Successfully reported this slideshow.
We use your LinkedIn profile and activity data to personalize ads and to show you more relevant ads. You can change your ad preferences anytime.

Language, power & discourse


Published on

Language, power and discourse about media playing an important role

Published in: Education, Spiritual, Technology
  • Be the first to comment

Language, power & discourse

  1. 1. Language, Power & Discourse Harpreet Kaur
  2. 2. Media’s role in shaping views and creating racial discourse.
  3. 3. The media's the most powerful entity on earth. They have the power to make the innocent guilty and to make the guilty innocent, and that's power. Because they control the minds of the masses. ~ Malcolm X
  4. 4. Introduction <ul><li>Globalisation has enabled the crossover of cultures and ideologies from one place to another. Media, being the main drivers of globalisation, portrays these ideologies to the masses. Everyone relies on media to attain information and knowledge. </li></ul><ul><li>By analysing different sources of media, and exploring the extent to which the discourses are shaped that may lead to racism and otherization in an intercultural communication, the power of media is understood. </li></ul>
  5. 5. Purpose of the analysis <ul><li>Examine two texts from different media sources on racism issue </li></ul><ul><li>Analyse the way the media outlets have portrayed that issue </li></ul><ul><li>Highlight the strategies and tools used in these texts-tone, lexical terms and references which portray power </li></ul><ul><li>Contrast between the different outlets disseminating the information </li></ul><ul><li>Discuss how media has used power to manage the issue </li></ul>
  6. 6. Reasons for the texts chosen <ul><li>Both these texts are based on racism towards people ‘different’ from the majority. They have a similar theme, but are found in different media outlets. </li></ul><ul><li>A close analysis of these texts reveal the power displayed in these media sources and how racism is in play. </li></ul><ul><li>These texts make use of linguistic tools which clearly show the power play and highlights the unequal distribution of power between the dominant groups and the minorities. </li></ul>
  7. 7. Theme <ul><li>The theme for this presentation is racism and otherization present within an intercultural society. </li></ul><ul><li>The texts discussed portrays both the old and new forms of racism </li></ul><ul><li>These texts show how even in this day, racism is subtly embedded in the language and discourse used. </li></ul>
  8. 8. Definitions <ul><li>Intercultural Communication - Communication between people of different social groups. Culture has an influence in the communication taking place (Spencer-Oatley,2006). </li></ul><ul><li>Racism - The ideology, structure and process involved when viewing a different ethnic group and the act of dominance and use of power from one group over the rest. </li></ul><ul><li>Two types of racism: </li></ul><ul><li>Old racism - Overt and unapologetic form of racism displayed towards the minorities. </li></ul><ul><li>New racism - Democratic and respectable form of racism, where minorities are not seen as inferior but different and need guidance to correct their “deficiencies”. </li></ul><ul><li>Otherization - As described by Holliday et al. (2004), individuals tend to assign identity for themselves and their cultures tend to construct an idea on how to read and understand those of different cultures. </li></ul>
  9. 9. Text One: For One Night Image source:
  10. 10. Context of the text <ul><li>Background information: </li></ul><ul><li>The movie starring Raven Symone and Aisha Tyler was directed by Ernest R. Dickerson. </li></ul><ul><li>The movie based on a true life story, is about racism towards the African Americans by the Americans </li></ul><ul><li>The film focuses on how an African American, with the help of a freelance reporter and her senior from her school, reverse the years of racist traditions of having segregated proms for the Whites and Blacks and manage to have an integrated prom for one night, making history. </li></ul>
  11. 11. Context <ul><li>For one night is a film inspired by a true story, of Gerica McCary who in 2002 made news by planning an integrated prom in her school Taylor County high school. There has been a segregated prom because the school had stopped funding for proms due to interracial dating. </li></ul><ul><li>Target Audience: </li></ul><ul><li>This movie is mainly targeted at youths to show that racism still exists today and also to educate them to change their views. It shows that isolatio is created if people are segregated and it is unfair to both the Blacks and Whites as they had grown up together but not allowed to graduate together. </li></ul><ul><li>It is aimed also at Americans, who have a mixture of ethnicities around them and people with different socioeconomic status demographics. </li></ul>
  12. 12. Student Gerica McCary who made headlines in 2002 by bringing national attention to Butler, Georgia Shandra Hill Smith, a freelance journalist who focussed media attention towards the fight of an integrated prom. Image sources:
  13. 13. Source: Source:
  14. 14. Racism in play <ul><li>Some excerpts from the movie: </li></ul><ul><li>B: I just don’t understand, Carla wasn’t suspended. </li></ul><ul><li>P: I have all the facts and you don’t. </li></ul><ul><li>B: Is it because Marvin is Black? </li></ul><ul><li>P: Brianna, you know me better than that. </li></ul><ul><li>B: They both broke the rules. </li></ul><ul><li>P: And they both are being disciplined appropriately. Look, one size fits all is not how I do things here. </li></ul><ul><li>Source: (56 secs to 1:30 sec) </li></ul>
  15. 15. Racism in Play <ul><li>B: It’s not an original idea y’know, most schools have one senior prom. </li></ul><ul><li>D: Yeah, but y’know this is Mersey A and we’re not just talking about any prom, we’re talking about an integrated prom. </li></ul><ul><li>B: No one says ‘integrated’ about our schools any more </li></ul><ul><li>D: Just cause someone doesn’t say a word out loud, doesn’t mean they are not thinking it. Sure, nobody says ‘segregated’ about school either. Ya, I went to school here too and we called it “Black Prom” and “White Prom&quot; and we didn’t think about it as segregated but that’s what it was. That’s what you are fighting. </li></ul><ul><li>B: It’s not a fight. We’re friends, we just want to have our parties together- it’s not that big a deal. </li></ul><ul><li>D: then why all the objections and the committees and the- </li></ul><ul><li>B: you used to live here, you know exactly how it is. </li></ul><ul><li>Source: (1:19 mins to 2:05 mins) </li></ul>
  16. 16. Significant features <ul><li>The most evident feature here is old racism present in this text. It is evident that the Blacks are being shunned down because they have coloured skins. The use of words such as “segregation”, “integration” and “coloured people” demonstrates this. </li></ul><ul><li>The practice of having two separate proms for 31 years illustrates clearly that the Whites do not consider the Blacks to be of the same level as them, despite the students gaining the same amount of education together. </li></ul><ul><li>The school stopped funding for proms because of interracial relationships. The way the Whites are acting towards the Blacks shows that the Whites are the ones in power and the dominant class, and do not want to engage in intercultural communication. </li></ul><ul><li>Explicit racism is practised throughout this movie, where ethnicity, social inequalities and power distribution is portrayed. </li></ul>
  17. 17. Media’s role <ul><li>Media plays a part through the freelance journalist, Desiree Howard. She being a Black and a former student of that school has an interest in this issue. </li></ul><ul><li>If it was not for her, this history would not have broken. </li></ul><ul><li>However, media has portrayed racism too. </li></ul><ul><li>No journalist from the majority group covered this issue on why this school had two proms while the rest had one. </li></ul><ul><li>When Howard brought in media attention, she and Brianna had to fight to gain media’s and public’s attention, while many “White” parents were disapproving of it. </li></ul><ul><li>At the end, there was an integrated prom. This is where new racism is portrayed, where there are subtle differences between the different ethnicities. </li></ul><ul><li>Media, hence, does portray racism, as they tend to favour the majority, and only a minority speaks on behalf of another minority. The majority are in the power position. </li></ul>
  18. 18. Text Two: When silence is yellow, not golden
  19. 19. Context <ul><li>Background Information: </li></ul><ul><li>An article written by Nicola Jean for Salient, the student magazine of Victoria University, Wellington and published in March 2007. </li></ul><ul><li>Article is a feature on Asians in New Zealand and an opinion in response to the cover story “Asian Angst: is it time to send some back?” by former ACT MP Deborah Coddington’s for North and South magazine. </li></ul><ul><li>This article shows how the Asians are viewed as the “others” and how they feel that racism is being practised towards them and that the Asians are not represented in New Zealand. </li></ul>
  20. 20. Context <ul><li>Target Audience: </li></ul><ul><li>Students who are about to step into the working world, where they will be socialising with people of different ethnicities. </li></ul><ul><li>It is also aimed at New Zealanders on behalf of Asian voices. </li></ul><ul><li>This text is intended for those who are concerned with the immigration policy especially concerning those who come from the Asian countries. </li></ul>
  21. 21. Context <ul><li>Style of text: </li></ul><ul><li>The article is written in formal and academic style with words such as “launched”, “prominent” and “latent racism”. </li></ul><ul><li>The quotes presented in the article maintain the formality with words such as “atrocious”, “unreserved apology” and “miscommunication”. </li></ul><ul><li>The tone of the article is analytical as well as the quotes are objective as those concerned are of an Asian culture. </li></ul>
  22. 22. Racism in play <ul><li>As said by Potter, all mainstream news values have racial inflection. </li></ul><ul><li>The headline reads “when silence is yellow, not golden”. </li></ul><ul><li>Reading from the headlines it is known that the article is based on the Chinese as they are termed as “yellow-skinned”. </li></ul><ul><li>The term “yellow” also appears within the article in paragraphs 19 and 23 in the form of “yellow peril” and in paragraphs 28 and 29 as “banana in a nutshell”, which performs as a synonym as “yellow”. </li></ul><ul><li>This portrays overt racism. </li></ul>
  23. 23. Racism in Play <ul><li>“ Quotes admit only of those in power and influence and neglect opinions of those who are powerless.” (Teo, 2000). </li></ul><ul><li>In addition, “ minorities are largely silent and are hardly quoted or quoted with distance and suspicion” (van Dijk, 2000). </li></ul><ul><li>One of the sources in this text states that he had given an interview to Coddington for her article and the way in which she quoted him made it seem that “ use of my quote would have given the impression that I supported her views – which I most definitely do not” </li></ul><ul><li>The source is a minority and an Asian and hence, his quote was altered. </li></ul>
  24. 24. Racism in Play <ul><li>However, it is not only the Asians migrants that have to face the racism. </li></ul><ul><li>Those New Zealand born Chinese also face racism. </li></ul><ul><li>These people are termed “banana” which means yellow on the outside and white on the inside. This is indicated to Chinese born in New Zealand. </li></ul>
  25. 25. Otherization <ul><li>“ Sandwiched between tales of drug pushers and kidnappers is the claim that between 1996 and 2005 crimes committed by “Asiatics” – that is, Asian migrants excluding those from the Indian subcontinent – increased by fifty per cent.” (Kean, 2007, para 7) </li></ul><ul><li>This statement shows that Asians are considered as “others” and do not fit in among the New Zealanders. The Asians are read as “ Asiatics” and as mentioned by the author earlier that the prior article named Asians as criminals. </li></ul>
  26. 26. Significant features <ul><li>This text has exemplified racism in New Zealand towards the Asian migrants and anyone who is Asian looking </li></ul><ul><li>New racism is present in this text, where it is not directly told to the Chinese, but expressed in indirect matters. More often, people stereotype the Chinese to be committing the crimes. </li></ul><ul><li>The Asians do not feel comfortable and do not feel that they have blended in with the New Zealand culture because of the way they are treated. </li></ul><ul><li>Kean ends her article well, as she states that having colour in the society is beneficial and that now there is mostly stereotypes and new racism. </li></ul>
  27. 27. Media’s role <ul><li>In this text, media has played a role of disseminating the message from the minorities. </li></ul><ul><li>Nicola Kean has covered this feature on the minorities and how they felt about the article published prior to this feature. </li></ul><ul><li>It is reflected in this feature that the Asians were not featured well in the prior article and their quotes were altered with. </li></ul><ul><li>Coddington’s article had unequal power distribution where she focuses on viewpoints of the New Zealanders and not of Asians. </li></ul><ul><li>In this article, the power is distributed towards the Asians and mainly Chinese are focussed on. Chinese seems to represent the Asian population. However, the other Asian migrants are not represented in this article. </li></ul><ul><li>Even in the New Zealand television, Asians are not represented much and because of this they do not engage in the media due to the miscommunication. </li></ul>
  28. 28. Conclusion <ul><li>Both texts have represented the different racism methods and how media has portrayed them. </li></ul><ul><li>Racism is embedded in our everyday lives. We may start off with holding stereotypes which may lead to a racist action. </li></ul><ul><li>As stated by Van Dijk “discourse plays a fundamental role in the formation of racist beliefs and in the discriminatory practices based on these beliefs” (2005, pg 9-10). </li></ul><ul><li>Media is influential in creating racist attitudes especially amongst those who have little contact with members of minority groups. </li></ul><ul><li>Media decides what is to be represented to the people and how much and hence the dominant are in power as they are shown more in the media. </li></ul><ul><li>Because there is little coverage on the minorities and the minorities are portrayed in a bad light, stereotypes are formed and this creates racism. </li></ul>
  29. 29. References <ul><li>Bonilla-Silva, E. (2006). Racism without racists: Colour blind racism and the persistence of racial inequality in the United States (2 nd ed.). Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield </li></ul><ul><li>Dijk, T.A.V. (2000). New(s) Racism: A discourse analytical approach. In S. Cottle (Ed.), Ethnic minorities and the media (pp. 33-49). Buckingham, UK: Open University Press. </li></ul><ul><li>Holliday, A., Hyde, M., & Kullman, J. (2004). Interculural communicaion: An advanced resource book. London: Routeledge </li></ul><ul><li>Kean, N. (2007, Mar 5). When Silence is Yellow, Not Golden. Retrieved from: </li></ul><ul><li>Minor, E. (2009, Feb 11). Ga. Students Plan Whites-Only Prom. Retrieved from: </li></ul><ul><li>Proms divided by race. (2006, March 13). Retrieved from: </li></ul>
  30. 30. References <ul><li>Spencer-Oatley, H. (2006). Sociolinguistics and intercultural communication. In U. Ammon, N. Dittmar, K. Mattheir & P. Trudgill (Eds.), Sociolinguistics/soziolinguistik. An international handbook of the science of language and society (Vol. 3, pp.2537-2546). Berlin: Mouton de Grutyer </li></ul><ul><li>Teo, P. (2000). Racism in the news. A critical discourse analysis of news reporting in two Australian newspapers . (pp. 18-20). Discourse & Society,11(1), 7-49. </li></ul><ul><li>Younge, G. (2003, May 3). White-Only Proms: Dancing to an Old Southern Segregationist Tune. Published by Guardian: UK Retreived from: </li></ul><ul><li>X, M. Retrieved from: </li></ul>