Jan 24, 2020 in Analysis
Communication Technology

Introduction

The current paper discusses the cultural artifacts prevalent in The Office television show whose debut could be traced back to 2001. The Office is a television show that revolves around the affairs of an office environment that the society biases. The show presents religious, sexual, racial and occupational biases within the office space, as exhibited during the employer-employee relationships. The show gained much popularity in Britain and America, owing to its centrality on cultural issues that impact the people's wellbeing. Though presented in a comical nature, the show is an important acknowledgment of the cultural variance in different settings, regarding the particular biases that come into play. The employees in the office place depict personal differences during their conversations, which are characterized by offensive and crude iterations against each other. The focal points of criticisms, being religion, sex, and race, reveal a sense of adverse criticism against each other's' cultural affiliations. The Office's satirical and mockumentary nature attracts a vast audience towards understanding the prevalent stereotypes and cultural norms in the workplace environment. Furthermore, it sensitizes the public of what cultural gravity biases could have on the workplace relationships and organizational success at large.

 
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Cultural Analysis

The Office presents a concise choice of an eleven-member cast that depict varied personality types, including phlegmatic, melancholic, sanguine, and choleric, which play an important role in the relationship development process. The alternative episodes in the first season ensure a hybrid interplay of these personalities throughout the varied plot lines of the characters. Furthermore, its cumulative story categorizes this satirical show as a serial program that would inculcate lengthy memories in the audience regarding workplace issues. First, this show depicts the issue of gender discrimination. This episode illuminates on the gender differences between the male and female employees through categorizing their outcries as either male-based or female-based. Jan, for example, assembles the women employees for a seminar based on the" Women in the Workplace" to discuss the corporate affairs affecting them in the office. Conversely, the male employees feel left out and thus convene a retaliatory meeting on Michael's directive to address the male-based workplace issues.

According to Michael, the women in the office are typical "Ally McBeal" women who nurture a conflict of interest between growing their careers and focusing on their family roles. Though humoral presentation, Michael educates the audience of the men's negative perception of childbearing women at the workplace, citing issues like break-room breastfeeding as being disgusting. Occasionally, the men's interjections reveal their male-centered favor in maximizing their session to tackle all corporate issues affecting them as guys. For example, he questions, "What is your beef as human men?" Additionally, he displays a masculine tone in a comical manner during his assertion in the episode: "Part of my job is knowing how to talk to women" exhibiting men's deficiency in understanding their female counterparts.

According to the "Diversity Day" episode, Michael displays a strident image on stereotypical gender bias between boys and girls in a healthy society and later on extended to the corporate setting. Conversely, Jan's intervention offers a feedback of the feminism issue that rose when the females faced multiple barriers to opportunities at the expense of their male counterparts. The "Women in the Workplace" seminar depicts the conferences held to air women's grievances and their prospective solutions towards the girl child's empowerment. She is represented as a powerless employee just because of her gender since all the power is vested in the male employees alone. The stereotypes against women are further fuelled by the comical assertion by Dwight that compared to NBA, the WNBA was just a joke and tasteless. However his jokes though offensive maintains the entertainment purpose of the show.

Sexual Discrimination comes out as a core artifact regarding hegemonic hierarchy in The Office. As revealed through the concept of "Patriarchy" in the episodes, the female genders are overshadowed by the male sex. This phenomenon seems to have crippled the women's voice in the quest for their rights. According to the "Gay Witch Hunt" episode, the freedom to sexuality is infringed as evidenced by Oscar's discrimination arising from his gay practice. The audience thus understands the prevalent differences and inferiority complexities between the heterosexuals and homosexuals in the workplace.

Concurrently, the hemogenic hierarchy seems to favor heterosexuals and frown on same-sex persons on the basis of opportunity and resource allocation. Furthermore, The Office mirrors on the society's perception of the women role in the corporate environment. As placed by Michael in a hilarious tone, women are necessary at the workplace to establish a sexual tension for the men towards propelling their performance further. Though funny, this assertion depicts women as sexual puppets to men in the organizational environment thus tainting the societal status based on gender equality and respect for everyone.

As indicated by Michael Porter's role, racism is at its height following his dominance, crude remarks and power-centric leadership at the workplace. His character depicts preference of the whites to other races at the institution thus extending mockery and disrespect to the minorities with his allegations fueling ethnicity amongst the employees. Comically, the employees' gaze at Michael with their protruding eyes point out on how the minorities freeze within their inferiority with disbelief. This show is ironical on the staff's subjectivity to listening to Michael's stereotypical remarks and later on airing their reactions. Racial biases are further fueled by the "Diversity Day" episode whereby Michael engages the employees in a card game with the maps bearing a racial calibration on them. With cards placed on the players' foreheads, stereotypical guesses are made based on lead-points like "you are a bad driver", "I like your food" et cetera insinuating that the card implied to the women and Asian personalities.

Thus, through the media broadcast of these clips, the media is considered as a platform for divulging information on racial and gender discrimination. The play slightly reveals the differential in abilities, as cultivated in the gender and racial aspects. The women are viewed as lesser persons and should up their game to match their male counterparts. Overly, their abilities are even downplayed to the extent of a failure to maintain their beauty, especially where Phyllis is advised to apply a makeover. Contrary to this allegation, Pam is conversely viewed as a smart lady, which points out the aspect of racial discrimination on the basis of abilities.

Following the close interplay of cultural artifacts including religious, gender, ethnic, and capacity biases, I perceive the prevalence of rotten and unethical practices in today's' corporate environment. The use of art and literature, including shows like The Office, increases the coverage of contemporary issues that impact on the urge for a holistic development. The need for equality in spite of the gender, racial or cultural diversity is essential towards the fight against hegemonic issues in the society. It further depicts the ingredients to such oppression and sensitizes on the multiple platforms we can air the societal conduct on such contemporary issues. As indicated by the back camera interviews, these practices have adverse feelings on the cast and should be avoided at all costs in reality. The media however plays a central role in displaying the boss’s characters, love issues, discrimination among others and should thus inculcate sense against such absurd conducts.

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