Sociology: Working Class and Mary Poppins Essay

Submitted By alvarenga99
Words: 1275
Pages: 6

“Mary Poppins”

“Mary Poppins” is a musical movie that was filmed in 1964, in which a nanny comes in to the family and teaches the children behavior manner that is fun but also respectable, which ultimately brings the Banks family in a closer relationship. Back in the early 20th century this movie is based on that women’s and men’s role, in which children are very distinct as they are now. Women’s Rights was still being fought and men had those big bank jobs that showed they were men.
You’re confronted with the impression of a rich if not very wealthy family. The house is beautiful, big, and in very good condition. The neighborhood is in a upper class area and quiet. When you enter the inside of the house, first impressions are confirmed: it is well furnished with elegant sofas, stools, carpets, china vases, paintings, and an obviously rarely used piano. The wealth of the Banks is highlighted by two servants and the nanny. People who can afford to employ three servants are certainly not lower class but as it turns out later, they are not aristocrats either as the owner of the house – Mr. Banks - has to work to earn his money. Social Class, which is in our text, is defined as “system of stratification based on access to resources such as wealth, property, power, and prestige.” Meaning it shows the status of society. The Banks family shows they are in the upper class of society. When Mary Poppins enters, since she the nanny, it’s hard to see what social class she is in. But as you see her behavior and the way she speaks, you can tell she is probably form the upper-middle class. The textbook describes as, “professionals, who enjoy considerable financial stability.” Even Mary Poppins has to work for her leaving. In the beginning she discusses her wages, but at the end she leaves the Banks without any compensation.

In the film they show all kinds of social class. From the upper class all the way down to the blue-collar. As you know the Banks represent the upper class, but Bert who is a chimney sweeper, clearly marked as a member of the working class (blue-collar), by his accent, clothes and his various professions. Bert seems to have no family and with his many various jobs that are not well paid it is unlikely that he could even support a family. He is presented as a street musician, painter of chalk drawings on the pavement, as a chimney sweeper, and finally as a seller of kites. But nevertheless, he is the only one who can tell Mr. Banks what he has done wrong and where his priorities should be focused on: family. In the textbook Max Weber believed that prestige was another important element in social class. Prestige is described in the textbook as, “social honor granted to people because of their membership in certain groups,” for example, a person’s occupation. This is portrayed in the film. It shows the different kind of prestige from a banker, nanny, chimney sweeper, etc. It can affect their income and also their view on society. Another element Weber believes is the “old money” and “new money,” his heritage and recently made fortune. In the film “old money” is shown. Mr. Banks father was also a wealthy man, who was a banker himself. So he taught his son, Mr. Banks, that the importance of life was making money. As for Bert, he didn’t have heritage. He had to work for him, to get by day to day. But yet he was still happy even with the little he made. In our textbook it also talks about Gender Inequality. “found in all past and present societies,” refers to unequal treatment or perceptions of individuals based on their genders, and in this movie that what it shows. Those men have the authority in the family and at work. In the movie, Mr. Banks works at a very well-known bank and always put business before his children. As the movie began he comes home from work, and as he enters, you can already see the characteristics that he portrays as the man of the house. He enters and starts sing "The Life