Monday, May 02, 2005

Lessons in being Middle Class

This is beyond a joke.
I know it is my own fault if I watched THIS television programme.
But I have to tell you it is one in a series of a whole line of biggotted reality makeover programmes about trying to make the working class takeon middle class behaviours.
The humiliation that these makeover programme families are put through, is really the pits.
This family was practically forced to send its girls to ballet, to spend a morning orienteering across the Peak district, eating particular types of food.
It is all dressed up as a healthier lifestyle (OK some of it is healthier, such as stopping the Mum from smoking) but it is mainly about exposing and ridiculing working class rituals and values.

It was the worst moment of this type of television show when I saw the self styled saviour of the family (posing as some kind of know all therapist) forcing the Mum and Dad to have meals at the table.
"But this is the best room; this is the best table; we have never eaten in this room; I am keeping it as best' said the Mum. (You may well titter, but surely this is OK?)
Anyway the social saviour woman said, "What is more important to you? The table or the future of your children?'
Yes, she REALLY said this.
Good on her, the Mum said 'My table is more important'.
But really, she just lacked the skills of the language to say, 'this is not really going to affect the futrure of my children. Why can't we have meals on the sofa while watching tv?'

In the end, the family ate at the table, and the Mum discovered the world would not come to an end if they ate there.
But I think it would have been better if the social saviour woman had discovered that the problems the working classes have in life are not about eating at the table and will not be resolved by cosmetic superficial detail.
The problems the working classes have, is the bigotry of the middle class.
And anyway, the middleclass do not really want the working class to become like them, otherwise they would have to introduce new social ettiquette rules to follow so the working class can remain below them.

This is DrJoolz, on her soapbox.


Anonymous said...

The fight is on the streets now

Kate said...

Jr Joolz is right. I was ranting away to my mum on just this thing of these dreadful programmes.
What I also hate is that the muddled messy world of parenting is taken away, not only are parents forced to be middle class, they are forced to be a certain kind of middle class parent. As what might be called a slack mum, or rather person who was not a traditional mother, the notion from Jo Frost of how you should parent is really depressing. Naughty steps and control freakery.
What about listening to your children and being in a muddle?
Hurrah for Dr Joolz.
She sets you right.

Joolz said...

Oh yrs, the naughty step is a disgrace. I hate that. Forgot to mention it.
I don't do punishments at all ...
My son asked me why I never 'ground' him. (I.e. stop him from going out with his friends.)
I explained that (a) I did not do punishments and that (b) he never goes out with his friends anyway. (Well he has twice.) Hmmm.

Joolz said...

I rean oh yes not oh yrs

Satan said...

HEY, watch your tongue!

I made that show.

Joolz said...

Yikes. 'Watch your tongue' .... that sounds menacing.
And do you get 'Little Angels' round your neck of the woods?

sarahclem said...

I'm with you on this one Julia. I haven't seen the offensive programme in question, but from what you said it sounds awful. Down with reality TV- long live everything else!

p.s. thanks for introducing me to this bloggy business, although i doubt if Dirk wants to thank you, i've been on the computer for about 5 hours solid!

Joolz said...

Wooo hoo
does that men you will be blogging soon?
That would be really good. Have you seen my Berlin posts?
they are in these March posts ..

About Me

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Sheffield, South Yorks, United Kingdom
I am an academic interested in New Literacies, Digital Lifestyles, Informal Online Learning.