The stereotyping of Native Americans

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Popular perceptions of what it means to be Indian, or Native American, has been shaped and reinforced by a variety of strategies, some of which have relied on the written word and others on imagery. Commerce, as the stereotyping of the other through corporate logos, brand images and advertising, has functioned as an important purveyor of American Indian stereotypes…

Introduction

Following an overview of the commercialisation of the American Indian image, two case studies of corporate/brand use, of the American Indian image shall be analysed.
The commercialisation of the Native American image, or figure, is both pervasive and expansive in scope, embracing all of the noble savage and the "mystical environmentalists or uneducated, alcoholic bingo-players confined to reservations'' (Mihesuah, 1996, p. 9). All one need to conform the validity of the aforementioned assertion is visit their nearest grocery and attempt to quantify the sheer number of products, ice cream, alcohol, cigarettes, canned vegetables, baking powder, honey and butter, to name but a few, on which the image of the American Indian is emblazoned. ...
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