The Portrayal Of Black Culture On American Television Essay

1980 WordsNov 29, 20168 Pages
Paying select attention to signs and images produced and presented by television media, this essay will analyze the portrayal of Black culture on American television and how it has been constructed based on the system of representation controlled and influenced by White ideologies of the “Other”. The 1980’s sitcom “The Cosby Show” will be referenced in representing the evolution of Black representation and the effect it had on audience’s interpretation of race and class structure. Representation and What it means According to Stuart Hall, representation means “using language to say something meaningful or to represent the world to other people” (1997, p. 15). Representations are essential parts in producing and exchanging meanings between people of certain cultures. These meanings depend on a system of concepts that shape and form the world around us based off of agreed understandings of images and words held by a community of people. Because we interpret the world in similar ways, people are able to build a shared culture of meanings that construct a social world. With representation, constructionists argue we use signs, organized into languages of different kinds, to communicate with others (O 'Shaughnessy & Stadler , 2012, p. 406). Languages can use signs to symbolize, stand for or reference objects, people and events within reality (Hall, 1997, p. 25). Meanings are constructed through signifying practices (O 'Shaughnessy & Stadler , 2012, p. 406), but we cannot

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