Wednesday, 27 October 2010

Stereotypical Ethnicity- British TV Dramas

Within the group we were each given a area to focus on regarding stereotypes. I am working on the stereotype of Ethnicity, the task that we were given is to choose a character from a British TV Drama that matches the stereotypical view of ethnicity.

Within a TV Drama or Series a stereotype of Ethicity can come in different forms. One example would be characters from a different race such as asian or african carribean would be stereotyped as being thug like, a bad influence, lazy, unwilling to work, and associated with gangs and general bad behaviour. On the other hand their are stereotypes which have very strong morals and religious views, and are always out to achieve their very best. The character that i have chosen to write this peice on is 'Chesney Karib' from the TV series Shameless. The program is based on the 'Chatsworth Council Estate' in Manchester which the series then follows the lives of The Maguire and The Gallagher familys. The character Chesney is the teenage son of two parents which own the local corner shop.

Firstly Chesney is involved in plot which of course does follow a typical stereotype. A nomination came about to vote for a local mayor of the Chatsworth Estate. Chesney playing the character of a teenage muslim who went forward as a candidate and did all he could and went especially out of his way to be allocated this spot. This is following the sterotype of acheiving a high status within a community. Even though this may not seem very much of a high status. It still means he has slighty more power than everyone else within the society and has also achieved slightly more than any one else at that moment in time.

Chesney uses his campaign for a different reason though. This is to fund an elderly Pakistani women he has connections with for her to take a British Citizenship Test. This again appears that he is trying to help and achieve the best at all times. Which is still following the stereotype. He is also attempting to do right within his family and his particular ethnic group. This follows the typical stereotype that Asians may just always tend to do what is right by there family and their own community.

On the other hand later on in the series Chesney takes part in a plot that follows the path of the other stereotype that would be associated with ethnicty. In a moment of rage within the programme Chesney knocks out his father. This is totally portraying the thug like stereotype. He cannot control his anger at this point and storms out of his house wearing hooded clothing and ends up walking around the streets. At this time he seems very unnapproachable and many would assume that he is out to cause trouble.

After this point in the programme, the character Chesney begins to steal from his own family, stops working in the family business and becomes part of a gang. This totally supports today's typical stereotype of ethnicity as it backs up the way that they are put into a catogory of being lazy, unwilling to work, part of a gang and generally a bad influence.

Overall Chesney appears to be the character which can be associated with several parts of stereotypical ethicity. In this case it explores the two different sides that may appear and people may expect of a character of this type. Chesney acts how people would portrait a teenager of different race part of an ethnic group by first of all doing all good to support his community but then contrasting this by acting lazy, rude, and generally very 'yob' like.

1 comment:

  1. Well done Abi. You use lots of examples and have a clear writing style.

    What you need to work on is the ability to include theorists. Could Leon Festinger be applied to this? Are there 'binary opposites' present in the representation of Chesney?