King, Jesse, Sohuyn Lee Ribeiro, Clark Callahan, & Tom Robinson (2021). Representing race: The race spectrum subjectivity of diversity in film. Ethnic and Racial Studies, 44(2), 334-351. (doi: 10.1080/01419870.2020.1740290) (Link: https://doi.org/10.1080/01419870.2020.1740290)

Abstract: In order to understand how people from all major racial groups in the United States feel about racial representation in film, this study employed Q methodology to assess the motivations, attitudes, and opinions of individuals on this issue. Four factors were identified: (1) balanced critics, (2) storyline devotees, (3) tolerant learners, (4) grounded advocates. These four groups of people with common opinions on diversity in film represent a spectrum on perceptions of race, from colourblind to anti-racist. Variation in factor differences are explained through the lens of symbolic interactionism. In three of the four groups, individuals indicated a desire for more racially diverse film casts. The fourth group did not oppose racial representation in film, rather, these individuals were more concerned about the quality of the storyline. Implications for Hollywood’s incorporation of racially diverse casts are discussed.

Jesse King <jesseking@byu.edu> is in the School of Communications, Brigham Young University, Provo, UT (USA).

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