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  • Titill er á ensku How Hollywood Stole My Identity: African American Representation in the films Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner and Get Out
  • Bakkalár
  • Útdráttur er á ensku

    This thesis gives a thorough analysis of the two films, Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner and Get Out to explore whether these films show any positive representation of an African American identity. The films will be framed within the history of Hollywood, and then more broadly the social history of race and identity in the United States.
    The thesis is broken down into three chapters. The first chapter concerns the concept of identity. The way in which African American identity has often been framed in opposition to whiteness and the white experience in America is also interrogated. The works of James Baldwin, Theodor Adorno, and Max Horkheimer provide the theoretical background to this discussion of race as an element of identity, as well as within the framework of a culture industry. The second chapter explores the transition from Old Hollywood to New Hollywood, embodied in the emergence of Sidney Poitier as a major star in the film acting world. Poitier’s character in the film Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner (Stanley Kramer, 1967) was both sexless and non-threatening to appeal to white audiences. W.E.B. DuBois’s theory of double consciousness articulates the frustration of this conflict in identity. Chapter three addresses the film Get Out (Jordan Peele, 2017) and the continuation of racial tension in the United States. White liberalism ostensibly supports the elimination of racial inequality, yet as Get Out highlights, where white dominance is challenged, the promotion of equality falters. DuBois’ theory is an applicable analytical tool for the protagonist’s lack of agency throughout the film. A comparison of Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner and Get Out closes the chapter. The struggle for identity and acceptance persists, as shown through the historical and social contexts of both films.

  • 19.1.2018

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