Butsch, "Ralph, Fred, Archie, and Homer: Why Television Keeps Re-creating the White Male Working-Class Buffoon"


Please post your discussion questions on Richard Butsch's "Ralph, Fred, Archie, and Homer" below. Please use the following questions to guide your note-taking as you read:

1) How do class and gender intersect in this essay?

2) What does Butsch mean by ideological hegemony?

3) How does the political economy of media participate in the re-creation of "the white male working-class buffoon," according to Butsch?

4) Why does this matter?

5) What is the role of advertisers in this process?

6) What do you think of this? Do you see other instances of this or similar phenomena?


I focused my reading and understanding on the advertiser's role in the production prscess (Q5). It seems that advertisers don't want unappropriate characters that irritate their product image. This strict requirement limited the production of any innovative show/drama, and the existing shows/dramas are following that requirement dumbly. My question is that even the show is trying to create the invisible gap between appropriate and unapproriate characters, how can advertisers reach both appropriate and not so approriate consumers?

In Butsch's essay, It was a clear theme, the under representation of class, race, status, and gender. Similarly to Ehrenreich's piece, "The Silenced Majority: Why the Average Working Person Has Disappeared from American Media and Culture," they shared the theme of people groups being under represented. It is true when Butsch talks about the white male working- class man being shown as a baffoon. I agree completely and understand that this man that they are depicting is actually the class that makes up the majority of our countrys population. What do you think the major reason is that this specific group has not spoken up against this? Why are we drawn to watch these characters?

I focused my reading on what this problem is; it is that this mass media structure limits drama character diversities for making suitable stories of networks' business. Actually, it helps making a lot of episodes that fit for what networks want, but it reduces new style dramas. My question is how networks can change the structure, and making more challenging episodes?

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This page contains a single entry by zimme313 published on October 4, 2012 2:06 PM.

Do the Right Thing analysis was the previous entry in this blog.

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