reading Notes 300

reading Notes 300 - Reading Notes Evelyn Alsultany...

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Reading Notes Evelyn Alsultany Introduction - After 9/11 both profit and non-profit organizations used the tragedy to launch ads, promotions, and campaigns - “Non profit advertising sought to “Sell” ideas about an imagined American community and redefine American identity and citizenship.” - After 9/11 the government’s antiterror campaign involved interviewing almost 200,00 Arabs and Muslims; detaining 1000s of As, Ms, and South Asians, instituting special registration requirements for As and Ms, and shutting down their charities and other organizations - USA Patriot act enabled increased surveillance (wiretapping, searches at airports, etc) - These acts made by the government marked these identities a suspect and “un- American” - These government practices created a binary: American and Muslim/Arab, American vs Arab/Muslim, good and evil. Citizens vs.Non citizen terrorists. - One way that this idea materially manifested itself was through hate crimes (harassment, businesses burned, and murder). The people committing these crimes sawn themselves as patriots. - Studies showed that ppl in the US saw Islamic countries were oppressive to women, violent, dangerous, and fanatical. - The essay “examines how nonprofit advertising participated in refiguring an imagined American Community after 9/11.” - Ads examined: “I am an American” “I am an American Muslim” and the “Shared Values Initiative” - Alultany argues that “in an effort to deconstruct the binary, these PSAs reproduced restrictive representations of diversity. “I am an American” - The Ad Council has made PSAs since 1942 to raise public awareness on a variety of social issues ranging from the prevention of serious social issues (child abuse, drugs, discrimination, etc) - “I am an American” made in direct response to hundreds of hate crimes against Ms, As, and Sikhs and began airing ten days after 9/11. - Ad aims to discourage further attacks on Muslims, Arabs, and Sikhs by promoting unity. - The ad doesn’t present a range of languages, only English with various accents. - Ad council website states “Diversity is what defines America.” However, what kind of diversity is acceptable? - In the Ad there are no visible markers of anything Muslim, Arab, or Shikh, only slight hints that COULD be. There are no veils, turbans, beards, etc. - The one person who could be constued as an Arab-American is the only person who has a hard time articulating he is an American (He is so overcome with emotion)
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- Why is Islam ignored in this ad? - America creates “diversity” in response to trauma, it serves to heal and comfort the nation. However, it is likely to be indefinite. Hegemonic whiteness is temporarlily suspended in the nationl imaginary and replaced by diversity as the paradigm of American citizenship- with exeptions.(diversity = blacks, asian, latinos) - This ad affirms the binary - “I am an American” functions to creates an imaginary multicultural and equal America, yet it does not dissolve the dangerous configuration of Americans vs. Arabs/Muslims, but rather functions to mobilize ambiguous assimilative diversity
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This note was uploaded on 02/16/2009 for the course COMM 300 taught by Professor Baroffio during the Fall '07 term at USC.

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reading Notes 300 - Reading Notes Evelyn Alsultany...

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