Poverty Narratives in Pop Culture

Our expansive cultural audit on poverty narratives in TV, film, music and video games is now out. Through a mixed-methods research study — including survey research, a systematic content analysis, interviews with thought leaders and a review of existing research — we examined poverty, wealth and opportunity narratives in popular culture.

To what extent do mass media perpetuate stigmatizing, individualistic narratives about poverty? How common are counternarratives that challenge stereotypes of those experiencing poverty?

The study includes insights and recommendations for storytellers. You can also check out a playlist of popular music from our study or watch our webinar where we talk with showrunners about the challenges and opportunities of writing poverty storylines for TV.