United States Of America

America on Film: Representing Race, Class, Gender, and by Harry M. Benshoff, Sean Griffin

By Harry M. Benshoff, Sean Griffin

America on movie: Representing Race, type, Gender, and Sexuality within the video clips, second Edition is a full of life creation to problems with variety as represented in the American cinema.

• offers a accomplished evaluation of the commercial, socio-cultural, and aesthetic components that give a contribution to cinematic representations of race, category, gender, and sexuality
• comprises over a hundred illustrations, word list of key phrases, questions for dialogue, and lists for extra reading/viewing
• comprises new case stories of a few movies, together with Crash, Brokeback Mountain, and Quinceañera

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Extra info for America on Film: Representing Race, Class, Gender, and Sexuality at the Movies

Sample text

Primarily, it is suited for a class on media culture and diversity issues, although we have also used it as a supplemental text in basic “Introduction to Film Studies” and “American Film History” classes. The book could also be used for courses in twentieth-century American history, cultural and American studies, and courses devoted to specific topics surrounding race, class, gender, sexuality, and/or ability. In addition, courses in the sociology and/or psychology of human difference may also find the book useful.

This definition of culture includes the so-called low art of popular music, comic books, paperback novels, movies, and television – forms of culture that interact with far more people than do those found only in museums or opera houses. Even language itself shapes and is shaped by culture, and thus conveys ideological meanings. For example, the Euro-American cultural tradition that associates “white” with goodness and “black” with evil cannot help but influence how we think about race, which we often define in the same terms.

Almost invariably, such categorization of various identity types becomes a type of “shorthand” for describing people – a working-class Latino, a black deaf senior citizen, a Southern middle-class gay man. Quite often, this shorthand is accompanied by assumed traits that people belonging to a certain category supposedly have in common: that women are more emotional than rational, that gay men lisp, that African Americans are good dancers. When such oversimplified and overgeneralized assumptions become standardized – in speech, in movies, on TV – they become stereotypes.

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