Media as a Part of Inequities and Domination

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Human society presents us with harsh realities about inequities and domination. In his paper in which the media is a party in the construction of such. It is argued well in Van Dijk (n.d.), who said: More generally and globally, the same prevalent prejudices produced or supported in the media are being used to create the collective states of mind that pitch Us in the modern and democratic West, against Them, who, after the demise of communism, are mostly associated with the well-known orientalist schema of a primitive, dictatorial, violent, and terrorist Islam, Arabs, or fundamentalism (Van Dijk T. The Mass Media Today: Discourse of Domination or Diversity? Discourses.org. N. D. P. 3).

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We can interpret these facts as having something to do with imperialism, its origin, and its new forms. One of the leading social theorists argues that while politically-independent nations, Asia, Latin America and Africa are in many ways still dominated and dependent as they were when ruled by the Western powers, such as the European conquerors of the past (Said E. Covering Islam: How the Media and the Experts Determine How We See the Rest of the World. New York. 1981. P 3.). Said noted that it is not profitable to blame the Europeans for the misfortunes of these contemporary nations. What is essential to do is to inspect at these matters as network of interdependent histories (Said E. Covering Islam: How the Media and the Experts Determine How We See the Rest of the World. New York. 1981. P 3.).

What all these insights are telling us is that the late 20th century mirrors this imperial cycle of the last century in some ways replicates itself. Apart from Edward Said, many theorists in the field of sociology have discussed the need to address issues of culture, domination, differentiation and categorization. Thus, it is best to start with Stuart Halls the West and the rest ideologies.

Stuart Halls The West and the Rest Ideologies

Stuart Hall is a cultural theorist who has been particularly influential in arguing about the construction of discourse that is partial to Western ideas, concepts, and ideas.

Hall argues that current Western discourses reflect the use of a binary of the West and the Rest which emphasizes the uniqueness of Western race and non-western attributes as inferior (Hall S. The West and the Rest: Discourse and Power. Cambridge, UK. 1995. P 2)

According to Hall, the persistence of such ideas continues to affect attempts at deconstructing the West as more sophisticated, complex and superior or the we, while the rest of human societies are inferior, weak, and violent or they. Hence, prior to studying the Hall outlines the following concepts about ideologies:

- they are not separate and distinct concepts. They express different concepts together into a set of meanings;

- they are not formed by individuals, individuals function within ideologies;

- ideologies work by allowing subjects positions of identification and knowledge, that help them to construct their thoughts within ideological frameworks.

Since the media produce culture, the tendency is that subjects are part of the dominant mode of ideological production. This provides an important impetus in which to study the production, reproduction and transformation of ideologies.

Hall was concerned with media power, including how it propagates social values.

He believes that the mass media are the ones that create and define the problems and issues of public concern and segregate society. Hall lambasted media portrayal of non-Whites, like the blacks immigrant, West Indians, Asians, Africans (Hall S. The West and the Rest: Discourse and Power. Cambridge, UK. 1995. P 2).

Consider for instance television. Hall critized how other races are racially stereotyped in spite of some liberal discussions by broadcasters. As in other forms of mass media, non-whites are always attached to some immigrant issue that they have to be involved in some crisis or drama to become visible actors to the media (Hall S. The West and the Rest: Discourse and Power. Cambridge, UK. 1995. P 2).

Two films were used to investigate our assumptions: Crash (2004) by the American director Paul Haggis and Serial (Bad) Weddings (2014) by French director Philippe de Chauveron.

The West and the Rest: Some core concepts

Western ideals are viewed as more progressive, more modern, more sophisticated.

The West is characterized as a superiorgroup toward which the blacks or oriental or simply the Rest must strive. Discourses about the "West and the rest and implicit Western superiority are being positioned highly when terms like third world countries, globalization, and modernization are brought up.

In Crash (2004), the interrelated narratives of diverse and multicultural characters that include whites, blacks, Latinos, Koreans, Persians, the powerful and powerless are portrayed. The central characters are mostly whites, lead by Jean Cabot (Sandra Bullock), the white wife of a district attorney, as if she is the orbit of why the whole narrative is told.

When she fell victim to the theft crimes of the two young black men, those who helped her are not blacks.

Her character a white female could place her above the rest of the characters as she is dominant from the other main non-Western characters. Supporting characters are mostly blacks, Lationos and Asians but they are all unified by the qualities often attributed to immigrants. Therefore, the categorization of all the other races and their social groups mirror the fact that the others whether Asian, Latinos, or Africans, as with the Persian family and domestic helpers (whom we assume are not whites) who both struggle as immigrants making a living in the American soil are reinforcement of the sense of we and they (DeFazio K. Crash and the ethnic within. The Red Critique. 2007. P. 1.).

Moreover, the immigrants institutionalization as the others have been dealt with in the film to show that the immigrant characters have accepted their being racially and culturally different, which in the process would later make it a part of their identities. The film relies on stereotypes of traditional Western people through the French couples as racist, which it used as a means for comedy. The acknowledgment of the rest or they come in the forms of:

- the Catholic French couples ambivalence toward their daughters marriage to white non-European men;

- during the family gathring, the couple could not resist keeping a lid on their racist sentiments;

- the mother, Marie, prepares three turkeys with each prepared according to the religious tradition of the men: one kosher, one halal, and one marinated in Chinese-style cooking.

Therefore signalling to the audience that the couple are the dominant figures which did not challenge the sterotype to assert it to their positive identity.

Conclusion

Social theorists and academes studying about power, inequities, and civilizations must take cognizant of the realities they portray, such as imperialism and its varied forms. Through films analyzed for this presentation, readers will have a grasp of the realities that the different forms of mass media, such as film, can reinforce the assumption that the West are dominant while the rest are dominated. In using the two films for this paper, students will realize why films are predominantly Western, such as: design, content, and language.

References List

Crash, (2004). [Film] Lions Gate Films.

DeFazio, K. (2007). Crash and the ethnic within. [Blog] The Red Critique.

Available at http://redcritique.org/WinterSpring2007/crashandtheethnicwithin.htm [Accessed 19 February 2016].

Hall, S. (1995). The West and the Rest: Discourse and Power. [pdf] Cambridge,

UK: Polity Press in association with the Open University. Available at

https://analepsis.files.wordpress.com/2013/08/hall-west-the-rest.pdf [Accessed 18 Feb 2016].

Mintzer, J. (2014). Serial (Bad) Weddings (Quest-ce quon a fait au Bon Dieu?):

Film Review. The Hollywood Reporter. Available at http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/review/serial-bad-weddings-qu-est-699426 [Accessed 28 February 2016].

Said, E.(1981). Covering Islam: How the Media and Experts Determine How

We See the Rest of the World. New York: Pantheon.

Serial (Bad) Weddings. Qu'est-ce qu'on a fait au Bon Dieu?. (2014). [film].

Van Dijk, T. (N.D.). The Mass Media Today: Discourse of Domination or

Diversity? [pdf] Discourses.org. Available at

http://www.discourses.org/OldArticles/The%20mass%20media%20today.pdf [4 Mar 2016].

Slide Title Slide Description

Cover The Reinforcement of the West and the Rest in Paul Haggis Crash (2004) and Philippe de Chauverons Qu'est-ce qu'on a fait au Bon Dieu? (2015)

Overview Human society presents us with harsh realities about inequities and domination. In his paper in which the media is a party in the construction of such.

More generally and globally, the same prevalent prejudices produced or supported in the media are being used to create the collective states of mind that pitch Us in the modern and democratic West, against Them, who, after the demise of communism, are mostly associated with the well-known orientalist schema of a primitive, dictatorial, violent, and terrorist Islam, Arabs, or fundamentalism (Van Dijk T. The Mass Media Today: Discourse of Domination or Diversity? Discourses.org. N. D. P. 3).

We can interpret these facts as having something to do with imperialism, its origin, and its new forms. One of the leading social theorists argues that while politically-independent nations, Asia, Latin America and Africa are in many ways still dominated and dependent as they were when ruled by the Western powers, such as the European conquerors of the past (Said E. Covering Islam: How the Media and the Experts Determine How We See the Rest of the World. New York. 1981. P 3.).

Said further noted that it is not profitable to blame the Europeans for the misfortunes of these contemporary nations. What is essential to do is to inspect at these matters as network of interdependent histories (Said E. Covering Islam: How the Media and the Experts Determine How We See the Rest of the World. New York. 1981. P 3.).

What all these insights are telling us is that the late 20th century mirrors this imperial cycle of the last century in some ways replicates itself. Apart from Edward Said, many theorists in the field of sociology have discussed the need to address issues of culture, domination, differentiation and categorization. Thus, it is best to start with Stuart Halls the West and the rest ideologies.

Introduction Stuart Hall is a cultural theorist who has been particularly influential in arguing about the construction of discourse that is partial to Western ideas, concepts, and ideas.

Current Western discourses reflect the use of a binary of the West and the Rest which emphasizes the uniqueness of Western race and non-western attributes as inferior. (Hall S. The West and the Rest: Discourse and Power. Cambridge, UK. 1995. P 2)

According to Hall, the persistence of such ideas continues to affect attempts at deconstructing the West as more sophisticated, complex and superior or the we, while the rest of human societies are inferior, weak, and violent or they. Hence, prior to studying the Hall outlines the following concepts about ideologies (Hall S. The West and the Rest: Discourse and Power. Cambridge, UK. 1995. P 2).

What are needed in studying ideologies

Prior to studying the Hall outlines the following concepts about ideologies (Hall S. The West and the Rest: Discourse and Power. Cambridge, UK. 1995. P 2).

They are not separate and distinct concepts. They express different concepts together into a set of...

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