Culture

7 July 2016

In the essay “Seeing and Making Culture: Representing the Poor”, hooks proposes a different perspective on issues regarding people of higher class compared to those of lower class. In doing so, she clarifies and illustrates assumptions made about the poor, how they are viewed in popular culture, and in the media. To further validate her points, she utilizes ideas that stem from her own personal experiences with poverty, as well as examples from pop culture, and mass media to demonstrate how these representations portray the lower class in ways that radiate negative stereotypes.

With regards to hooks work, she explains that though she had grown up in a poor community, she never actually saw herself or her family as poor. Yet, it wasn’t until college that she discovered how unjustly they were represented due to the fact that many of her classmates, even professors, displayed poverty as being lazy or dishonest. She was taken aback by these false accusations and by the amount of people who were manipulated into believing these stereotypes.

Hooks Seeing and Making Culture Essay Example

In any sense, while some assumptions may not affect how poor individuals think of themselves, many felt as if they were worthless, according to hooks, and were ashamed to identify with being poor. As a result, hooks addresses the impact media, culture, and stereotypes have had on the viewpoint of the poor class and how those who are poor in turn view themselves. Subsequently, Hooks also goes on to blame the mass media for the reputation molded around the poor. She references films such as Menace II Society and Pretty Woman where both are used as examples to show that the media does not necessarily represent the poor on good terms.

Simply because the characters in these films do not try to become successful or shift the environment they’re in. That being the case, hooks proves that there aren’t too many films or television broadcasts that represent the poor in a positive light. Moreover, hooks calls for dignity for the poor as a whole. Hooks aggressively strives to challenge the stigma that assumptions, popular media, and culture create about them. Essentially, due to her experiences observations of popular culture, mass media, and stereotypes, hooks feels the need replace them with the true subjectivity of the poor. ?

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