Representation of ethnicity

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  • 1. MS1 Representation: Ethnicity
  • 2. Learning Outcomes – by the end of this session you will be able to: 1) Describe the difference between ETHNICITY and RACE; 2) Give at least two examples of media texts that offer a limited representation of ethnicity; 3) Explain why to is important to be able to deconstruct media representations of ethnicity; 4) Analyse a media text that explores some issues affecting Black British history.
  • 3.  Please RESPECT each other‟s opinions!  Be aware of views that may cause offence!  Bigotry is not acceptable and WILL be challenged! POTENTIAL …
  • 4. A VERY BRIEF guide to multi-cultural Britain – part 1 1600s • Migration has existed since Britain - and its European rivals (e.g. Holland, Spain, France) - have been seafaring nations. • Slavery has existed for at least the same amount of time – and continues to this day. 1945 • World War II ended. The rebuilding of Britain was about to begin. • But Britain faced a labour shortage. Late 1940‟s / early 1950s • Britain asked its peoples in its Empire to come and help rebuild „the motherland.‟ • These peoples were promised jobs, homes, a good income.
  • 5. A VERY BRIEF guide to multi-cultural Britain – part 2 1960s • Collapse of the British Empire. • Families that have arrived from the former colonies (e.g. India, Pakistan, Jamaica) settle in Britain. 1970s • Racial tensions are high due to recession, lack of jobs and social housing. 1980s onwards • „Europe‟ is formed, migration laws permit European citizens to move around with passport (no visa needed). • In 2014 Bulgaria and Romania joined Europe – what can they do in Britain that they couldn‟t do before?
  • 6. Jot down your answers to the following questions: Why is it important to be aware of the way the media represents ethnicities as a... 1) …British citizen (or as a citizen living in this country)? 2) …Resident of Eastbourne (or surrounding areas)? 3) …Member of this college? 4) …Media student? (Think about hegemonic bias).
  • 7. Which ethnicity do you see? Can you recall the last time you saw a sikh represented in the media? Do you think sikhs are often represented POSITIVELY or NEGATIVELY in the media?
  • 8. Which ethnicity do you see? When was the last time you recall seeing this ethnicity represented in the media? Do you think Romany gypsies are often represented POSITIVELY or NEGATIVELY?
  • 9. Which ethnicity do you see? When was the last time you recall seeing this ethnicity represented in the media? Do you think people of mixed race are often represented POSITIVELY or NEGATIVELY?
  • 10. Which ethnicity do you see? When was the last time you recall seeing this ethnicity represented in the media? Do you think Muslims are often represented POSITIVELY or NEGATIVELY?
  • 11. Which ethnicity do you see? When was the last time you recall seeing this ethnicity represented in the media? Do you think Chinese people are often represented POSITIVELY or NEGATIVELY?
  • 12. What is the difference between ETHNICITY and RACE? Your ethnicity refers to your CULTURAL IDENTITY. This could be shown by:
  • 13. How did people from other cultures used to be portrayed in the British media? Often „foreignness‟ was emphasised - and laughed at. This type of comedy is no longer accepted on British television.
  • 14. In the 1970s TV shows like Love Thy Neighbour and Til Death Us Do Part dealt with the issue of the increase in immigration. Fawlty Towers Who are we laughing at the most – and why? The Fast Show: Channel 9 Why do you think this sketch was criticized? Goodness Gracious Me Who are we laughing at?
  • 15. “Boyakasha! Respec.” Sacha Baron Cohen is famous for his representations of particular ethnicities. Which ethnic group is he representing with Ali G? Ali G Indahouse (From 1‟11”) Is this representation of ethnicity POSITIVE or NEGATIVE? WHY? Which ethnic group is Cohen representing with Borat? Borat: This is my wife Is this representation of ethnicity POSITIVE or NEGATIVE? WHY?
  • 16. SO… HOW FAR HAS THE MEDIA MOVED ON TODAY in representing ethnicity? People from different ethnic backgrounds can still be defined by what is different about them. Therefore we still see today positive and negative representations.
  • 17. How is black British culture represented here: positively? Negatively? Bit of both? Consider how Patrick the Jamaican is represented – and the reactions of his companions. Eastenders: Riots discussion Ethnicity in Soap opera: extract DON‟T FORGET…1. Ideology 2. Primary + secondary codes 3. Mediation 4. Focus 5. Opinion leaders (if mentioned) 6. Audience (if relevant)
  • 18. Until 2007, Eastenders was criticised by the Commission for Racial Equality for not representing the true ethnic make-up of the East End of London. It was said that: “ the average proportion of visible ethnic minority faces on Eastenders was substantially lower than the actual ethnic minority population in East London boroughs, reflecting the East End of the 1960s, not the East End of the 2000s” Branston & Stafford, The Media Student’s Handbook (2010) p.120
  • 19. BRIDGE TO NEXT SESSION • In the next session you will undertake a timed writing exercise. • You will compare and contrast TWO printed media texts.
  • 20. Return to Learning Outcomes – by the end of this session you can now: 1) Describe the difference between ETHNICITY and RACE; 2) Give at least two examples of media texts that offer a limited representation of ethnicity; 3) Explain why to is important to be able to deconstruct media representations of ethnicity; 4) Analyse a media text that explores some issues affecting Black British history.
  • 21.  The class will now be divided into 3 groups.  You will prepare a document (PowerPoint OR a typed handout) in which you explore a representation of ethnicity in a recent MUSIC VIDEO or TV ADVERTISEMENT.  Present this to the rest of the group next Monday. Extension exercise.
  • 22. Recap on Ethnicity What have we covered so far? 1) A brief history of multi-culturalism in Britain; 2) The difference between ETHNICITY and RACE; 3) Examined clips of AV media texts from the 1980s-1990s that have represented different ethnicities (mostly negatively); 4) Analysed a clip of Eastenders which had an all-black cast discussing one aspect of black British history; 5) You have compared and contrasted TWO case studies in a timed writing exercise.
  • 23. REMINDER: POTENTIAL  Please RESPECT each other‟s opinions!  Be aware of views that may cause offence!  Bigotry is not acceptable and WILL be challenged!
  • 24. Learning Outcomes – by the end of this session you will all be able to: 1) Identify issues surrounding the stereotyping of ethnic minority groups in the media; 2) Explain what ‘tokenism’ is and why it is problematic, giving at least two examples; 3) Explore the under-representation of ethnic minorities in the creative media industries – and offer solutions to this issue.
  • 25. The problem with stereotyping ethnicity in the media Part 1: Reinforcing prejudices. What will happen to the audience‟s view of that ethnicity? The audience encounter this ethnicity mainly through media Media portrays an ethnic stereotype You could argue that the media’s misrepresentations of ethnicity are more harmful than, for example, gender stereotypes. This is because some audiences may only encounter this ethnic group through the media.
  • 26. So what you get is… 1. Stereotype represented in media text 2. Audience decode text 3. Audience maintain narrow view
  • 27. Stereotyping ethnicity - the Hollywood animation way: Warning: this slide will alter the way you look at Disney movies. Forever. The Little Mermaid (1989) Sebastian the work-shy Jamaican crab? (1min in) Aladdin (1992) 'Evil' Arabs (first 3 mins) Frozen (2013) Snowy whitewash? Despicable Me 2 (2013) Mexican restaurant owner villain
  • 28. (Of Frozen): “This is a story set in 17th century northern Europe, why should there be any people of colour?” “This is a work of fantasy concocted in ethnically diverse, 21st Century America, in which you have chosen not to cast or represent a single non-caucasian person.”Steve Rose, The Guardian (G2) Despicable Them 7th April 2014
  • 29. (Animated films also contain ANTHROPORMORPHISM: Where objects or animals are given human characteristics. WHY do you think that is?) People of colour in movies have historically been represented (narrowly) through the following filters, which can still be seen to this day - as:  Comedians – as ‘funny men’ or ‘funny women’  Sexual, with larger than average sexual body parts and a big sex drive  Exotic  Villains  Athletic We are less likely to see people of colour represented as domestics or of a lower class today. Hattie McDaniel was the first African-American to win an Academy Award as Best Supporting Actress for her part as Mammy in Gone With The Wind (1939). Why isn’t her name on the pre-release film
  • 30. (In pairs, 3 mins) Can you think of recent examples of media texts that offer stereotypical portrayals of black culture? WHY do you think such stereotypes (a) are created and (b) continue?
  • 31. The problem with stereotyping ethnicity in the media – Part 2: Tokenism …YET Nicki Minaj is only the SECOND black woman to be selected as Cosmo (USA)’s cover star in 3 years! What is tokenism? Write down YOUR definition… Did you notice the same cover line copy is used to anchor both images?... In this article, Alesha Dixon criticises magazines for refusing to put a black model on the cover….
  • 32. Tokenism in action… Watch this recent advert for Clipper teabags . Keep a tally of how many actors are white - and how many are from an ethnic minority. (This is a ‘rich’ media text – you could also make notes on the representation of age). Clipper tea: tokenism Would the advertising company have used a majority of actors from ethnic minorities? Discuss reasons for your answer.
  • 33. Tokenism is a problem because: 1. When tokenism is used, the minority group that are represented have no real power. 2. The ‘difference’ of the minority group from the ‘norm’ becomes a central issue in the text. 3. Tokenism can also reinforce stereotypes. .. . …For example, soap operas have conventionally focused on stereotypical aspects of ethnic culture.
  • 34. In December 2013, Coronation Street introduced its first Muslim family. The Guardian‟s Nosheen Iqbal urged scriptwriters to “avoid the following 6 cliches” including: http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/jan/15/coronation-street-muslim-family-cliches-avoid 1. Don't bore on about arranged marriages. 2. Don't try to represent an entire community through one family. 3. And maybe cast a Muslim to play a Muslim? If Corrie’s scriptwriters listen to this advice, what impact might the Nazir family have on the audience? Positive or negative? Why?
  • 35. But is invisibility worse? Or ethnic minorities always in the background, never leading?
  • 36. Are you a member of an ethnic minority? If not, imagine you are for a moment. What could be the IMPACT upon you if you rarely saw YOUR culture represented in the media? How might that UNDER representation make you feel? One man who has recently challenged this is Lenny Henry: The comedian-turned-actor recently delivered the 2014 BAFTA Television Lecture. Listen to his argument (BAME stands for Black and Minority Ethnic) and complete the questions. Lenny Henry interview
  • 37. Final media texts for analysis: The Leading Ladies campaign for Marks & Spencer (launched March 2014) and Major Lazer’s Bubble Butt music video (May 2013). For Monday (28th April 2014) write a 500-900 word comparative analysis of these two media texts. The brief can be found on iLearn (or emailed upon request).
  • 38. Return to Learning Outcomes – by the end of this session you can now all: 1) Identify issues surrounding the stereotyping of ethnic minority groups in the media; 2) Explain what ‘tokenism’ is and why it is problematic, giving at least two examples; 3) Explore the under-representation of ethnic minorities in the creative media industries – and offer solutions to this issue.