NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Back to results
ERIC Number: ED520879
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 167
Abstractor: As Provided
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1241-2316-5
Speaking American: Comparing Supreme Court and Hollywood Racial Interpretation in the Early Twenty-First Century
Hawkins, Paul Henry
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, Union Institute and University
Apprehending that race is social, not biological, this study examines U.S. racial formation in the early twenty-first century. In particular, Hollywood and Supreme Court texts are analyzed as media for gathering, shaping and transmitting racial ideas. Representing Hollywood, the 2004 film "Crash" is analyzed. Representing the Supreme Court, the study examines "Grutter v. Bollinger" and "Parents Involved v. Seattle Schools". To more fully describe how these texts reflect and then reenter a stream of social discourse, two theories are successively employed. First, Roland Barthes' theory of mythology is used to deconstruct layers of meaning in the texts. Second, Michel Foucault's theory of power is used to explain how the meaning in the text attempts to shape ideas about race in the post-civil rights era. The combination of these theories not only helps readers better understand how texts act as instruments of racial formation, it extends the field of semiological inquiry in which these theories were grounded. By applying Barthes and Foucault, this study demonstrates that both Hollywood and the Supreme Court, despite a veneer of twenty-first century racial progress, actually produce texts that seek to maintain centuries of disparate power between racial collectives. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A