Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Woogie Boogie

In "The Whites of Their Eyes…," Hall refers to ideology as: "images, concepts, and premises which provide the frameworks through which we represent, interpret, understand, and "make sense" of some aspect of social existence." Every individual has his or her own ideologies, however, they're all linked--one's ideologies interact with each other. Further, they're most effective when we're unaware of their interaction, as they "produce representations of the social world." A cable news network like Fox News includes a high percentage of conservative / pro-Republican stories, because it comes naturally to them--that's just following in the ideologies of everyone at the station. This ties into inferential racism, where "racist statements [are] formulated without ever bringing into awareness the racist predicates on which the statements are grounded." Few people (especially in our community) would openly admit to being racist, but it's also much easier to say that when you're the dominant race--everyone carries beliefs and biases about race. While everyone might not truly be racist, they certainly are racialist, and take it into consideration (even subconsciously).

Hegemony, where these ideologies are taken into account, and used to give a group dominance over another, can frequently be used in mass media. This may be in commercials or television shows, but hegemony frequently permeates the news as well. Investigative journalism shows like 60 Minutes and Dateline carry legitimacy, but also certainly suffer from bias, and occasionally, hegemony. Writers only want to deal with certain issues, and reporters of a certain race or gender are used to illicit different responses from the subjects (and audience).

In the early days of Chappelle's Show, Dave Chappelle produced a BRILLIANT look at race through the eyes of investigative journalism. This segment features Dave as a successful white supremacist author--the catch being that he's blind, and totally unaware of the fact that he's black.

Unfortunately, embedding has been disabled on this clip, but it can be seen at the following link:

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