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From Mammy to Miss America and Beyond

From Mammy to Miss America and Beyond

Cultural Images and the Shaping of US Social Policy

by K. Sue Jewell
Publication Date: 26/11/1992
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This challenging book examines the relationship between cultural images and the formulation, administration and impact of US social policy on Black women. The author focuses specifically on methods by which individuals in the USA who control social institutions - in particular the mass media - operate to retain their own power advantage while at the same time maintaining African-American women in a socially and economically depressed state. K. Sue Jewell argues that the mass media play an important role in maintaining a social hierarchy of discrimination because it is the primary vehicle by which ideology is transmitted through news and entertainment. She explains how the mass media, controlled by the nation's power elite, transmit images of African-American women that suggest that their values, beliefs and behaviours (and not race, gender and class inequality) are responsible for their limited access to social resourses and institutions. She goes on to consider how this situation can be changed and proposes strategies for accomplishing social transformation and a reallocation of resourses.
She argues that the main obstacle to those wanting change is fear of reprisals from the privileged elite and their functionaries. Fearless and passionate, and copiously supported with evidence, the book is an important contribution to our knowledge of the role of the mass media in the development of cultural imagery and its influence on US social policy. It will be of immense interest to students of media, the sociology of gender and race, and social policy.
Feminism & feminist theory
Publication Date:
Taylor & Francis Ltd
Country of origin:
United Kingdom
Dimensions (mm):

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