This code book is designed to assist in the process of coding and analyzing television shows for the portrayal of character income and lifestyle parallels. The media content analysis will analyze the content of 105 television episodes randomly sampled from 53 popular television series. Our content analysis will focus on the frequency of inclusion and trends in the representation of characters across perceived income. Our analysis will also focus on storylines associated with low-income characters and income disparity more broadly.
Character income should be coded in instances when explicit references are made that identify a character’s income (through scripted dialogue or search engine) and also in instances when more implicit social/cultural markers are used to designate issues primarily faced by those with a low income (i.e. poor housing, food insecurity or scarcity, lack of safety net for financial straits or survival, and dependence on social programs).