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A close textual analysis of the representation of race in a recent fictional film or fictional television programme (produced within the last three years). Remember that the media example doesnt have to obviously explore the representation of race as - Essay Example

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The recent airing of “Citizen Khan” led to complaints by South Asian Muslims living in Great Britain (Lawson, 2012) (BBC, 2012). The proposed case study looks into the representation of race in “Citizen…
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A close textual analysis of the representation of race in a recent fictional film or fictional television programme (produced within the last three years). Remember that the media example doesnt have to obviously explore the representation of race as
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Introduction and Background Race has been a source of active contention in fictional works. The recent airing of “Citizen Khan” led to complaints by South Asian Muslims living in Great Britain (Lawson, 2012) (BBC, 2012). The proposed case study looks into the representation of race in “Citizen Khan” which led to complaints of both racism and the shown being unfunny (Akbar, 2012). On the other end of the spectrum are people who believe that the show provided an accurate portrayal of South Asian Muslim immigrants and their failed attempts to assimilate into mainstream culture (Khan, 2012). It needs to be examined how the representation of South Asian Muslims in general and Pakistani Muslims in Great Britain in particular has elicited such varied responses from various circles. The topic and case study were analysed using a critical framework based on race relationships.
Critical Framework
The critical framework used for the analysis is the Critical Race Theory (CRT) that expands on the junction of power, legality and race in a society and culture. This framework expounds that groups with more power than others have been able to assert themselves onto other groups in a multicultural society with ease. The confluence of power and racist ideas gives rise to legality and justification for the acts of more powerful groups against other weaker cultural groups in a multicultural society. CRT has typically revolved around the white supremacy notion that whites are able to dominate other races using their advancement (Brewer, 2005). In the case of “Citizen Khan”, the use of state television in the form of BBC One can be seen as an act of white supremacy against Pakistani Muslims. It also needs to be kept in mind that Pakistani Muslims have already been ridiculed for their speculated connection to terrorist outfits that operate inside Pakistan.
CRT provides that television shows such as “Citizen Khan” are created on purpose to subjugate certain races in multicultural societies (Dixson & Rousseau, 2006). However, when the subject show is analysed in detail, it becomes clear that the cast and producer for the show are indigenous British Muslims with roots in South Asia (Khan, 2012). There is little “white supremacy” involvement in the show’s composition and direction which are settled by an overwhelmingly South Asian team. CRT fails to explain how or why white supremacists would hijack such productions to benefit themselves. Moreover, CRT cannot explain how South Asian Muslims could have been manipulated by white supremacists to further the ideas of white superiority. Overall, CRT or its offshoots tend to view such racial representations highly negatively even if such premise is not present.
Possible Discussion Areas
It still needs to be seen why South Asian Muslims seem offended by a television show that has gained acceptance in their own rank and file. The reaction of South Asian Muslims to “Citizen Khan” is extremely uncalled for given the light comedy used and the avoidance of religious themes and undertones.
Akbar, A., 2012. Last nights viewing - Citizen Khan, BBC1 Hunderby, Sky Atlantic. [Online] Available at: [Accessed 12 March 2013].
BBC, 2012. Sitcom Citizen Khan prompts 185 complaints to the BBC. [Online] Available at: [Accessed 12 March 2013].
Brewer, M., 2005. Staging Whiteness. Wesleyan University Press.
Dixson, A.D. & Rousseau, C.K., 2006. Critical Race Theory in Education: All Gods Children Got a Song. New York: Routledge.
Khan, S., 2012. Offensive? Racist? No, just funny - and oh so true! [Online] Available at: [Accessed 12 March 2013].
Lawson, M., 2012. Citizen Khan: who was offended by it, and why? [Online] Available at: [Accessed 12 March 2013]. Read More
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