The Capitalizm In The Workplace Within The Spongebob

Capitalism is a financial framework in which private people or organizations own capital products. SpongeBob SquarePants is an American animated comedy television series created by marine science educator and animator Stephen Hillenburg for Nickelodeon. The series portrays the life of aquatic cartoons in the fictional city of Bikini Bottom. This research aims to analyze capitalism in the workplace within the Spongebob Squarepants: Squid on Strike episode. The author used the theory of Marxism by Karl Marx to break down Marxist issues that represent capitalism in Krusty Krab. The issues that are being analyzed are capitalism, wage-labor capitalism, and false consciousness. This analysis results in the conclusion that this episode portrays capitalism in the workplace.

Marxism arises from the work of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels. Marxism portrays anthropology with fundamental theoretical concepts to deepen human history and social change, social inequality, social conflict, economics, and labor. According to Randall McGuire, Marxism is 'a way to understand the world as well as means to change the world (2006, 62, citing Patterson 2003). Marx and Engels' theory always used, operated, and developed in many social activist contexts.

Marx views the economic system as the force behind human history. People's live also depend on their economic circumstances. He says society is formed by its 'forces of production'. Material circumstances and historical conditions affect the ideology of human beings. Therefore, to understand the political and social context or event cannot be separated from material and historical circumstances.

If a society is formed by Its 'forces of production', capitalism has two part of a structure called bourgeoisie and proletariat. Bourgeoisie owns the property as well as control the means of production. On the contrary, the proletariat is the worker of the bourgeoisie, controlled by the bourgeoisie to enrich for their wealth. The proletariat often experiences any oppression from the bourgeoisie, they have no power to free themself due to under control by the bourgeoisie. Capitalism used its power to maintain its position by involving in any aspect or institution in society. Many ways they do such as; manipulate government, politics, entertainment, education, news, etc. So, this is the reason why Marx focuses on his struggle for the proletariat and creates social justice for all people by creating a classless society.

The consequences created by the capitalist system affect the behavior of human beings psychologically. It produces more goods, creating insecurities among consumers to easily attracted to buy the product. A brand is very important to deliver consumer curiosity and insecurity to just follow high-class quality-standard in society. As a result, commodification emerges as an action to buy goods not from the value (use value) but from their power to attract others (sign value). When people cannot make a correct consideration for their needs, extreme conspicuous consumption will take over their life.

The object used in this research is SpongeBob SquarePants, an American animated television series, made by animator and marine biologist Stephen Hillenburg. The series authoritatively debuted on July 17, 1999. It has gotten overall basic recognition since its debut and increased huge ubiquity by its subsequent season. The series accounts for the nautical and once in a while illogical experiences of SpongeBob, a seriously optimistic and sincere ocean wipe, and his undersea companions. SpongeBob lives in a two-story pineapple in the city of Bikini Bottom. Rather than adopting the intelligent strategy to regular difficulties, SpongeBob approaches life in a ridiculous and flighty manner; Whether performing perfect cooking with his favorite spatula, getting jellyfish, or simply spending time with his closest companion, Patrick.

This research conducted to figure out the portrayal of capitalism on particular episode Spongebob Squarepants television series, Spongebob Squarepants: Squid on Strike. The portrayal of capitalism is explained by showing some parts of issues or terms in Marxist theory.

Previous researches have done regarding this topic. The first research oppression on the Work Place Described in Sherm Cohen, Aaron Springer, and Peter Burn's Spongebob Squarepants: Pizza Delivery: as a Marxism Study by Shelly Kurniawati, 2013, Universitas Stikubank Semarang or Unisbank. The objective of this research is to find out character conflict dealing with the oppression that they experience in the workplace. The characters' conflicts focused on between Spongebob, Mr. Krabs, and Squidward. The relation between dominant class and subordinate class between found in the relation between Mr. Krabs and Squidward, and between Mr. Krabs and Spongebob. Marxism theory applied to break down the issue found in this research.

The second research Capitalism Described in Mr. Krabs in Stephen Hillenburg’s The Spongebob Squarepants’s: The Cent of Money as a Marxism Theory by Olivia Yoshepin Kristanto, 2015, Universitas Unisbank. The writer chose a different episode of Spongebob Squarepants, specifically, The Cent of Money. Also, the objective is quite different from the first one, which is taking the capitalism issue in Mr. Krabs' character study. However, the writer used Marxist theory by Karl Marx to analyze the issue, and Mr. Krabs' character study. The conflicts occurred in two forms, external conflict (Mr krabs and Spongebob, Mr. Krabs and Garry, and Me Krabs with other people) and internal conflict (Mr. Krabs to himself). The finding shows that Mr. Krabs does have a capital mind, he is obsessed with money and does not care for others.

The last research is The Analysis of Marxist Issues Through The Characters in 5 Episodes of Stephen Hillenburg Spongebob Squarepants by Putri Gustilingga, Binus University. The episodes bring chosen are; Employee of the month, Squid on Strike, Squilliam Returns, The Krusty Sponge, and The Krabby Kronicle. Library research and qualitative method used in conducting this research. The same theory of Marxist is also applied in this paper. However, the issues chosen in this research is more complex due to taking 5 different episodes. Those issues are alienation, class struggle, hegemony, and commodity fetishism. The writer finds Marxist issue(s) in each episode, there are; hegemony in Employee of The Month episode, class struggle in Squid on Strike, class struggle in Squilliam Returns, hegemony in The Krusty Sponge, and commodity fetishism and commodification in The Krabby Kronicle.

Based on those three previous types of research, the writer chooses Spongebob Squarepants tv series, specifically in Squid on Strike Episode. The previous researches used Marxist theory, but their objective and focus distinct to each other. The object that the writer chooses may similar to Putri Gustilingga research due to it is part of the episodes she analyzes. However, since she focused on class struggle issue, the writer chooses different Marxist issues to portray the reality of capitalism in the workplace. The writer analyzes every Marxist issue in the episode. Therefore, even though the object is only one episode, the writer Will analyze in a deep way to break down every Marxist issuissuend in one episode.

Research methods applied in this research are qualitative methods and library research. Library research is a research technique that includes distinguishing and finding sources that give genuine data or individual/ expert exploration questions, a fundamental segment of each other research method at some point. The writer's method to collect the data is to apply effective reading on the script and watch the episode to gain more understanding of it. The theory applied is Marxism theory focus on particular issues to represent capitalism in the episode. 

01 August 2022
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