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The US media and the middleeast - Essay Example

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Name: Instructor: Course: Date: The US Media and the Middle East Representation of the Middle East by the US media has tended to instrumental in construction of stereotypes portraying Middle Easterners as unpredictable, carnal and violent. Following the 9/11 attacks and the subsequent invasion of Iraq by the US, this image has become more intense in film and television depictions…
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The US media and the middleeast
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The US media and the middleeast

The period of enlightenment in Europe involved the ranking of society by evolutionary scale from civilization to barbarism, which contributed to a negativity surrounding the Middle East. The spread of colonization in the 19th century brought with it a further distinction of “others”, with the Middle East considered as such. A similar ideology evolved through the 20th century, with the US being increasingly involved in the Middle East expanse, and Israel in the post-1945 period. As Israel’s staunchest supporter, to preeminence in a region of competitive interests is difficult for Americans. The media took a leading role in redefining the political and cultural agenda of the US toward the region. This paper is a discussion of the United States media and the Middle East. Representation of the Middle East by the US Media Most media experts argue that the coverage of the Middle East by the US media is in the context of a primarily Western audience. Unless there is a redefinition of cultural discrepancies between the Middle East and the US, then a negative, stereotypical image will continue to be depicted in the media (Kamalipour 33). Diplomatic historians will approach the US foreign policy toward the region from a perspective privileging the interests of the US in the region. In this context, culture is left to play a subordinate role. News media can be viewed as the driving force behind both domestic and international political mobilization. Media creates a stereotypical representation of the region’s people and culture, slowly engendering a misunderstanding and intolerance in mainstream American culture (Kamalipour 34). This representation was exacerbated in the aftermath of 9/ 11 and the American invasion of Iraq. Media tends to construct the stereotypical Middle Easterner, rather than, illuminate the relationships between culture and the political process. Despite having contributed to the American economy for over two centuries, the negative reputations preceding them, have delegated to second-rate citizens who cannot embrace the American dream and its secular nature. American media have picked up this and packaged it for American consumption. In this respect, the Middle East is represented within a binary oppositional framework where the region is classified as a tyrannical space (Kamalipour 34). Stuart Hall, who is a cultural critic, contends that these binary oppositions are crucial for the establishment of a difference for the facilitation of organizing perceptive systems. This classification system is further elaborated in order to maintain an oppositional relationship between the uncivilized and the uncivilized. Misrepresentation, in this context, then becomes an instrument for the advancement of political agenda. Throughout Western history, negative and stereotypical portrayals have been utilized to service imperial projects. Presently, there is evidence that the media tends to create a link between Western ideologies in the Middle East and the domestic imagination. Representation is a phenomenon when dealing with differences in culture. In this context, it engages reactions, emotions and attitudes while seeking to influence the viewer’s opinion and questions. It also promotes the synthesis of a set of cultural values that respond to the viewer’s anxieties (Kamalipour 35). In this context, a Middle Easterner is defined ... Read More
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