Race and Entertainment Study Guide
Race and Entertainment Study Guide RTF 316M
Popular in Race, Ethnicity and the Media
Popular in Film
This 21 page Study Guide was uploaded by Hector Jamesson on Saturday January 24, 2015. The Study Guide belongs to RTF 316M at University of Texas at Austin taught by Mary Beltrán in Fall. Since its upload, it has received 206 views. For similar materials see Race, Ethnicity and the Media in Film at University of Texas at Austin.
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Date Created: 01/24/15
RACE amp ENTERTAINMENT STUDY GUIDE 12052013 WEEK 8ETHNIC MEDIA ACTIVISM amp ADVOCACY quotThe Culture Behind Closed Doors Issues of Gender and Race in the Writers Room Felicia D Henderson The reading explores the cultural activities and social relationships of the writers workspace It examines the ritual of othering writers based on gender and race Categorization based on difference according to Stuart Hal is part of the maintenance of social and symbolic order When othering becomes a method of silencing points of view the ideas of those who are othered effectively die on the vine If the other wishes to survive she or he quickly learns to present ideas that are acceptable to the more powerful writers in the room It is this process that leads to the homogenization of ideas Membership in the clique of the included is highly dependent on a writer s ability to assimilate with the senior writers who run the room Humor is generated within the writers room through a process of inclusion and exclusion and humor is derived from social categories such as race gender ethnicity and sexuality which become the means by which the performative space is homogenized eg senior writers used cigars or inappropriate joking to other women The actions that occur in the writers room not only in uence but also author the content and form of television s narrative When othered writers assimiliate in order to be included what is then left out of creative discussions also affects authorship All writers and all characters may all look alike but they all mimic the dominant group because there is little acceptance of actual difference quotThe Black TV Crisis and the next generation Aymar jean Christian The reading talks about a crisis in contemporary television in which despite an expanding number of channels the stories we get from television are limited particularly regarding race A sorry state of black creative production Lack of investing from the networks When networks struggle they pimp the urban demographic and once they are set nancially they bounce FOX WB UPN and the CW all have done it 0 Black storytellers have had a hard time nding career stability ChildrenNow research group analyzed prime time TV in early 20005 with a focus in ethnic diversity Their ndings Whites 73 of roIes Latinos 65 of roIes African Americans 16 of roles Other ethnic groups argey absent 0 The last hour of primetime was the most diverse Clearly much less diversity than in US population Who constantly negotiates portrayals Media producers network execs advertisers media advocacy groups NAACP National Hispanic Media Coalition Asian Paci c American Media Coalition Americans Indians in Film amp TV viewers diversity execs While each advocacy group has different goals and needs some of the most common advocacy goals are Encouraging more and improved representations Hiring actors writers and producers of their respective group One strategy of advocates MutiEthnic coalition the four main advocacy groups joined Result more power in solidarity Another strategy Report cards they shared their concerns with the different networks In late 905 it led to results because the networks created VPs of Diversity Network goals and diversity efforts 0 Improve diversity in workforce and in the screen Maintain positive network image Showcases for authors of color Writer traineeships Good relations with advocacy groups Add minority roles to cast African Americans usually con ned to TV Land TBS and ensemble dramas on ABC Scandal HBO Treme and Fuse The HustleThe Akils Tyler Perry amp Vena Sud WEEK 9 ASIANPACIFIC ISLANDER REPRESENTATION quotInvisible no More john Caldwell Talks about the pervasive stereotypes and general lack of positive representation that Asian men continue to face Asian men are often left out of popular culture and gay Asian men are nonexistent Portrayals of Asian men as sexually ambiguous or purely feminine are still quite common Details controversy over article titled quotGay or Asianquot Rice queen phenomenon refers to gay men who pursue Asian lovers on the assumption they ll be passive or submissive One of the big challenges for gay Asian men and women is dealing with their exoti cation by men of all races quotThe Persistence of the Yellow Peril Discourse Ono amp Pham Talks about Yellow Peril the representations of Asians as threatening to take over invade or otherwise negatively Asianize the US nation and is society and culture Yellow peril discourse constructs an Asianwhite dialectic emphasizing the powerful threatening potential of Asians while simultaneously constructing whites as vulnerable threatened or otherwise in danger Gary Okihiro suggests the idea may date back to the 5th century BC as a way of thinking about the Persians by the Greeks Gina Marchetti suggests the concept was rooted in medieval fears of Genghis Khan and Mongolian invasions of Europe Chinese Americans frequently depicted as inhuman animallike and as frequenters of opium dens and gambling houses Yellow peril has always been connected to the US foreign policy and current political climate eg The Chinese Exclusion Act WWII propaganda against the Japanese Yellow peril emerged in early silent cinema by problematizing Asianwhite interracial sexual relationships that threatened the structure of the white patriarchal family The quintessential representation of yellow peril emerged in the iconic gure of Dr Fu Manchu who was diabolical sinister and evil The US government and the American cinema had set a backlog of antiAsiatic imagery that would prove movable from one Asian group to another as international conditions changed Recent instances of yellow peril have been linked to questions about the labor force and commodity globalization eg danger of Chinesemade toys with lead paint Vincent Chin autoworker bludgeoned to death in the 19805 as gas prices were on the rise the US auto industry went into a serious slump just as the sale of inexpensive fuelef cient Japanese cars escalated Part of the reason yellow peril remains is because the dominant white society controls the means of representation Asians haven t been able to depict and represent themselves in the dominant mainstream US media and therefore have been depicted without much info knowledge or education about who they are Yellow peril imagery ends up subscribing to the notion that quotall Asians look alikequot 145ian Women in Film No joy No Luck fessca Hagedorn Deals with the portrayals of Asian women in lm Women as airheads subservient to men Asian paci c women have generally been perceived by Hollywood with a mixture of fascination fear and contempt quotOur intelligence is underestimated urban humanity overlooked and our diverse cultures treated as interchangeablequot joy Luck Club Decorative invisible or one dimensional Documentary Slaying the Dragon surveys representation of AsiansAsian Americans in lm It asks impact of these images on perceptions of Asian Americans Patterns of Representation 1 Con ation of Nationalities despite vast differences in Asian cultures 2 Eternal Foreigners 0 heavy accent broken English 0 odd behavior 3 Imagery supporting quotYellow Perilquot notion 4 Orientalist depictions o Orientalism the East constructed as opposite to the west 0 Primitive o Decadent dangerous 0 Sensual dangerous beauty 5 more positive roles often in yellowface performance happened in the past Asian representation how men and women are often portrayed Men Sexual predators Sessue Hayakawa The Cheat Emasculated characters 0 Manservants o Flamboyant villains eg Fu Manchu 0 Kung Fu masters Mr Miyagi Pat Morita and roles byJackie Chan and Jet Li Women Images historically t 1 of 2 types 0 Dragon Lady Beautiful but treacherous 0 Lotus Blossom Anything to please her man In need of rescue Model minority image Asians typically compared to unruly blacks or Latinos Fojas 19805 lmages evolving thru Asian American lmmaking Wayne Wang Chan is Missing 0 Ang Lee The Wedding Banquet 0 Ann Shin Western Eyes 0 Justin Lin Better Luck Tomorrow WEEK 10 MIXED RACE ROMANCEAUDIENCE NEGOTIATIONS quotMixed Race in Hollywood Film and Media Culture Beltran and Talks about multiracial actors and mixedrace romance 0 The term passing signifying an act of pretending to be of only European American ancestry when in fact of partial nonwhite descent hails from the historical context of the onedrop rule 0 Hollywood mixed race couples were typically not allowed a quothappily ever afterquot or depicted marrying or having children Moreover portrayals were often mitigated through casting a white actor to portray the nonwhite character ensuring that audiences were not viewing actual miscegenation The taboo against the portrayal of mixed race relationships began to shift with the waning of the Production Code in the 19505 and the overturning of the antimiscegenation laws in the US in 1967 0 Hybrid degeneracy racially mixed people were emotionally unstable irrational and biologically inferior to the quotpurequot races of their parents quotGuess Who s Coming to Dinner Harris amp Topin Presents opposing arguments into the lm s contribution to the topic of race Hards Kramer s movie softpedals the controversial issues associated with race relations leaving audiences with a weak excessively cautious commentary on bigotry that is ultimately dishonest about racial conditions in America 0 A typical Hollywood ending 0 Dr Prentice is presented as perfect and is asexualized which gives the lm a phony feeling Kramer privileges the issue of race and virtually excludes the issue of class 0 At no time in the movie do the two lovers contemplate living in a social setting in America where interracial romance and marriage are likely to excite strong public resistance 0 An evident timidity in the portrayal of intimacy between two lead characters who are supposedly deeply in love Toplin The lm was quite provocative in the social climate of the 19605 It constitutes a direct assault on the problem of prejudice Kramer manages to acknowledge the dif culties associated with interracial marriage yet deem it worthy of the audience s approval The timing was superb for the movie appeared shortly after the US Supreme Court abolished state laws banning marriages between races The decision to introduce Dr Prentice as the perfect gentleman is quite defendable By removing all of the potential objections to marriage on economic social and cultural bases the lmmakers require audiences to face the issue of color prejudice directly Offered audiences the rst kiss between black and white lovers in a modern Hollywood production The lm provides a valuable window for looking into that moment in American history when important social changes were in the making 2 levels at which ideology can be expressed surface structure when an ideology is part of the narrative o elbow room deep structure ideology not obvious in narrative 0 consider subtleties of story casting acting etc 3 types of media texts ideologically conservative 0 media texts that endorse defend maintain status quo ideologically progressive 0 critiques the system 0 protagonist may struggle against establishment eg Hollywood Shuf e ideologically incoherent 0 both progressive and conservative eg Crashand most Hollywood lms WEEK 11INTERSECTION WITH GENDER amp SEXUALITY quotGoden but not Bro wn Fernando Delgado lt centers on masculinity both in and out of the ring and how it is perceived by boxing fans and the print media with Oscar de la Hoya as a focal point 0 Dela Hoya ghts with a clinical and dispassionate style in the ring and a winning and decidedly sunny and engaging demeanor in public challenging the notions of Latino masculinity and identity 0 Media representations of sport naturalize hegemonic masculinity when they depict its features as conventional or acceptable In the US what is expected from our masculine sport heroes is that they be white and heterosexual One of the claims lodged against de la Hoya by many is that he has forgotten his cultural and class rootshe was expected to be more hombre and less papi chulo lye Anter One of the challenges that confront De La Hoya is the presumption that he is not Mexican enough It is presumed that Latino ghters will be aggressive direct and unrelenting in the ring Latino boxing narrative must include suffering and loss so that the manly characteristic of aguante can be revealed Oscar is barrio by birth country club by preference De La Hoya is a media gure who is described as a quotwell groomed marketing machinequot Wish Women on Television T00 jewish or Not Enough joyce Images ofJewish woman in TV have been rare Fran Drescher The Nanny an unexpected hit Portrayed stereotypically and negatively the Jewish God is vengeful the synagogue is a place for lavish and competitive display and prayer itself is merely a means for special pleading regarding dating and marriage Despite the nanny s warmth wit and honesty she remains the kind of coarse greedy and sel sh Jew that any antiSemite might envision Television does not know what to make ofJewish women In the absence of wellworn stereotypes depictions ofJewish women fade to gray Jewish women characters seldom demonstrate the full range of human characteristics that truly represent contemporary Jewish women s lives On the contrary Jewish male characters have been a xture of prime time in recent years perhaps because of the growing self con dence ofJews in top positions in the networks and production companies quotTV in Black and Ga y Alfred L Martin Examines constructions of blackness and gayness in Greek speci ca O lly of a character named Calvin Most TV representations of gay men is that they re usually white quotRace neutralquot characters showed a very constrained vision of blacks in white society that promoted the idea of assimilation not integration Whiteness is a valuable commodity in a fundamentally racist culture Its value is so compelling so complete that it reaches even the most intimate parts of our lives as sexual desiring and loving subjects Stuart Hall s 3 reading positions Dominant Full acceptance of the intended message 0 Reading Archie Bunker as a bigot Negotiated Accepting some parts of the message but rejecting others 3 Oppositional Rejecting the preferred message 0 Satire 0 Marginalized status increases the likelihood of oppositional reading How do we negotiate readings We forget moments we nd problematic and remember most pleasurable Perhaps thru focus on one character N Hegemonic negotiation Hegemony must constantly maintain itself Transcoding Take control of an existing representational pattern to give it a new meaning Transcoding strategies lntegrationist strategy in order to change a stereotype you need to make it good 0 Portrays marginalized group as just as good or better than dominant group eg Sydney Poitier Reversal negative stereotypes turned positive 0 The only problem is it might reinforce the stereotype Challenging Reductionism expanding diversifying representations 0 Expanding range of meanings regarding a representation to change what it can mean eg black is beautiful 0 May involve embracing what has been derided in the past Contesting form Within Attempts to make stereotypes work against themselves 0 Make us question underlying power dynamics 0 Using existing representations disassembling amp reworking them 4 Reasons why transcoding is difficult Not everything is transcoding Often doesn t work Most effective after political equality has been achieved There s always potential that there will be people who won t be able to read it differently Intersectionality Our experience of social relations and especially privilege and oppression not just by race but also in uenced by gender class sexuality etc Intersectionality describes how these elements of identity are inextricably linked contributing to systematic injustice and social inequality Gender norms Social ideals for femininity masculinity In US whiteness amp class status intersect with these ideals Hollywood picks up amp continues these ideals How ethnic representation is gendered idealized fampm long associated w whiteness non white fampm typed as outside ideals Racialized femininity Common with intersectionality repetition of stereotypes Racialized masculinity 0 Typically marginalized masculinites o eg Bruce Lee icon of Hong Kong Martial Arts lms never played a star role 0 Oscar de la Hoya 0 His masculinity viewed differently by different fans White ethnicity and lntersectionality quotWhiteness de ned in part through ethnic deviation from gender amp other normsquot eg Jewish female roles often based on longterm stereotypes 0 not ideally feminine marked Jewish women as less white Popular female Jewish stereotypes Abrasive Money grubbing Loud vulgar o Valuing status over other things What to make of selfstereotyping If presented with irony Can critique the stereotype Expose its lack of t for most people 0 Can mark borders of mainstream of an ethnic group by critiquing quotold fashionedquot group members Identity 0 A person s conception amp expression of their individuality or group af liations Our identity is EVERYTHING that makes us who we are Black Masculinity is Agressively heterosexual Exempli ed by drugs sexism excess Racialized social projections of black masculinity 0 Violent 0 Criminal 0 Sexual o Incompetent Hegemony and Intersectionality Hegemony ghts for the privilege of o The white over racially othered o The masculine over the feminine The heterosexual over the homosexual Circularity of power expectation that those who care about one type of oppression care about all types of oppression But someone who is marginalized can also marginalize o A white gay can be racist o A black woman can be sexist Axis of identity Gay black or black gay 0 Gay black man alliance with quotwhitequot gay politics 0 Black gay man blackness comes before his gayness quotrace neutralquot characters rose to prominence in 19905 TV WEEK 12THE HOLLYWOOD INDIAN quotThe White Man 5 Indian john E O Connor Refers to the Indian as represented by Hollywood II era The Hollywood Indian either an enemy or a friend was never an ordinary human being accepted on his own terms White men has always tended to generalize about Indians rather than discriminate among individual tribes Movies and TV continues to present images of Native Americans that speak more about the current interests of the dominant culture than they do about the Indians However over the last ten years a series of lm documentaries and docudramas especially those made for television have taken strides toward presenting the Indians more on their own terms but by and large the Hollywood product continues to present the white man s Indian quotNative Americans in a Revisionst Western Kasdan amp Tavernetti Deepens on Little Big Man and how it contributed to a more sensitive representation of Native Americans LBM reconsiders the impact of westward expansion on Native Americans In the early 19605 several major releases brought this more sympathetic view of Native Americans to mainstream audiences LBM was produced during the political and social turmoil of the era and re ected the consciousness of the movements of the time the social attitudes they generated and an overall reevaluation of America s morality and values In the movie Native American culture is presented more authentically than in many movie Westerns The moral emptiness of white American society is a primary theme of the lm developed narratively and visually through the motif of the massacre This motif explodes the myth that the westward expansion was entirely heroic and unsullied quotTheir Aim is True Native American Filmmakers look to de ne a new Beige LucianoAdams NAPT Native American Public Telecommunications became the rst Minority Consortia organization to receive a Corporation for Public Broadcasting grant The new generation of Native Americans will bene t from a solid infrastructure built by their predecessors However Native Americans are still marginalized by a system of representation in which they have a relatively small power share The roots of Native American lmmaking lie in documentary due to early support from the PBS system and Minority Consortia agencies like NAPT Also at the time Native lmmaking was really driven by issues and the documentary form really served that Lately there is a reported shift toward narrative lm Smoke Signals American Indians in the US Originally 700 tribes o 17 of population 2010 0 Poverty rate highest of all ethnic groups 0 291 of individuals compared to 159 of all Americans The Western and American Indians 0 Early 18005 quotIndian problemsquot debated in government 182018805 Time of quotindian warsquot manifest destiny propelled the wars 0 1830 Indian Removal Act 0 Post Civil War Birth of Cowboy o 18605 stereotyping in frontier literature stage shows 18805 detribalization policy quotkilling the Indian to save the manquot 0 1903 Great Train Robbery 1st Western Genre Criticism Analysis of media text in regard to 1 or both 0 Genre as quotsystem of conventionsquot Genre as myth Patterns of American Indian Representation 1 The Hollywood indian con ated tribes trapped in time 18251880 often played by nonIndian actors Othering of Native Cultures dehumanized roles cultures made to seem primitive strange ascribed with unprovoked violence amp cruelty ooNooo Evolution of the Westerns O Connor Fed by constraints on producers 0 Hard to present multiple POV s Need to emphasize con ict drama 0 No American Indian lobby Post WWII 0 Western problematized 19505ideological cracks begin to show 0 western heroism under question 1960519705 0 rise of American Indian Movement AIM o Rising proIndian sentiment among Americans eg Marlon Brando at Oscars Westerns appear in revisionist form 0 Common 0 Skewering formerly valorized gures 0 Critique of genocide LBM 0 Using this to comment on other injustices Vietnam 19805 some sympathetic lms 0 still from a white POV sti often traces of stereotypes dances with wolves Smoke Signals illustrated commercial possibilities for American Indian Filmmakers WEEK 13CULTURAL APPROPRIATION amp HYBRIDITY Cultural Hybridity Blending elements from different cultures based on regular contact between these cultures eg Spanglish Hybridity especially high in particular places quotcontact zonesquot in which culture coexists o Eg Roots of hip hop 0 A hybrid form combining African American and Latino oral traditions blues music worldview of urban youth 1979early 805 A very mixed scene in NYC 19805 expanded to west coast Mid 805 music more commercial Late 805 blacks identi ed with rap OOOO Cultural Appropriation taking cultural products of a less advantaged group for personal use and pleasure Cultural product anything people create or consume 0 Appropriation as an expression of privilege 0 Works in tandem with hegemonic incorporation 0 Take what we want leave the rest 0 Appropriation as imitationmockery 0 Type of quotcultural tourismquot White privilege knapsack of unlearned assets we bene t from each day but about which we are oblivious related to classAmerican privilege Among items in knapsack Our intellectual abilities not questioned just because of our race 0 We know we ll see our race re ected as heroes in the media 0 We know our ethnic group s history will be respected by national hoHdays Skin color used as model of esh color Question to ask to discern cultural appropriation What is being offered o Is the mainstream version seen as boring Does it the item reinforce stereotypes of other groups 0 What is the spirit in which we re consuming o Are we in a position of privilege in relation to other groups White consumption of nonwhite culture quoteating the otherquot Bell Hooks Nonwhite culture may be consumed to add spice to white culture but power dynamics don t change Representation of blackness in gangsta rap it reinforces old notions of blackness as criminal aggressive misogynist sexual potency whites don t possess Can reinforce quotblackophobiaquot WEEK 15FUTURE TRENDS quotWhat s at stake in claims of quotpostracial media Mary Beltran Talks about a seemingly postracial America 0 The term accompanied the entrance of the Obama term into the American lexicon Postracial refers to a future in which racial notions racialized hierarchies and the hegemony of whiteness are in fact unpended 0 We ve witnessed a growing number of nonwhite and mixed race stars a major catalyst of these shifts is a turn away from niche productions targeting African American or Latino audiences to media texts that aim instead to appeal to a broad multicultural audience 0 Important to take into consideration is the continuing and sometimes growing underrepresentation of creative professionals of color behind the screen quotpostracial has also been used to refer to shifts in the racial politics of lm and tv storylines including the expectation that audiences have become comfortable laughing at at least some presentations of racial stereotypes quotThe New Hollywood Raceessness Only the Fast Furious and Multiracial Will survive Mary Beltran Talks about the new Hollywood racelessness and how this trend re ects contemporary shifts in US ethnic demographics and ethnic identity while subtly reinforcing notions of white centrism that are the legacy of the urban action movie 0 The key to the survival of the protagonists in these quotmulticultiquot action narratives is their ability to thrive in environments de ned by cultural border crossings 0 With respect to ethnic demographics notions of a white majority also no longer t the country neatly Generation Y is America s most racially and ethnically diverse and least Caucasian generation Whiteness still strongly in uences The Fast and the Furious 0 Dom s Latina girlfriend also provides evidence of his ability to cross cultural borders and easily navigate and dominate in the diverse street scene The addition of team members who are unambiguously white contributes to Dom s group ultimately being associated with whiteness arguably easing their appeal for viewers weaned on traditional Hollywood racial paradigms The movie provides a whitecentrist perspective and notions of natural white superiority Perhaps most notably white characters are posited as dominant within a subculture in which they are often absent or marginal The fasle hierarchy constructed in the narrative goes unnoticed reinforcing traditional racial expectations While the young woman featured as extras are mostly Asian American and Latina many are tall and very thin approximating an Anglocentric standard of beauty Whites seldom seen but nevertheless dominate the narrative environment by pulling the strings Multiracial actors that pass
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