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Black Female Identity In Contemporary Media Culture - Book Report/Review Example

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The aim of this essay is to provide a discursive analysis on the construction of identity as an example of a specific cultural site. I have chosen to look at the identity construction of one of the female big brother contestants using an article in Pride magazine titled 'Mel the miss understood' (Gorham, 2000) as a case study and also 'dooyoo' internet site review page…
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Black Female Identity In Contemporary Media Culture
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Download file to see previous pages 'Mel' has she affectionately became known was placed into the role of the stereotypical wanton, promiscuous seductress black female, Pride (2000, p.62).
This essay will mainly be concerned both Melanie Hill and the author and interviewer of the 'Mel the miss-understood' article which was published in Pride magazine in November 2000 . Patricia Hill Collins (1990, p.68) states that they [the media] are in a position as elite white men to manipulate and appropriate symbols by exploiting already existing symbols concerning black women. Pride magazine is primarily for an audience of black (African/Caribbean) women. Through providing a discursive analysis of the construction of identity, this essay will also explore how the author of the article in Pride magazine reproduced the exercise of power over Melanie Hill's identity construction.. van Dijk (1997, p.165) argues that discourse plays a essential role in the enactment as well as the reproduction of the system of racism. van Dijk also contends that analysis of such discourse exposes the communication practices of dominant groups in multicultural societies as well as strategically showing how these beliefs are acquired, expressed and distributed throughout the dominant group as part of managing interaction and reproducing elite power.


The historical 'sexy babe'

Barbara Bush (1990, pp. 114-116) contends that the sexual exploitation of black women in slave society was and still is highly controversial, Bush asserts that white men in the Jamaican colony were 'infatuated particularly with lighter-skinned slave women, these women were accused of being scheming and mercenary, in the French Caribbean slave women were similarly accused of seducing white men.

Sander Gilman (1985, p.83) informs us that it was the French naturalist Buffon who accredited black women with a lascivious apelike sexual appetite, the black female as a result came to serve as the an symbol for black sexuality in general. The ethnocentric 19th century defined white women as primary sexual being and white men iconic representations of the white race. A way was found to justify the white males sexual appetite and fascination of the black female body by stating that the black female was regressive and nearer to the animal kingdom then human beings. Concentration on key sexual characteristics of the genitals launched the study of Sahrah Baartman who became known as the 'Holtentot Apron' simply her genitals knew her and was her existence. She came to represent the fine dividing line between white women and the primitive black women. Consequently black women become the symbol of regressive sexuality and promiscuity in the 19th centaury, Ching-Liang Low (1996, p.23).


Marry Douglas (1966) cited by Woodward (1997, p.33) presents the argument that;

'Ideas about separating, purifying, demarcatinghave as their main function to impose on an inherently untidy experienceit is only by exaggerating the difference between, within and without, above and below male and ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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