Representation in the Media through words

Posted on January 16, 2012 by


In class we frequently talk about what the images we see say about society and our ideologies and we even touch on the types of things people talk about. The Beats video is a perfect example of that, but something I’d love to talk about is the semantics of a single word. What does one word say about the ideologies of American Society.

After a talk with friends this weekend and an overwhelming set of examples on television, I’ve come to notice that we, as a populice, often refer to any place or thing as Africa or African. We completely ignore the fact that Africa is made up of 53 countries and independent sovereignties. Thats 7 more than Europe, yet we never refer to someone as strictly European because that would be avoiding the racial diversities within Europe. Those same diversities exist in Africa, as well.

Does our inability to recognize Africa as a diverse and culturally different country reflect our ignorance of the continent? Obviously their is a history within the United States that affects our knowledge, but I can’t help but imagine that racial equality would be easier with a little more education.

What does everyone else think about the portrayal of “Africa” in the media? How often do we hear about specific countries outside of Genocide? Does unifying African countries and ignoring diverse cultures progressive?

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