HEGEMONY – The socially accepted and agreed beliefs of those in the ruling class
AS Lesson 4 - Ethnicity
What is ethnicity?
The fact or state of belonging to a social group that has a common national or
What is a dominant group?
A group that has more population than the subordinate group.
What is a subordinate group?
Belonging to a lower or inferior class rank.
What is hegemony?
The socially accepted and agreed beliefs of those in the ruling class.
• Silly/not taken
• Illegal aliens
• Involved in
• Sex symbols
• Victims (female)
• Villains/rarely seen
• Martial artist
• Obsessed with
• Quirky or weak
Often the hero
In charge (dominant
“Token black guy’’
Obsessed with electronics
Quirky or weak
Women can be seen as
ditzy in some cases
Silly/not taken seriously
Involved in drugs
Banderez, Penelope Cruz, Salma
Strict/stern/not a push over
Villains/rarely seen as heroes
Often the hero
In charge (dominant race)
Ethnicity, like sex, is a set of genetically
defined, biological characteristics.
However, like gender, it is also a set of
culturally defined characteristics.
Representation of race in the media can consist
of the same sort of rigid stereotypes that
constitute gender portrayal.
However, stereotyping of race is seen as more
harmful than stereotyping of gender, as media
representation may constitute the only
experience of contact with a particular ethnic
group that an audience (particularly an
audience of children) may have.
Racial stereotypes are often based on social
myth, perpetuated down the ages. Thus, the
media depiction of, say, Native American
Indians, might provide a child with their only
experience of Native American Indian culture
and characters, and may provide that child
with a set of narrow prejudices which will not
be challenged elsewhere within their
The need for a more accurate portrayal of the
diversity of different races is a priority for
political agendas, but, as ever, it seems as
though it will take a while for political
thinking to filter through to programme and
Most work on Race & The Media has
concentrated on the representation of black
men and women. This has partly been
because there is a strong African-American
counter-culture which provides viable
alternative role models and demands that
they are represented.
In recent years, the success of actors such as
Denzel Washington, Whoopi
Goldberg, Laurence Fishburne, Will Smith and
Morgan Freeman in a diversity of roles has
meant that black characters in movies and on
TV are no longer 'stock' types.
However, there are many negative
representations of black people, portrayals
which seem deliberately designed to inflame
the fear and hatred of other cultures - how
positive a representation is the archetypal
African-American gangsta? Yet these are
representations coming from within black
Attention is now being paid to the
representation of other ethnic
groups, notably Asian Americans and
Latinos, who represent a much larger
proportion of the US population than their TV
coverage would suggest.
Things are changing - on the one hand the
success of John Woo and Ang Lee in
Hollywood is pushing the boundaries back for
Asian Americans, and the Latin Music
Explosion of 1999 has led to much wider
acceptance of Latino performers.
This clip of Skins involves a Muslim father being
told that his son’s friend, Maxxie, is gay.
It is typical for people who are a part of the
Muslim culture to be against homosexuality,
therefore in this clip it is expected that the
Muslim family would not take well to the fact
that Maxxie is gay.
Chris who is a white character in the clip
appears and he uses language which is
typical for a white teenager, using bad
You have 10 minutes to write a couple of
paragraphs explaining your opinion.
Remember to use evidence from the clip and
if you can evidence from:
Mise en scene
Do you think hegemony is challenged in this
clip? Are the dominant beliefs challenged?
Hegemony is challenged in this clip regarding
ethnicity as it challenges they typical Muslim
belief about homosexuality.
The clip from Misfits is where one of the
probation workers tries to talk to the characters
about the community service they are doing.
Each of the characters are represented in
completely different ways. Three different
ethnicities are shown in the extract;
◦ Black British, white British, Irish and mixed race.
Curtis, who plays the black British male character
follows the typical stereotype – how?
◦ The Irish character, Nathan, follows a typical Irish
stereotype as he has charm and is quite humorous.
◦ The white character is gobby and aggressive in the
◦ The mixed race character is glamorous and
feminine in the extract.
Go through each of the ethnicities
represented and answer whether the
representation reinforces or challenges the
Which ethnicity is dominant/subordinate in
this extract? Are any of them?
How does the social worker fit?
Who would you expect the dominant group to
be as this is a British TV drama?
Is this the case for this clip?
Who is the dominant group in this clip? How
do you know?
Who is the subordinate group in this clip?
How do you know?