My essay is based on how Blacks and Arabs are represented in the media, including the idea of stereotypes and identity in more general terms. In the first part of my essay, I would define the

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The question of the �other� has come to play an increasingly significant role in the discourse of race, ethnicity and identity. Baker (2008, p.248) states that �Ethnicity is a cultural concept centred on the sharing of norms, values, beliefs, cultural symbols and practices�. Race is a socially constructed concept that mobilises (unfounded) discourses of biological differences bound to oppression, colonialism and exploitation. The �other� and identity are two inseperable sides of the same coin. The key theorists define the �other� differently but they all make reference to the regime of representation and define the other as people of colour e.g. Blacks and Arabs. Eastenders and a number of newsreports on terrorism and race would be used to define the �other�

My essay is based on how Blacks and Arabs are represented in the media, including the idea of stereotypes and identity in more general terms. In the first part of my essay, I would define the �other� as a marginal group with refernce to Eastenders. Furthermore. I will explain the �other� in terms of racial difference, more specifically between blacks and whites, with reference to Stuart Hall�s theories and semiotic analysis of Eastenders. I will also explain the �other� as different in terms of skin colour, making reference to Bell hooks� �commodity of difference� and analysis of Barack Obama�s presidential TV debates and interviews. I will also highlight the �other� as a threat to the western culture with reference to Said�s orientalism theory and analysis of news reports on terrorism and immigrant benefit thieves. Finally, I would brief Dyer�s critique of whiteness to deconstruct white hegemony.

The �other� are marginal groups that are subject to the power, categories and practices of the norm. Baker (2008, p.248) states that �In Britain, America and Australia the historical formation of �race� is one of power and subordination. That is, people of colour have occupied structurally subordinate positions in relation to every dimension of �life chances��. People of colour are subjects of domination in the housing market, labour market and media representations. Eastenders focuses on traditional white East End families like the Mitchell and Branning families, who play active roles and these families are shown on a daily basis but displaces black and Asian characters to the margin. The Johnson (Blacks) and Masoud (Asians) families play a passive role contributing to the decorative props in Eastenders. People of colour are not held to be capable of initiating activity or of controlling their own destiny and are allocated marginal identities by whites. Whiteness defines what is �us� and what is �them�. The dominant groups are in a position to impose the value of its identity and to devalue the identity of the other while stigmatising �them�. The ruling group has the right to represent marginal groups in a certain way within the regime of representation. In recent years, black characters have been given active roles, with main focus on these families. However, Eastenders has been accused of stereotyping black women as an object of oversexed fantasy. Kim Fox in Eastenders conforms to this stereotype. There is the use of long shots showing Kim�s curves and close ups showing her facial expression when flirting with men. She is also portrayed as a mammy figure as she cares for the Johnson family after Lucas Johnson was convicted. Stam and Shohat (1994, p.184) states that �In the UK only 5% of characters in TV dramas were black and only 3 of 62 non-white appearances constituted leading roles�. Most of the decision makers in Britain news and entertainment media are white. Media ownership is mainly concentrated in the hands of white males and white people hold the most creative positions in the entertainment media, as writers, directors and actors. This shows that people of colour are marginal in the production of news and film and it contributes to the maintenance of any system of racial domination while portraying marginal groups as inferior through stereotypes. Representations of white people, on the other hand are seen as normal and natural. The passive role, marginal groups play in Eastenders, their stereotypes and the dominance of white people in media ownership, defines the �other� as marginal groups who belong to racial and ethnic minorities. When whiteness has attained its dominance in the construction of images of the �other�, it constructs the other as different.

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The �other� is someone different from the norm and difference is a compelling theme in the area of representation. Race is always an issue of the other that is not white. People of colour i.e. Blacks and African Americans are regarded as race and ethnic groups but the white and the English are not. Non-white people who do not have the same beliefs, values, skin colour and religion with white people are homogenized as the �other�. It stigmatises the unfamiliar and strange culture by trapping blacks, for example into a binary structure of stereotype. �People ...

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