Graduation Year


Document Type

Honors Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Human Services and Rehabilitation Studies

Program or Major

Human Services and Rehabilitation Studies

Faculty Advisor

Cinzia Pica-Smith


This paper presents an analysis of how socioeconomic class is presented in children’s films. The eighteen highest grossing Disney films (2015-2020) were viewed and analyzed. Findings reveal a deficit orientation in the portrayal of poor and working-class people in children’s films. Five themes were identified in the films analyzed: the poor and violence, the poor and dysfunctional families, the poor and unintelligence, the poor and chaotic lifestyles, and the poor and the bootstrap narrative. Through an extensive thematic analysis, deficit ideology and a benign framework were identified as the main frames through which socioeconomic class is presented to children in film.