Programming class ideology in tween sitcoms: an analysis of Disney Channel and Nickelodeon

Gabriel, Robert (2023) Programming class ideology in tween sitcoms: an analysis of Disney Channel and Nickelodeon. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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This thesis uses the lens of class to analyze tween sitcoms from Nickelodeon and Disney Channel. In recent decades, Nickelodeon and the Disney Channel have recently produced some of the most popular live action sitcoms for young people. In fact, these programs have helped define and popularize the concept of ‘tween’ in modern popular culture. In these sitcoms, the protagonists are tweens or teens who seem to have very comfortable lives in very comfortable homes. However, little research has looked at the concept of materialism or class ideology implicit throughout these networks that specifically target tween consumers. Recent studies have been written about how young people have become increasingly immersed in a culture of consumption and obsessed with the idealization of fame. At the same time, young people are instilled with an entrepreneurial spirit that is implicit from the American Dream. While culprits like advertising and reality television are often cited as ideological agents to idolize fame and conspicuous consumption, an examination of Nickelodeon and Disney Channel sitcoms also reveals an ideology of materialism and socioeconomic hegemony can be found throughout their programming.

Through an analysis of six Disney and Nickelodeon programs, the representations and ideology of class are analyzed to reveal a clear socioeconomic hegemony present on these networks. By looking at these series as case studies that serves as representative signature series across multiple eras of tween television, I argue that argue that the tween sitcom has always been inextricably linked to class fantasy. While I argue that class ideology is inherent throughout tween sitcom programming, and part of the brand identity of Nickelodeon and Disney Channel, there is a surprising lack of scholarship that examines social class within this genre, so this thesis calls attention to the need to examine class further within the tween sitcom genre.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Additional Information: Supported by funding from the College of Arts, University of Glasgow.
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HT Communities. Classes. Races
P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General) > PN1990 Broadcasting
Colleges/Schools: College of Arts & Humanities > School of Culture and Creative Arts
Supervisor's Name: Holdsworth, Dr. Amy and Kelly, Dr. Lisa
Date of Award: 2023
Depositing User: Theses Team
Unique ID: glathesis:2023-83649
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 16 Jun 2023 08:11
Last Modified: 16 Jun 2023 08:29
Thesis DOI: 10.5525/gla.thesis.83649

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