CINEMATIC REPRESENTATIONS OF INTERRACIAL MARRIAGE THROUGH THE LENS OF SOCIOLOGICAL THEORY
Received: 09th February 2022; Revised: 17th April 2022, 27th April 2022; Accepted: 03rd May 2022
Keywords:Paternalistic Race Relations, Competitive Race Relations, Film, Controlling Images
The Birth of a Nation (1915) was the first feature-length film to focus on the topic of interracial marriage. Its strong anti-miscegenation message and racial stereotypes set the stage for Hollywood depictions of race relations for decades. This anti-miscegenation theme was challenged in 1967 with the release of Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner. The purpose of this research is to analyze these two landmark films through the lens of sociological theory using the comparative case study method. Drawing primarily from the theoretical insights of paternalistic and competitive race relations theory allows us to interpret the films in their socio-historical contexts. The findings of this sociological reading alert us to the difficulties of the film industry in transcending its problematic lens on race relations.
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