Study Guide

Blade Runner Society and Class

Society and Class

In Blade Runner, American society seems to be in a state of chaos.

For one thing, it's run by a gigantic and nasty company, the Tyrell Corporation, which creates replicants for the purpose of slave labor. On top of that, even though this society is technologically advanced, it seems to consist mainly of a vast and grimy underworld, where different groups are all participating in a dog-eat-dog fight for survival. It's multicultural, but not in an equitable way—people don't really have the freedom to participate in their society's governance (since its dominated by a corporation), and they seem to have been left adrift at the bottom of the food chain.

Questions About Society and Class

  1. To what extent do you think Blade Runner's vision of the future of American society is accurate? Has it become more accurate since it was released in 1982?
  2. How does Blade Runner's vision of society compare and contrast with other dystopias, like Brave New World, 1984, and Fahrenheit 451? Is it more or less accurate than each of those?
  3. How does Blade Runner depict cultural diversity? Does the film make it seem positive or negative, or something else?
  4. Can you get a sense of social class from Blade Runner? What are the relations between the rich, the poor, and the middle class in its universe?

Chew on This

"There is no such thing as society. There are only individual men and women." – Margaret Thatcher

"Society does not consist of individuals, but expresses the sum of interrelations, the relations within which these individuals stand." – Karl Marx