February 12, 2008


First and foremost, Visibility Alert is a pop culture blog whose main goal is to bring attention to current and past trends in the increased visibility of minority representation. How are minorities being portrayed (fairly? stereotypical/cast into positions based on race and/or gender?) and how are these portrayals actually affecting the group as a whole? Is this increased visibility necessarily empowering? Or is it creating a homogeneous realm where the dominant majority receive a washed version of a multi-faceted group?

I'd like to use this introductory post as a quick basis of my ideology behind this blog. I'm basing Visibility Alert on the social significance of pop culture because of its symbolic factor and its legitimizing power it has with people.

Pop culture is typically a reflection of the society which produced it, whether literal or embedded deep in the minds of the populace, which is why I feel justified in focusing exclusively on pop culture.

Many of my basic ideas stem from bell hooks. Motivated representations, as hook explains, are instances used when a conscious decision, and a certain criteria fulfilled, is made in order to typecast a character. An example of this would be, as hooks mentions, making the thief in the film Smoke black.

Using case studies in various mediums (television, film, music, ads, etc), as well as comparing and contrasting recent trends (Lil Mama/Soulja Boy, popular genres, alternative masculinity vs macho, etc), I hope to portray how minorities are typecast in pop culture.

It is important to note that when I use the term minority, I do not only necessarily mean it in terms of ethnicity. I use it in the sense to represent all groups who do not have the power, or luxury, of the dominant majority. This includes, but not limited to, people of colour, women, alternative masculinities, immigrants, queer-identified people, issues pertaining to poverty, the homeless, etc.

No comments: