Stuart Hall – Race, Gender, Class in the Media


We live in a world saturated with media. We see our reality through them. But these are not transparent operations. They involve the workings of power. Stuart Hall was an outsider. Born in colonial Jamaica. Educated in Oxford. He was out of place in both. He left academia, the literary canon, high
culture … to become an intellectual of mass culture. What he did was controversial. He was looking at the power of mainstream media in representing race, gender, class, ethnicity, religion. Hall said those discourses are not innocent. That hidden in mass media is ideology. The media theorists job
is to find that ideology, expose it, critique it. The media’s racialisation of crime, the patriarchal narratives on gender, the ‘othering’ of immigrants … Muslims … the poor. The media are active agents in this process. But what of the masses? The audiences watching? Hall broke with the presumption that the masses are dumb. Passive. In fact, he questioned who the
faceless masses even are? Some may accept the dominant meanings embedded in the media. Some may negotiate them. Others outright reject them. Where other media theorists argue that messages are imposed
on people from above, Hall said power is not as simple as that. He saw pockets of resistance that undermined dominant media narratives. Think of the bloggers in Tunisia … the graffiti artists of Brazil … Black Lives Matter. But Hall went further. He also told us to seek out stories elsewhere – in lowly, despised, spaces of knowledge. The gossip mags, the soap opera, the music videos. If you want to understand society then maybe avoid the news. Those formalised spaces that house official discourse. Find different stories, different perspectives, different realities.

25 thoughts on “Stuart Hall – Race, Gender, Class in the Media”

  1. it doesn't matter the media will push bias and opposition towards whatever gets them views…. Micheal brown was called a thug on national television … Dylan roof was called lone wolf …boom that gets ratings it's the appeal to whatever fits a narrative

  2. I love that these videos teach people to be independent, critical viewers. Al Jazeera English, I wish people listened to you guys.

  3. Ha ha ha… this is hilarious hypocrisy: "Hidden in mass-media is ideology!" – YES – Stuart Hall's Left-wing neo-marxist post modernist third way feminist ideology!!!!!! The BBC and other mainstream media needs to be called out EVERY TIME.

  4. The flashy cut-out visuals and frantic jazz music made it very hard to focus on what the narrator was saying. Hopefully this changes in future videos.

  5. Good work AlJazeera! Isn't it comical that the right in the U.S. would try to argue that AlJazeera is some sort of "Islamofascist" (whatever that means) propaganda tool. Clearly we need AlJazeera America!!

  6. That's cool that a world famous media outlet points out the flaws of the media through this thinker. Respect to Al Jazeera!

  7. How I see it is the opposite. We have a constant push of anti-masculine ideals, of immigrant welcomeness etc. and then we have places like 4chan. I'm not taking sides, but the media right now is much more on the side of "Everyone's equal!" rather than xenophobia and so on. Those who resist are /pol/, Alex Jones and other weird characters.

  8. "When a people don't know their mission, they are going to betray themselves." (Frantz Fanon, the wretched of the earth)

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