Making Race in the Cultural Industries
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Anamik Saha (Goldsmiths, University of London) – Making Race in the Cultural Industries
Studies of race, media and ideology have long demonstrated how racial and ethnic minorities are represented in deeply damaging ways – either demonised, exoticised or rendered invisible. But such research, nearly always textual in nature, has been unable to offer an effective political response – other than to demand ‘authentic’ stories or representations. In this contribution, Anamik Saha calls for a ‘cultural industries’ approach to studying race and racism in the media.
Challenging purely textual cultural studies accounts of representation, he will argue that a radical cultural political programme is absolutely contingent upon production strategies – that is, an effective ‘politics of production’. Situating the issue of representation explicitly within a cultural industries framework gives us a more nuanced and complex understanding of the ideological role of the media in the making of race, which in turn leads to a broader understanding of the governance of racial and ethnic identities under neoliberalism.
Anamik Saha is a Lecturer in the Department of Media and Communications, Goldsmiths, University of London. After completing his PhD in Sociology at Goldsmiths, Anamik worked in the Institute of Communication Studies at the University of Leeds, firstly as an ESRC Post-Doctoral Research Fellow, then as a Lecturer in Communications. He has held visiting fellowship at Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Trinity College, Connecticut.
Anamik’s research interests are in race and the media, with a particular focus on cultural production and the cultural industries. He has had his work published in journals including Media, Culture and Society, Ethnic and Racial Studies, and European Journal of Cultural Studies. With David Hesmondhalgh (2013) he co-edited a special issue of Popular Communication on race and ethnicity in cultural production, and with Dave O’Brien, Kim Allen and Sam Friedman (2017) he co-edited a special issue of Cultural Sociology on inequalities in the cultural industries. His new book Race and the Cultural Industries was published in 2018 by Polity Press.
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