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The Manhattan Elite - Research Paper Example

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Manhattan Elite: Social Aristocracy as an Archetype
The Manhattan elite have become a popular archetype for highlighting the distinct social structure and mores of a group of people with unlimited financial wealth who live within the borders of Manhattan. …
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Download file to see previous pages This is a group usually categorized for its close adherence to popular fashion, breaking of underage laws, and general merriment expressed through defaming others not within the ranks of the upper-class aristocracy. With that said, a close look will be taken into the social structure and mores of the Manhattan elite to define what makes them so fascinating to outsiders and examine why their culture adheres so strictly to the ideology of the American Dream.
To begin with, television shows like Sex and the City, Beautiful People, and Gossip Girl exemplify the inner-sanctum of the Manhattan elite through their adherence to fashion and by examining the relationships and culture of the elite and how they relate to outsiders. To be fair, Sex and the City highlights the social elite through the eyes of women in the thirties and forties who see the city as their playground—an attitude that the characters from Gossip Girl and Beautiful People have not yet attained because they are intended for the younger, teen generation. The attitudes the women in Sex and the City share are not necessarily ones of derision towards citizens of the lower class, but there is an explicit attitude for the most expensive fashion that makes these women what they are; and within the context of the show, there is a distinct difference between the classes of Manhattan and those from the ‘other side of the bridge, Brooklyn. ...
tsider (Sophie Kerr, played by Sarah Foret) who goes to an expensive Manhattan school (on scholarship) and the difficulties she faces based upon the sole fact of her parent’s lack of wealth. Being a scholarship student, Sophie is looked down upon and must overcome dramatic odds simply to be part of the Manhattan lifestyle—one that she has no real designs to become part of, but must do so in order to survive high school. The message is clear: outsiders are not part of the Manhattan elite, and even though they may come within the lifestyle itself, they will never be accepted because they do not hold the financial wealth required by the mores of the elite. In essence, popular culture has done much to highlight the social mores of the Manhattan elite—although the impression given by Hollywood is not necessarily one of a desirable nature. As Hollywood has helped define, the Manhattan elite are an exclusive club whose culture consists of exemplifying the outward appearance of the American Dream. Where the Manhattan elite spend so much of their time and effort in promoting certain attitudes and appearances just to maintain their positions within the ranks of the elite. However, if they spent half as much time aiding those in need, or at the very least, not mocking them for what they don’t have, the world would be stronger and more cohesive as a whole. And, “though it always defended private property as a means to the higher ends of society, Western civilization had a strong bias against a single-minded pursuit of wealth and a related manipulation of others” (Ryn 9), which is why observing the elites and their behavior is such a frustrating task. One can view them as individuals who seek to attain the best in life, or one can view them as a cohesive group who seek ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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