Tags: class, inequality, knowledge, marx/marxism, theory, class consciousness, privilege, subtitles/CC, 00 to 05 mins
Length: 1:51 (00:00-01:51)
Summary: In his famous work The German Ideology, Karl Marx talks about class consciousness in the context of the proletariat (working class) and the bourgeoisie (ruling class). Class consciousness is the state of being aware of one's own social or economic rank in society, and privilege is "a special advantage or immunity or benefit not enjoyed by all." The American animated sitcom South Park is well-known for its humor, satire, and social commentary. In this clip, after Butters, Cartman, and Token present their science projects to the class, their teacher gives them each a grade for their projects. Butters receives a "check" for his fake volcano, Cartman receives a "check minus" for his taped together pen and pencil, and Token receives a "check plus" for his computer animated weather pattern predictor program that he showed from his laptop. After Token gets his grade, Cartman protests, criticizing Token's grade specifically and the check system as a whole. Cartman argues that, because Token is rich, he has access to more resources, enabling him to make a more sophisticated science project compared to the other kids in the class. The rest of the students agree with Cartman, knowing that their own lack of resources will inhibit them from getting ahead in the class. Aware that their socioeconomic status is holding them back, the students demonstrate class consciousness. Token is confused when his classmates call him rich, who cite the size of Token's home and Token's name brand clothes as evidence of his high class status. Token's confusion shows that he is unaware of his privilege, unable to see the numerous ways he has benefited from his socioeconomic status in society.
Submitted By: Avery Winston
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