Educating the American Popular

Suburban resentment and the representation of the inner city in contemporary film and television

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Drawing on the theories of identity formation in the writings of C. L. R. James (1978, 1993) and Friedrich Nietzsche (1967), Cameron McCarthy argues that contemporary film and television play a critical role in the production, coordination and channelling of suburban resentment and retributive morality onto their central target: the depressed inner city. McCarthy also looks at the discursive impact of resentment on the sense of capacity and agency among black school youth at a comprehensive high school ("Liberty High") in Los Angeles. For this segment of the essay, he draws on ethnographic data collected at this Los Angeles high school some 6 months before the videotaped images of LAPD's police beating of Rodney King reverberated around the world. These developments deeply inform race relations in late-century American society. McCarthy ultimately contends that these race relations are conducted in the field of simulation as before a putative public court of appeal (Baudrillard, 1983).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)31-47
Number of pages17
JournalRace Ethnicity and Education
Volume1
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 1 1998

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television
television play
school
identity formation
morality
appeal
police
simulation
Society

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Demography
  • Cultural Studies
  • Education

Cite this

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