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Please produce a textual analysis that compares three images of ‘whiteness’

1. As far as I would understand it, this brief focuses on images of "whiteness" in the media. This does not necessarily mean images of whiteness that are stereotyped, or obvious, or indeed racist, but the images of white people that we as both viewers and readers are bombarded with every day. This is what is referred to as "dominant discourse." In other words the most dominant images the audience has of a white person. It is my understanding that even though the texts are referred to in a text format, they do not need to be written, as some of the strongest images of white people come from television and film. My study will cover the three images across books, film and television.

  • EastEnders (BBC): Long running television soap opera
  • American History X (1998: Kay)
  • The Black Dahlia (Ellroy: 1998: Warner Books)

I have selected three different types of media because different formats can get away with different storylines. For example, it is unlikely that a TV soap that airs four nights a week would be as popular if the main character was a white supremacist, like the one who features heavily in American History X. My study will discuss the main aspects of whiteness in all of these examples, starting with EastEnders.

Key Quotations and References

This section will reference the author to illustrate the fact that he wants the character's racism to be "casual." It will also check statistics to ensure that the reader knows that even thought this racism is accepted, it is still set in America nearly 100 years after slavery was abolished. It will also give weight to the argument that the main character sees himself as a good person, and in the role of police officer, is making the streets a better place, a factor that forms part of his "heroic" discourse.

  • "White People see themselves as 'not racist' and 'as good people' while enforcing black derogatory stereotypes.'" (2001: 187: Feagin)
  • "Blaming African-Americans for their own poverty has been a characteristic white opinion for decades." (2001:189: Feagin)

I will conclude that the three images are all dominant types of discourse, but that the one in EastEnders doesn't exist, the one in American History X makes the strong subject look like a victim and The Black Dahlia character is only seen as a white hero because he can get away with treating other ethnic groups with casual violence.

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