Date of Award
Master of Science (MS)
School of Communication
This study expands upon previous analyses of Boots Riley’s 2018 film satire, Sorry to Bother You. Gramscian concepts are applied as a theoretical framework to analyze the representations of capitalism, Whiteness, and how these systems of power intersect and reinforce one another in modern US culture. The research aims to understand the film’s messages about the mutual influence of material and ideological conditions. The film is analyzed for portrayals of capitalism, Whiteness, and Gramscian concepts by evaluating the plot, themes and tones, visual details, character portrayals, and dialogue. Results indicated that critiques of capitalism and Whiteness are present in the film, and the intersection of capitalism and Whiteness allow hegemonic forces to control individuals’ ideologies, maintaining social frameworks that oppress groups that are marginalized within our cultural systems of capitalism, Whiteness, and the intersection of both. Implications, limitations, and areas for future research are discussed.
Brummel, Kara A., "But at What Cost? A Rhetorical Analysis of Capitalism, Whiteness, and Their Intersection in Boots Riley's 2018 Sorry to Bother You" (2021). Theses and Dissertations. 1429.