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Do Stereotypes Change Over Time? Using the Gangster Genre as an Example.

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Introduction

Do Stereotypes Change Over Time? Using the Gangster Genre as an Example Whether it is possible to define a stereotype is one thing, but to define the change of a stereotype is something completely different. This is not because it is difficult to distinguish a change from the original, but because stereotypes are constantly changing, and differ from genre-to-genre, alongside the social, political, economic and cultural changes of the era. To pinpoint an exact change in a precise stereotype is not very easy to do. However, it does happen, and roles and characters have been created in the last 30 years which have altered the stereotypes and representations originally made from the black and white cinematography of the 1920s to the 1950s. Due to hybridisation, and the social, political, cultural, and economic situation of the era, the traditional stereotypes may not be changed, but divided into sub-stereotypes, which, depending on One's opinion, could be classified as a new sterotype. ...read more.

Middle

"Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels" is a good example of the British Gangster. The Londoner, Cockney being a stereotyped person to be a gangster, probably brought about by Dave Courtney, the gangster himself immortalised (like Al Capone) for being a gangster. The stereotype is all in keep with the social changes of a bustling merchandised city, London. Sawn-off shotguns are seen as an effective weapon for their capacity to spread shot over a wide area (this is a relevant point I will soon get to) rather than aesthetic purpose. The suits are trendy enough to make the men look intimidating like a club doorman, but cool and collected like a businessman (which they are). The fast cars show that the men are wealthy, and the warehouses for "sorting people out" draw their illegal actions away from the attention of police and public alike, not liking their operations to be known. And my final example of the gangster is the Black Gangster. ...read more.

Conclusion

that can be used to depict which gang one belongs to: "my posse is bigger, better and has bigger guns than yours." Finally on the list of generic conventions of the stereotypes, is the body-kit car. The definition of a body-kit car is a car small car (Ford, Citroen, VW Golf), which was second hand, and very cheap to buy, when fitted with a fibreglass body to make it look like a sports car, a ridiculous stereo (usually costing no less than double the value of the original car), with very loud bass, tinted windows (to hide one's identity) and usually seen illegal street-racing. All part of the testosterone culture of the Black gangland. There are some lesser-known stereotypes for the gangster, such as the Chinese Yakuza, or Mexican, Russian or Italian mafia, however, these are the different sub-stereotypes brought about under the one stereotype of gangster. Therefore, I believe that it is subjective whether or not a stereotype has changed, but whether or not the stereotypes have just spawned siblings over the decades and cultures. ...read more.

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