Social Class in Popular Medua

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The very notion of “class” is one of the most taboo subjects in American culture today. The connotations brought about by saying this one syllable word can have drastic effects on people’s behavior and thoughts. While it may be obvious if the subject of class is brought up in normal conversation, it is not as obvious when the subject is slipped into our daily lives in other more subtle ways. The majority of Americans believe we are a classless society. The presence of different social classes, however, is not a secret to those who open their eyes to its existence. The differences between different classes can be seen almost everywhere, especially in popular media. They are portrayed through movies, television shows, and even articles and advertisements in magazines. The easiest way to observe the presence of social class in our society is to take one type of media, such as a magazine, and compare it to another. The differences between them, such as their target audiences, the products they endorse, or the content of their articles, will help reveal the presence of different social classes. Two magazines, that when compared can help reveal different social classes, are Cosmo (Cosmopolitan) and GQ (Gentlemen’s Quarterly). Cosmo is a woman’s magazine that focuses on educating women in areas such as fashion and beauty. GQ is a men’s magazine that focuses on fashion and style for men. There are however, less obvious differences between the two. Cosmo is aimed toward young women in their twenties and thirties, but the magazine’s content can offer advice that reaches beyond it’s target audience. GQ, however, contains sophisticated content that applies exclusively toward an older male audience. Despite the differences between them, both magazines have a similar goal, which is to reach their target audience by offering both articles containing useful advice as well as advertisements that appeal to them. The most obvious indication of social class in any magazine is not...
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