Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Abstract for final project: The Proletariat

Who: The proletariat of the United States
What: Fairytale portrayal of working conditions and job opportunities
Where: Hollywood films, The United States workforce
When: The films and literature will be from recent U.S. history and the analysis will stem from current day problems.
Why: To demonstrate that it is not this way; workers in our very own “land of the free” are suffering.

I plan to find academic articles on workforce conditions and investigate worker’s statements and biographies or autobiographies.  Possible categories to search are: the labor movement, portrayal of workers in media/film, opinion of workers, opinion of worker’s rights, knowledge of worker’s conditions, common perception of workers in the United States (I could search in an international database for this).  All of the previous searches will be specifically for the workers in the United States.

Films I plan on reviewing for this project are: Erin Brockovich, Norma Ray, and other films that attempt to portray the reality of factory workers.  I will comment on how the films’ representation of these workers affected its viewers, i.e. if it was an accurate representation, did it follow any stereotypes or end the film with a bow?  I will also look into current popular movies and analyze their depiction of jobs and workers to compare with the reality of the times.   


  1. Soviet Montage would also be a great reference for this--fight for the working man.

    I might want to see a greater degree of focus when it comes to Fairytale portrayal--and again Caryn James' article might be a good starting point.

    I dunno, but that's just me.

  2. This gets interesting when you get specific. I suggest you start with the specific films you want to address and then quickly get to what you want to say about them--while keeping in mind that you also need to say something about the culture. Bearing that in mind, you should also use some more current films to make your point. Or look at a few films over time to say something about how attitudes have or have not changed and what that means. Again, beware of being overly academic. Use the films and examples from them as evidence for your argument as your primary sources.