Stuart Hall Stuart Hall is a cultural theorist who has been particularly influential in influencing racial thinking in the UK. Black representation Hall argues that the representation of the black subject has been through two phases. The first was a challenge of the racist stereotype and asserting a positive black identity. This was typically through recovery of a lost African history in which an essential core is found. In the second phase, the black subject is considered to be produced inside 'regimes of representation'. He shows how cultures grow nest within one another, for example in how a black person in Martinique inserts the black culture into the French culture, thus creating an oscillation between the other and unity. Media power Hall was concerned with media power, including how it propagates social values. "The mass media play a crucial role in defining the problems and issues of public concern. They are the main channels of public discourse in our segregated society". In 1971 he made an influential appearance on BBC television where he criticized media portrayal of blacks. "There is something radically wrong with the way black immigrants - West Indians, Asians, Africans-are handled by and presented on the mass media" He noted how blacks appeared on TV often in racially stereotyping positions, despite liberal assumptions and discussions by broadcasters. "When blacks appear in the documentary/current affairs part of broadcasting, they are always attached to some 'immigrant issue': they have to be involved in some crisis or drama to become visible actors to the media." "There has been little, attempt either in drama, documentary or features to explore and express the rich, complex, diverse and troubled experience of blacks." Identity In his search for black identity, Hall has studied the whole sphere of identity in some detail, pulling together diverse strands to create cohesive understanding. http://changingminds.org/disciplines/sociology/theorists/stuart_hall.htm
From the films that we have been studying, I think Stuart Hall has a valid point. Many people are represented in a ‘stereotypical’ way which is not always true. For example, teenagers in the media are represented in a very bad way – for example, in ‘Skins’ teenagers are represented to be all about drugs and sex which is not the case for all teenagers at all! In media texts terrorists are always portrayed to be the Muslim faith which is also not true as it is extremists of the religion rather than the religion itself. These are very stereotypical representations.