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Films/Shows that challenge the assumptions of Parenti

I have found that there are not many movies and shows that completely challenge Parenti’s thesis, however there debunk the normal stereotypes for the working class people. When I first read his article, I felt as though he were being very bold. After thinking about many of the movies and shows I’ve watched, I found it very difficult to challenge his assumption, even though I felt like he wasn’t correct.
One movie that I thought of at first was Memoirs of a Geisha. In this movie, the girl starts out as a “farm girl? which is the equivalent of a lower class. She is sold to a Geisha house and is viewed as the lowest in status of the household because of age and background. Compared to the other people in her residence, however, she is the most moral. She also keeps her virginity the longest in her household, and catches up in her Geisha abilities in a fraction of the time as the other girl living in the residence. Once she grows up, she becomes the most desirable Geisha in the area, even though she is the least liked, poorest, and lowest status in the residence she grows up in.
A show which challenges Parenti’s thesis is King of the Hill. The main character, Hank Hill is a working class citizen who is more moral than many of the people he works with, smart, clean, and is well learned in his propane job. Also, he is not necessarily more desirable out of all the characters; however, he is one of the most down to earth people within the series because of all his other qualities. Although Hank is somewhat ignorant in certain areas, he still strives to do the correct thing according to what he knows, and this gives him appeal to the audience. The entire show in general is like a real life view into the southern working class lifestyle, which helps lessen the focus on class status of the characters.


The Memoires of a Geisha is a great example of how the lower class can change their status. It also dipicts the upperclasses ugly side and how it has many scandals with in it. In King of the Hill, Hank is shown as a hard-working middle class citizen, even more than his boss. I liked that you picked out these two examples.