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Racial Perspectives

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Dustin Kidd

on 12 September 2017

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Transcript of Racial Perspectives


Questions to Ponder
1. What musical acts today are using music to address racial politics?
2. Who are the leaders in American pop culture and how many of them are Black? Asian? Native American? Hispanic?
3. Identify the major Hispanic TV directors? Key Black women in film? Native Americans in music? Asian and Asian Americans in literature?
Lecture Overview
The story of racial politics in music
Theories of race from WEB Du Bois, Michael Omi and Howard Winant
Race and the cultural diamond: social world, content, production, audience
Three methods: Cultural efficacy, labor force analysis, audience ethnography
Keywords: Double consciousness, representation, race, racial formation, racial project, hegemony, gatekeepers, audiencing, positivist
Classical Theory
Contemporary Theory
From "The Revolution will not be Televised"...
... to Many Moons.
William Edward Burghardt Du Bois, USA

Selected Works
The Philadelphia Negro, 1899
The Souls of Black Folk, 1903
Editor of the Crisis, 1910-1934
Black Reconstruction in America, 1935
One ever feels his two-ness,—an American, a Negro; two souls, two thoughts, two unreconciled strivings; two warring ideals in one dark body, whose dogged strength alone keeps it from being torn asunder. The history of the American Negro is the history of this strife—this longing to attain self-conscious manhood, to merge his double self into a better and truer self. (Du Bois 1903, 3–4)
Michael Omi (UC Berkeley) and Howard Winant (UC Santa Barbara)
From Pescosolido et al. Highlights the important role of Gatekeepers.
Michael Schudson 1989. "How Culture Works."
Turner and Cooper 2006
Cultural Efficacy: A method for studying the power of cultural objects to understand what they do and why some work better than others.
Labor Force Analysis:
A method for studying the demographics and experiences of those who produce goods, including cultural objects.
Whites are overrepresented on TV and in film. They are underrepresented in music.
Blacks are underrepresented and misrepresented on TV and film. They are overrepresented in music, which has a long history of profiting from Black culture.
Hispanics are the most underrepresented group (as compared to their social world population size) and they are misrepresented.
Asians, a relatively small minority group in the US, are represented at numbers comparable to their population size, but often misrepresented.
Native Americans are almost completely invisible in American popular culture.
Onscreen numbers are much higher than offscreen (behind the scenes) numbers. All indications are that cultural production is heavily white dominated, even more than many other fields.
Audience data indicates that minority audiences are very invested in cultural consumption, despite being underrepresented in what they are consuming.
Audience data also indicates that race is one factor that shapes interpretation.
How do we increase minority representation?
How do we recruit more racial minorities into cultural production?
How else could race influence audience interpretation?
Can cultural objects be tools for addressing racial injustice and reducing racism?
How should we react to cultural objects that appear to be racist?
: "A concept that signifies and symbolizes sociopolitical conflicts and interests in reference to different types of human bodies." (Howard Winant)

Racial Formation
: "the sociohistorical process by which racial categories are created, inhabited, transformed, and destroyed." (Omi & Winant)

Racial Project
: A process "in which human bodies and social structures are represented and organized." (Omi & Winant)
: Cultural professionals who assess and curate cultural objects. Examples include book critics, awards programs, and television reviewers.
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