A New Kind of Class Situation
Date of Original Version
Graham Cassano calls on Louis Althusser’s concept of interpellation to understand the relationship between audiences and the socially conscious films of the New Deal period. These films called forth a new kind of working-class audience while that audience was itself developing out of the trauma of the Great Depression, which made the films possible. Working-class filmgoers were able to recognize themselves in these films as part of a “class situation” even when those films deployed retrograde images of race or gender. Cassano’s investigation of the work of John Ford is especially telling and evokes the arc of the New Deal from its early radical period through the period of national unity during wartime and the cold war and red scare that followed.
McIntyre, Richard. "A New Kind of Class Situation." Rethinking Marxism 29, 3 (2017): 448-456. doi:10.1080/08935696.2017.1368625.