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Lecture 7

Lecture 7: Race as Signifier; Representation and Race; Race and Gender as Interlocking Systems

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Vanina Sztainbok

SOCB53 – Lecture 7 (Feb. 26) Key Questions  How is a specific racial or ethnic group framed?  Are some types of portrayals more dominant?  How is the portrayal connected to power (need to think about structures, institutions, economics)?  Who is portrayed as complex, diverse, unremarkable?  Who is portrayed as belonging/not belonging? Reel Injun: On the Trail of the Hollywood Indian (film)  How are Indigenous people represented by Hollywood? o Uncivilized/Savage  More a part of nature than being human o Dangerous o Noble Indian/Savage  A romantic idea  Problematic because it’s portrayed as something innate.  A stereotype that not many people will fit, and therefore they aren’t considered a “true indigenous person” o Magical or mythical  Primitive/Childlike o Lack of specificity  Example: their clothing. o “Vanishing Indian”  Someone who doesn’t exist anymore  Dangerous because they are still here, and it dehistoricizes them.  What radicalizing discourses can you identify? o Fear o Wanted to be them Race as Signifier: “The Proposal” (film)  What roles do ideas about “Indianness” play here? o Close to nature, spiritual, supernatural, primitive, exotic, lack of specificity, and implies an absence  Why do you think the director/writer made this choice? Critical Question  Does the media cause racism? o Don’t necessarily cause it, but we can ask:  How are media representations implicated in maintaining or resisting dominant racial discources and hierarchies?  Can some representations be ambivalent?  Do representations cause racism? Representation and Race  We need to
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