Media is often used to construct and emphasize social ideas on race, gender, sex, and identities. Slumdog Millionaire exemplifies how media subliminally reinforces racial inequality by presenting whites, and Americans, as superiors to the majority of Indians in the film and by negatively portraying India as a low-income, high-violence country. In a positive light, the 2008 film breaks the typical class system when, Jamal, an Indian teen in the lower economic class breaks the cultural norm and rises to the upper class without the help of violence and drugs.
According to Omi and Winant, “race is a concept which signifies and symbolizes social conflicts and interests by referring to different types of human bodies” (Omi, 90). To break this down, the authors are stressing in their article that race is not a biological characteristic, but rather is a built and reinforced by society with human appearance and their created stereotypes. They also acknowledge that racial formation is constructed by how races are represented. There was controversy over the film when it was released in India in 2008 because of the false representations and formations. Omni and Winant’s solution to racial formations and inequality is to view everyone in a “color blind” fashion. To not merely look at skin color and assume that stereotypes and society’s guidelines fit that person, but to look past that. With films like Slumdog Millionaire, race formation is emphasized and makes a “color blind” world hard to pursue because the Indian culture is shown with a negative connotation. Jamal, the hero of the movie, the winner of twenty million dollars, and the lover of Latika, had to watch his mother get m...
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...e of the typical “white” role with knowledge. The game show host could fit Beltran’s theory of white men having the most confidence, knowledge, and power because he knows the answers to the questions proposed, he has power over the money, and he is confident that Jamal will lose. Jamal challenges all three by winning the game show from past experiences.
Beltran, Mary C. "The New Hollywood Racelessness: Only the Fast, Furious, (and Multiracial) Will Survive." Multicultural Film. Boston: Pearson Learning Solutions, 2014. 193+. Print.
McIntosh, Peggy. "White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack." Multicultural Film. Boston: Pearson Learning Solutions, 2014. 209+. Print.
Omi, Michael, and Howard Winant. "Racial Formation." Multicultural Film. Boston: Pearson Learning Solutions, 2014. 89+. Print.
Slumdog Millionaire. Boyle, Danny. 2008.
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