Stratification Media Analysis

Tiffany Hall


August 21, 2017
Angela Rudibaugh

Stratification Media Analysis

I recently began watching a show on Netflix called Unbreakable Kimmy
Schmidt. It is a comedy, but the humor is very crude. The show is about a
girl who was imprisoned in an underground bunker by a cult leader who told
the girls the world was coming to an end. The FBI finds them and they are
freed. The Today invites them to New York for an interview. When it was
time to leave, Kimmy decided to stay. She finds a roommate to move in with
who is a flamboyant gay man. The show is all about Kimmy learning how to
live in the present day after being locked away for 15 years. Almost
everything about this show screams inequality, but I am going to focus on
income inequality and social class.

Kimmy Gets a Job

Kimmy meets a very wealthy woman when she brings the woman's son home
after she catches him shoplifting. The boy's mother, Mrs. Vorhees, offers
Kimmy a job as a nanny for $17.00 per hour. Kimmy happily accepts the
offer, but she has no idea what the job entails. She ends up being Mrs.
Vorhees' personal assistant, nanny and even her maid sometimes. The two
children treat her like she is inferior to them and they even make comments
like "Are you poor?" and "I've never met a real live poor person before."
In this scene, the kids shy away from Kimmy and their body language
clearly screams they are not comfortable with her in their home. From eye
rolling to crossing their arms and slouching down in the chair, you can
already tell it is going to be a rocky road for Kimmy. Mrs. Vorhees' body
language and facial expressions let everyone know that she is richer and
better than everyone around her.

Gentrification of the Neighborhood
There is a huge development company that wants to tear down the
neighborhood and put up apartments and restaurants in their place. Their
plan is to buy the people who live in the neighborhood out of their homes.
If they do not take the money and move, the development company will go
over the homeowners' heads and have the government take the land and sell
it to them. It is a poor neighborhood with some homeless people roaming
around. As these new hipster types start to move in, the ones who have
lived there for a long time begin to feel like they are being pushed out.
Vivian, the landlord that owns the apartment that Kimmy lives in, decides
to take a stand. She decides to run for city council, and she wins! She had
the idea that she would get on the city council and block the votes to
change the neighborhood and make her own demands for improvements on the
current neighborhood. When Vivian came to her first city council meeting
she had a rude awakening. She discovered that her vote did not make a
difference. The votes were bought by the rich people in the neighborhood.
When she had her turn at the podium, the other council members groaned and
slouched down in their seats. They were clearly uninterested in what she
had to say. Because she was not rich and was dressed in very odd clothing,
they did not care about what she had to say. Her next solution was to
handcuff herself to the bulldozer that was on the construction site! She
was committed to doing to right thing for her community.
Vivian is in a completely different social class than the others in
the city council. She cannot relate to them at all. Her sole purpose is to
save her neighborhood while the other members are thinking about ways to
make more money. You can see the gap between the poor people in the
neighborhood and the rich people that are trying to make their way in.

Importance of Interpretations
When watching a show like this one, it is important to understand that
this whole show is just one big joke and is not meant to actually depict
the life of someone who lives in poverty or even a wealthy person. We often
use the television as a source of good information. In reality, most of
what we see on TV is made up in someone's head and brought to life in a
studio. This cannot be the way we interpret social inequality. To know what
true income inequality is like, one