A New Form of Representation or Depictions as Usual?
Chapter 10. Why Are Viewers Calling for Boycotts?
WHY ARE VIEWERS CALLING FOR BOYCOTTS?
Qualitative researchers often look for dominant themes that emerge from the analysis of data (Lucas & D’Enbeau, 2013). Using a qualitative perspective, we discussed dominant themes in the presentation of Black women in docusoaps and the various ways that viewers could interpret those presentations. Qualitative research often provides rich, thick description of the phenomenon under investigation. So when dominant themes emerge, they are revealing because of the repetition they present. In the preceding chapters, we have established that in totality, the images of Black women in reality television docusoaps are more positive than negative. Conflict was present in many instances, which has the potential to reinforce the Angry Black Woman stereotype. As mentioned earlier, this is troubling as it is an image that continues to find its way in media representations of Black women. But, many of the images found within the docusoaps were presented in a flattering light (e.g., professional women, working mothers). There are also some images that may result in multiple readings, depending on the audience. For example, the women’s sexuality could be viewed as natural expression or hypersexuality. Yet, the balance of these images and the possibility for different interpretations is steps away from a stereotypical cast of one-dimensional Black female characters. ← 111 | 112 →
In this chapter, however, we turn the tables a bit. We have already highlighted the dominant themes. We must now acknowledge some aspects of these docusoaps that were not...
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