Reaction Paper To Angela Whitikers Climb

894 words - 4 pages

Reaction Paper 2
Posted in The New York Times the article “Angela Whitiker’s Climb” tells a tale of an American woman in the middle class. However Angela was not born into the middle class and like many Americans today worked her way up. At the age of 15 Angela was pregnant with her first son and by the age of 23 she was already a mother of five. At her lowest point, she found herself raising her five kids in an extremely bad neighborhood and on the lowest rung of the poverty class in America. Angela understood what it was like living in poverty, so much so that she chose to no longer tolerate this lifestyle. Looking down upon other women who have grown accustomed to their life in poverty ...view middle of the document...

From this we can see the process of legitimation of poverty in the United States. For example the harsh reality of people in poverty is hardly broadcasted in the news; instead the news corporations focus their attention on the upper/middle class and popular elitist views. This in turn results in society, although aware of poverty, taking less action in dealing with it. In relation to the story at hand Angelica was living a life of poverty yet people were unaware to the severity of her situation. However Angelica, 23 at the time, and her 10-year-old son Nicholas were the subjects of a profile by a reporter in The New York Times in a series on at-risk urban young people. (Wilkerson 2005) This brought attention to Angelica’s situation in poverty and caused many readers to reach out and try to help her. Unfortunately Angelica is not the only one who faces problems of poverty yet it took publication on mass media for society to notice a problem at hand. This shows how the mass media is a factor in the process of legitimation because of how the society reacted to Angelica’s profile. If the mass media were to consistently broadcast the lifestyles and struggles of people in poverty I would predict a negative reaction by society and poverty would start to be delegitimized. But because of the mass media society overlooks the severity of poverty and continues to be apathetic about social stratification. Furthermore when the mass media do provide a story on poverty, it is always a story of success and it promotes the idea of the “American Dream.” Although social...

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