• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Critically examine whether media coverage of immigration and national identity creates political and ideological controversy.

Extracts from this document...


Race, Culture and Identity Critically examine whether media coverage of immigration and national identity creates political and ideological controversy. Discuss using examples to illustrate your answer. Introduction Over the past 60 years the issue of immigration and the impact on the national identity has been a subject of great public interest. In this paper I will be examining the political and ideological controversies caused by immigration, if immigration has changed the national identity and if the mass media has fairly or unfairly depicted immigrants. In particular if stereotyped portrayal of immigrants reflects actual differences, or unfair prejudice. Arguments for both views will be explored. I will begin by discussing the Theory of racism, political discourses, construction of ideologies and national identities, ending with the media portrayal of immigration and immigrants Racism A number of studies carried out in different, and even opposed theoretical/methodological perspective's together with the experience of ethnic minorities with obvious or faint forms of racial discrimination and prejudice have concluded that western societies are racist (Essed, 1987). Dijk (1991) describes racism as "a multifaceted societal structure where European's dominate people of other origins. This relation of dominance takes various forms of social, cultural, economic political hegemony, legitimated in terms of, usually negatively valued, different characteristics attributed to the dominated people." The major characteristic selected for categorization has been the differences of bodily appearance. This developed into categorization during the eighteenth century about different 'races' that were supported by pseudo-scientific arguments concluded that the 'white race' was superior to other races. This ideology of superiority was used to legitimise exploitation and oppression to extermination of non Europeans (Miles, 1989). Scientist have proven that there are no 'races', such 'races' cannot have inherent social-cultural or moral characteristics, the notion of 'racism' can be misguided, this would, for example, precisely presuppose the notion of 'race' (Banton, 1977). Racism is denounced and denied as a political or rhetorical term but not as a theoretical concept (Essed, 1987). ...read more.


Such statements were common and helped to push back the questions about integration of minorities onto to the agenda. Furthermore, this aided those who questioned the viability of an ethnically plural society. The Rushdie affair is seen as the precursor of a series of controversies that shaped ideas on race and ethnic relations (Bhatt, 1997). New Labour New Labour debated the issue of what it means to be British, and started to define a new sense of patriotism at the same time linking national identity to the ever growing multicultural society. One example of trying to make this link was by Robin Cook: 'Chicken tikka masala is now Britain's true national dish because it is a perfect illustration of the way Britain absorbs and adapts external influences' (Evening Standard, 19 April 2001). This was an attempt to popularise the idea that the national identity is able to assimilate other cultures. Following the 2001 riots, attacks on 9/11 and 7/7, there was a shift in political language on race relations and immigration. With the perpetrators of the London Bombings, themselves born in England of immigrant families, the issue of integration continued to hit the headlines. David Blunkett introduced strict immigration controls while arguing in favour of multiculturalism. In 2005 the 'life in the UK test' was implemented whilst completely ignoring the link between Norman Tebbit's Cricket test. Mathew Taylor argued that policies relating to multiculturalism were constructing a 'consenting apartheid', this was a reference to areas where there was little or no contact between minorities and majorities (Guardian, 4 December 2001). Media Hartmann (1974) argues, historically the media perpetuate negative perceptions of immigrants, and define the situation as one inter group conflict, heavily imbued with the significance of colour, that leads to an active collusion with racist definitions. Definitions of newsworthy events are determined by powerful professional, organizational routines, and social ideologies (Gans, 1979). During the 1980's, several cities in the UK with a predominantly immigrant population experienced civil unrest. ...read more.


Liberation and Purity, Race, New Religious Movements and the Ethnics of Post modernity, London, UCL Press Carter, B. Harris, C. Joshi. S (1987) The 1951-55 Conservative Government and the Racialisation of Black Immigration, Policy Papers in Ethnic Relations No. 11, University of Warwick Colls, R. Dodds, P (1986) Englishness, Politics and Culture, 1880-1920, London, Croom Helm Dijk, T (1991) Racism and The Press, P 24, Routledge, London Dodd, P (1995) The Battle over Britain, London, Demos Essed, P.J.M (1987) Academic racism, Common sense in the social sciences, University of Amsterdam, Centre for ethnic studies, CRES publication, No 5 Foot, P (1972) (1965) Immigration and Race in British Politics, Harmondsworth, Penguin Freedman, J (2002) Media Violence and its effect on Aggression, Assessing the Scientific Evidence, Toronto, University of Toronto Press Gans, H (1979) Deciding what's news, New York, Pantheon books Hartmann, P. Husband, C (1974) Racism and the Mass Media, London, Davis Poynter Hollingsworth, M (1986) The Press and Political Dissent, London, Pluto Press James, W. Harris, C (1993) Inside Babylon, The Caribbean Diaspora in Britain, London, Verso Kay. D. Miles, R (1992) Refugees or Migrant Workers? The Recruitment of Displaced Persons for British Industry, London, Routledge Malik, K (1996) The Meaning of Race, Race History and Culture in Western Society, Basingstoke, Macmillian Miles, R (1989) Racism, London, Routledge Modood, T. Beishon, S. Virdee, S (1994) Changing Ethnic Identities, London, Policy Studies Institute Mullard, C (1986) Pluralism, Ethnicism and Ideology, Implications for a Transformative pedagogy, University of Amsterdam, Centre for Race and Ethnic Studies, CRES Publication Series, Paper No2 Miles, 1984 Omi, M. Winnat, H (1986) Racial formation in the United States, From the 1960's to the 1980's, New York and London, Routledge Critcher, C. Parker, M. Sondhi, R (1977) Race in the provisional press, A case study of west midlands papers, in UNESCO, Ethnicity in the media, Paris, Unesco Palmer, F (1986) Anti Racism, An Assault on Education and Value, London, The Sherwood Press Powell, E (1972) Still to Decide, London, Batsford Sivanadan, A (1982) A Different Hunger, London, Pluto ?? ?? ?? ?? Abdus Samad 2902767 Race, Culture and Identity 1 ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our University Degree Social Theory section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related University Degree Social Theory essays

  1. Outline the main arguments of Rostow and state whether his theory remains useful for ...

    Taking from this theory, modernisation suggests that socities become differentiated as they become more advanced. (Macionis & Plumber) Who is Walt Rostow? Walt Whitman Rostow was born in New York on 7th October, 1916 to parents who were both active socialists.

  2. To what extent do the mass media influence their audience?

    'her' students do, but the lecturers reading and viewing is targeted on political issues. Together with the lecturers broad knowledge of political theory and history, which is likely to make the lecturer the 'opinion leader' as far as the Politics class is concerned.

  1. Psychosocial theory of identity:

    Due to the preceding presumption it seems odd that one of the major identification sources of Tony and Jo appears to be work and the description of themselves as being `workaholics` (theme (ii)). The voice as well as the described upbringing processes indicated in the transcript suppose that the reasons

  2. Root causes of terrorism. Analysts such as Tore Bjorgo argue that terrorism is ...

    These terrorists are carrying on the mission of their forefathers as an act of vengence and are known as nationalist-separatists terrorists (Bjorgo, 2005). Omar Rezaq, Abu Nidal Organisation terrorist, is a case in point of nationalist-separatist terrorism (Victoroff Kruglanski, 2009).

  1. This assignment will analyse critically key ethical, attitudinal, political issues and historical development of ...

    relationship and the duty of services to support them (Yacoub and Hall 2008). This would mean schools now days have a duty to educate people on sexuality. Quick glance at the 70s and 80s revel stronger attributes to support individuals to receive sex education, the enforcement of social model of

  2. Sociology A Perspective on Identity

    Identity (Income and Class) It would be difficult not to accept that wealth/poverty do not help shape ones identity. Those on the 'breadline' are perceived to be a certain type of person... they are stigmatised because that's how society sees them.

  1. In the vast literature on identity and gender, several approaches have found it useful ...

    Deaux, 1984; Deaux & Major, 1987; Sherif, 1982). For example, gender stereotypes are pervasive, and carry relatively well-defined prescriptions for typical male and female behavior (Fiske & Stevens, 1993). Postmodern and post-structuralist feminists argue that gender is not a stable category but temporary, fluid, and shifting.

  2. Racial Integration

    Integration is important to education because of the cultural diversity that each race shares with each other. Integration will only help in education by expanding the spectrum of knowledge with regards to ethnic backgrounds and cultural heritage. Washington has a gradual approach in reaching racial integration and economic prosperity.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work