America at 1750: A Social Portrait by Richard Hofstadter

By Richard Hofstadter

Demonstrates how the colonies constructed into the 1st country created lower than the affects of nationalism, sleek capitalism and Protestantism.

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Every cultural artifact is thus a text that conveys information, carrying the 56 ideological messages of both its authors and the culture that produced it. As a result, many cultural studies scholars are interested in how media texts express a view of the world, how these expressions create ideological effects, and how the users of such texts make meaning from them. This area, sometimes called image studies , looks at the processes of representation – the systems we use to communicate and understand our world – language, art, speech, and more recently TV, movies, and newer forms of media.

The story alternates between the two characters, showing their daily activities: getting up, eating, interacting with their family and friends, working, and then going to sleep. There would seem to be nothing necessarily biased or prejudiced according to this description of the film's content. Yet, in this hypothetical film, all the scenes with the white man are brightly lit, with the camera placed at eye-level; the shots are of medium length, and calm, pleasant music is used for underscoring. In contrast, all the scenes of the Native American man are composed with dark shadows, with the camera constantly tilted at weird angles; the shots are quick and choppy, and dark, brooding music is used for underscoring.

One common method of keeping minority communities on the margins of power has been to pit their struggles for equality against one another, while the dominant group continues to lead. Another method has been to exclude members of minority groups from being considered “American” in the first place. The creation of a sense of national identity consistently involves social negotiations of who gets included and who gets excluded. Identity in general becomes more fixed when it is able to define what it is not : someone who is white is not black; a man is not a woman; a heterosexual is not a homosexual.

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