Media and Collective Identity: Useful quotes
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Media and Collective Identity: Useful quotes Media and Collective Identity: Useful quotes Document Transcript

  • “…media representations of ‘race’ and ethnicity are constructed in accordance with dominant ideological positionings which serve to shape and control how individuals understand others’, and their own, identities.” Fatimah Awan, Young People, Identity and the Media, PhD Research Project, 2008 http://www.artlab.org.uk/fatimah-awan-phd.htm “ethnic minority groups are engaging with and using the media to create ‘new ethnicities’.” Fatimah Awan, Young People, Identity and the Media, PhD Research Project, 2008 http://www.artlab.org.uk/fatimah-awan-phd.htm Stuart Hall proposes that the media, as a principal form of ideological dissemination, produces representations of the social world via images and portrayals. …Hall asserts that ideologies become ‘naturalised’ and ideologically motivated representations mask themselves as ‘common sense’; within an ideology, politically constructed representations – such as representations of ‘race’ – are conveyed as being ‘given by nature’. Fatimah Awan, Young People, Identity and the Media, PhD Research Project, 2008 http://www.artlab.org.uk/fatimah-awan-phd.htm In agreement with Hall, a significant body of research suggests that the media, as a key transmitter of representations and as a major source of information within society, has the power to control and shape attitudes and beliefs held in the popular imagination Fatimah Awan, Young People, Identity and the Media, PhD Research Project, 2008 http://www.artlab.org.uk/fatimah-awan-phd.htm Hall (1990) argues that the methods in which black people and their experiences are represented and subjugated under white ideology is not only a result of political and economic agendas, but also, in accordance with Edward Said’s (1978) principle of Orientalism, functions to construct blacks as ‘Other’. Furthermore, Hall claims that the insidious and ‘invisible’ nature of this ideology leads black people to understand themselves as ‘Other’ Fatimah Awan, Young People, Identity and the Media, PhD Research Project, 2008 http://www.artlab.org.uk/fatimah-awan-phd.htm Hall demonstrates, representation not only affects the understanding of ethnic minority groups within society as a whole, but also how ethnic minority groups come to perceive their own identities. On this issue we must consider that identity is constructed within a cultural framework, as Kathryn Woodward (1997) says, ‘Identities are produced, consumed and regulated within culture – creating meanings through symbolic systems of representation about the identity positions which we might adopt’. Fatimah Awan, Young People, Identity and the Media, PhD Research Project, 2008 http://www.artlab.org.uk/fatimah-awan-phd.htm We must also consider Hall’s (1990) notion that identity is not necessarily ‘fixed’, but a fluid phenomena; ‘Perhaps instead of thinking of identity as an 1
  • already accomplished historical fact … we should think, instead, of identity as a “production”, which is never complete, always in process… Fatimah Awan, Young People, Identity and the Media, PhD Research Project, 2008 http://www.artlab.org.uk/fatimah-awan-phd.htm Establishing that the media have the power to dictate which representations of ethnic minorities are chosen and circulated in the public arena, research into minority representation has revealed two fundamental issues underlying the area: underrepresentation and stereotypical representation. It is suggested that through such representations, ethnic minorities continue to be subordinated in accordance with white ideological hegemony Fatimah Awan, Young People, Identity and the Media, PhD Research Project, 2008 http://www.artlab.org.uk/fatimah-awan-phd.htm In the beginning there was the Empire and, then (post-1945), there was the Empire no more. In a nostalgic bid to keep the idea of Empire alive, the British establishment first created the Commonwealth and, in 1948, voted through Parliament the Commonwealth Act whereby all citizens of the ex-Empire could come to the mother country: the United Kingdom. Susan Hayward, Jump Cut, no. 41, May 1997, pp. 49-58 Concern as to the number of "coloured" immigrants (as they were then known) was being voiced in the mid- to late1950s by the Conservative party (which had been in power since 1951), but race as an issue did not fully become one until the watershed year of 1958. Two occurrences: the so-called Nottingham "riots" and Nottinghill "riots" (the former in the north-eastern part of England, the latter in a London borough) put race on the social and political agenda. Thanks to these events, race would henceforth be perceived as a problem. Susan Hayward, Jump Cut, no. 41, May 1997, pp. 49-58 The 1970s was characterized by a "siege" mentality… The rise in racist attacks during that decade and the impact of the U.S. Black Power Movement on Blacks in Britain led them to politicize their protest — a move which "naturally" allowed first political discourses and then media discourses after them to make race central to an understanding of the crisis. It should be noted that segregation in pubs was a common practice in certain London boroughs. Susan Hayward, Jump Cut, no. 41, May 1997, pp. 49-58 However, it was the 1958 "riots" which brought race onto the TV agenda in a strategically different way. Race was now presented as a problem in the UK rather than as an end-of-Empire debate as it had been previously. TV programs of the 1960s and 1970s now characterized Blacks as immigrants, all the same, and the cause of overcrowding and unsanitary house conditions. Two BBC I sitcoms, the already mentioned Till Death Do Us Part and It Ain't Half Hot Mum (launched 1975), should be singled out as representative of this common-sense racist discourse. Susan Hayward, Jump Cut, no. 41, May 1997, pp. 49-58 2
  • Ross begins her work with the idea that individuals in economically developed regions of the world are increasingly reliant on mass media for information, education, and entertainment. In this context, the issue of representation is becoming increasingly important as people in distant locations become more reliant on mediated symbols to shape their perceptions of various social issues http://www.newinfluencer.com/mediapedia/black-and-white-media/ Mass media plays a significant role in the transmission and maintenance of cultural identity, through a repetitive display of cultural norms and values which eventually become seen as simple ‘truths’. http://www.newinfluencer.com/mediapedia/black-and-white-media/ The repetitive framing of particular images in certain ways eventually leads to those images being seen as the definitive statement on ‘those’ people and the groups to which ‘they’ belong . http://www.newinfluencer.com/mediapedia/black-and-white-media/ young black respondents stood out as a distinct subgroup. Most of them rejected their British identity despite being British-born and bred, particularly young black men. They felt quite strongly that society is hostile towards black teenagers. They reported many instances where they have felt stereotyped, marginalised and discriminated against – for example, when they have failed to get a job interview, or an elderly woman has held on to her handbag more tightly in their presence. “I don’t really want nothing to do with this country. I don’t think blacks will ever achieve here” Black African young man, 15-16 years Channel 4, Race, Representation and the Media 2007, Research Report The mixed race young people in our sample were mixed Black Caribbean and white (which accounts for a third of the ‘mixed race’ category in the 2001 Census). Although they were happy to be referred to as ‘mixed race’, they had all assumed a ‘black’ identity by virtue of their skin colour and/or upbringing. Channel 4, Race, Representation and the Media 2007, Research Report Ethnic minority viewers commented that an ethnic individual alone (for example, a solitary black character in a soap) cannot represent the richness of an entire community. Channel 4, Race, Representation and the Media 2007, Research Report Tokenism and stereotyping e.g. Dev, the Asian corner shop owner in ‘Coronation Street’, Denise in ‘Eastenders’ who was a black single mother with two children by two different fathers when she first appeared on the progamme Channel 4, Race, Representation and the Media 2007, Research Report At the heart of their concerns lay the worry that extreme and inaccurate portrayals of their culture might give white viewers the wrong impression about black and Asian communities as a whole. Channel 4, Race, Representation and the Media 2007, Research Report 3
  • Not only, in Said's 'Orientalist' sense, were we constructed as different and other within the categories of knowledge of the West by those regimes. They had the power to make us see and experience ourselves as 'Other'. “Cultural Identity and Diaspora” In Theorizing Diaspora, edited by Jana Evans Braziel and Anita Mannur, Blackwell, 2006 ... migration inaugurated the so-called Windrush era, characterised by exponentially increasing numbers of immigrants coming to Britain from all corners of the declining empire, but also by increasing hostility, social harassment and racial tensions. CENTRING MARGINALITY THROUGH BLACK BRITISH NARRATIVES: SMALL ISLAND AND YOUNG SOUL REBELS, Francesca Giommi http://journal.afroeuropa.eu/index.php/afroeuropa/article/viewFile/119/110 those "imperial Others" who once lived in remote marginal colonies, are now demanding inclusion and belonging on British soil, "invading" public national and private family spaces. CENTRING MARGINALITY THROUGH BLACK BRITISH NARRATIVES: SMALL ISLAND AND YOUNG SOUL REBELS, Francesca Giommi http://journal.afroeuropa.eu/index.php/afroeuropa/article/viewFile/119/110 What is at issue here is the recognition of the extraordinary diversity of subjective positions, social experiences, and cultural identities which compose the category "black;" that is the recognition that "black" is essentially a politically and culturally constructed category ... "New Ethnicities." In H. A. Baker, jr, M. Diawara, R.H. Lindenborg (eds.). Black British Cultural Studies, A Reader. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1996,163-172. As Gilroy proposes going beyond essentialist modes of identity and nationalist cultural representations, the new concept of syncretism is the only one able to examine cultural resistance in the hybridized context of black Britain. The same subversive force of this hybridizing tendency is once again emphasized by Hall, according to whom identities are not an essence but a positioning, and thus diaspora identities are constantly producing and reproducing themselves anew. CENTRING MARGINALITY THROUGH BLACK BRITISH NARRATIVES: SMALL ISLAND AND YOUNG SOUL REBELS, Francesca Giommi http://journal.afroeuropa.eu/index.php/afroeuropa/article/viewFile/119/110 black British artistic and cultural attacks on English ethnocentrism and as alternative representations disrupting hegemonic ideas of racial hierarchy and monolithic national belonging, in line with Gilroy's thesis that in a hybrid space such as twenty-first century postcolonial and post-imperial Britain blackness and Englishness permeate each other and ethnic absolutism is no longer tenable. CENTRING MARGINALITY THROUGH BLACK BRITISH NARRATIVES: SMALL ISLAND AND YOUNG SOUL REBELS, Francesca Giommi http://journal.afroeuropa.eu/index.php/afroeuropa/article/viewFile/119/110 4
  • “how we are seen determines in part how we are treated; how we treat others is based on how we see them; such seeing comes from representation.” Dyer, Richard. (1993). The Matter of Images: Essays on Representations (1 ed.). New York: Routledge Various characters within “Kidulthood” are shown to be involved in criminal activities such as drug dealing and gun making. It can be said that “black people, particularly Afro-Caribbeans are portrayed in the media as criminals”1 as “the media are highly selective in the way in which they construct and represent the world back to us”2 Due to how they are represented within “Kidulthood”, it suggests that young black males may have been subjected to receive negative treatment as a result of being represented with such pessimism and in turn advocates that they will be treated as criminals if they have been represented in that way. http://jaleesadenton-mest4.blogspot.com/ This relates to what was shown within a recent episode of “EastEnders” (BBC). This soap-opera takes on the role of portraying black people whilst reinforcing negative stereotypes among them as it recently depicted a gang of teenagers being led by a young black male to steal money from a local pub whilst brandishing a fake gun. http://jaleesadenton-mest4.blogspot.com/ Joseph Harker wrote that “when it comes to imagery surrounding black people; I’m used to relentlessly negative - knife crime, underachievement representations” http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2009/oct/05/london-black-children- awards “The hegemonic model acknowledges that much of the media is controlled by a relatively small group of people (who are generally male, middle class and white) and that the viewpoints associated with these groups inevitably become embedded in the products themselves.”3 This suggests that these small groups of people use their own views of ethnic minorities in order to represent them, due to the fact that they may not know how to represent them if they are not part of that social group themselves. This shows that audiences are being provided with already established views on a social group thus reiterating the hypodermic needle theory. http://jaleesadenton-mest4.blogspot.com/ It can be said that the media choose to represent ethnic minorities in ways which reinforce stereotypes in order to maintain a hegemonic society relating to how “a dominant class or group maintains power by making everyone accept their ideology as normal or neutral, through cultural influence rather than force.”4 http://jaleesadenton-mest4.blogspot.com/ 1 http://www.helium.com/items/265124-how-are-ethnic-minorites-portrayed-in-the-media 2 Kruger, Stephen. Rayner, Philip. & Wall, Peter. (2004). Media Studies: The Essential Resource. London: Routledge, London and New York. 3 Baker, James. Clark, Vivienne. & Lewis, Eileen. (2003). Key Concepts & Skills for Media Studies:. London: Hodder Headline. 5
  • 4 Williams, Kevin. (2003). Understanding Media Theory (Hodder Arnold Publication). London: A Hodder Arnold Publication. 6