Races, Racism and Popular Culture
The currency of contemporary racisms cannot be fully comprehended without understanding their relationship to the various cultural mechanisms that enable their expression. Yet there is surprisingly little analysis of how race and cultural difference are represented in popular culture. Although some research has been done on the role of the media in shaping our images of race, there has been relatively little discussion of the other complex forms in which popular culture has helped to produce much of the racial imagery with which we are familiar today. This is why in this chapter we want to shift focus somewhat and explore the following two issues: how is racism made popular? What kind of technical infrastructure exists which transmits racist ideas and what are its origins? With these key questions in mind we want to look at how conceptions of race have been shaped by popular cultural forms. The key aim is to examine the ways in which racism intersects with the meanings, images and texts that furnish the banal aspects of everyday life.
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