Sunday, August 28, 2005


VIDEO: Upcoming video on how TV "frames" the working class

"Class Dismissed: How TV Frames the Working Class"

Co-produced and Written by:
Loretta Alper & Pepi Leistyna
Edited by: Jeremy Smith

Narrated by Ed Asner

Based on the forthcoming book by Pepi Leistyna, Class Dismissed navigates the steady stream of narrow working class representations from American television's beginnings to today's sitcoms, reality shows, police dramas, and daytime talk shows.

Featuring interviews with media analysts and cultural historians, this documentary examines the patterns inherent in TVs disturbing depictions of working class people as either clowns or social deviants -- stereotypical portrayals that reinforce the myth of meritocracy.

Class Dismissed breaks important new ground in exploring the ways in which race, gender, and sexuality intersect with class, offering a more complex reading of television.s often one-dimensional representations. The video also links television portrayals to negative cultural attitudes and public policies that directly affect the lives of working class people.

Featuring interviews with Stanley Aronowitz, (City University of New York); Nickle and Dimed author, Barbara Ehrenreich; Herman Gray (University of California-Santa Cruz); Robin Kelley (Columbia University); Pepi Leistyna (University of Massachusetts-Boston) and Michael Zweig (State University of New York-Stony Brook). Also with Arlene Davila, Susan Douglas, Bambi Haggins, Lisa Henderson, and Andrea Press.

For info. about production status, E-mail:

Media Education Foundation
60 Masonic Street
Northampton, Massachusetts 01060
Phone: (800) 897-0089 or (413) 584-8500
Fax: (800) 659-6882 or (413) 586-8398


Pepi Leistyna

With With BAs in Journalism and French from the University of Massachusetts Amherst, and a Masters and Doctorate from Harvard's Graduate School of Education, Pepi Leistyna is an Associate Professor in the Applied Linguistics Graduate Studies Program at the University of Massachusetts Boston.

He coordinates the research program and teaches courses in cultural studies, media analysis, critical pedagogy, and language acquisition. For many years, he taught English as a Second Language and adult literacy in community-based organizations. Speaking internationally on issues of democracy, education, and social justice, Leistyna.s books include Breaking Free: The Transformative Power of Critical Pedagogy (Harvard Publishing Group), Presence of Mind: Education and the Politics of Deception (Westview Press), Defining and Designing Multiculturalism: One School System.s Efforts (SUNY Press), Cultural Studies: From Theory to Action (Blackwell Press), and Corpus Analysis: Language Structure and Language Use (Rodopi Press).

E-mail Pepi Leistyna at

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