Visuality, Postcoloniality, Ethnicity, Sexuality
Chapter Two. Gender, Race, Ethnicity and Visual Culture
The connections between mass-mediated forms of popular culture, such as film or pop music, and matters that could be called political are often difficult to discern. This is so even though they can be said to be overwhelmingly visual matters. More specifically, they are matters of representation, and more precisely still, matters of representation that are ineradicably wedded to particular types of media technology. To elucidate these propositions, this chapter first shows some of the ways in which cinema and film in general can be shown to be significant cultural technologies, and some of the ways in which they have complex effects on culture and identity. It then goes on to analyse two music videos in terms of what they could be said to show us about gender, sexuality, race and ethnicity in the contemporary media-saturated world. It is strongly informed by Rey Chow’s work, and is designed to elucidate Rey Chow’s arguments in this regard.
To begin, let us note: more and more of the world could be said to be media-saturated. However, we might also note: “media saturation” is not a particularly new thing. There have long been media. It is rather that the types of media that are dominant in different times and places change. The 19th century was arguably the century of the dominance of literature and of the British Empire. Literature was the dominant cultural form; Britain the dominant national force. To the extent that this is the case, it can also be...
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