Living with anxiety

Race and the renarration of white identity in contemporary popular culture and public life

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

In this article, Cameron McCarthy takes us to the terrain of the new dynamics taking place in the U.S. racial order at the end of the century. These developments are powerfully articulated in the aggravated representation of racial identities in popular discourses. Specifically, McCarthy alerts us to the new ideological configurations in our popular culture and civic life that foreground the dangerous expansion of identity politics into the white suburbs and the triumphant prosecution of middle-class morality in the discourses of popular culture and public policy. McCarthy describes a broad pattern of racial instability, racial recoding, and racial incorporation taking place in American society as we enter the twenty-first century. Drawing on the theories of identity formation in the writings of C.L.R. James and Friedrich Nietzsche, McCarthy argues that the contemporary electronic media - particularly, film and television - play a critical role in the production, coordination, and channeling of suburban resentment and retributive morality onto their central target: the depressed inner city.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)354-364
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Communication Inquiry
Volume22
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 1998

Fingerprint

popular culture
Television
morality
television play
anxiety
electronic media
discourse
identity formation
prosecution
suburb
twenty-first century
middle class
public policy
politics
Anxiety
Popular Culture
Public Life
Society
Discourse
Morality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • Communication
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)

Cite this

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