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Title: (Re)presentations of 'Africa' in British media : with a particular focus on television in the United Kingdom
Author: Kuenyehia, Edem Kudzoe
Awarding Body: Nottingham Trent University
Current Institution: Nottingham Trent University
Date of Award: 2004
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This study is a particular enquiry into a Western medium's representations of Africa. It is an examination of constructions of 'Africa', occurring especially on contemporary British television. It explores contemporary British television programmes, employing a modified content analysis for an assessment of the appearance of Africa as well as performing qualitative scrutiny - a critical reading of television discourses on Africa. It seeks out dominant thematic discourses and patterns of representation to establish how 'Africa' is constructed and construed through these prominent discursive frameworks. More interestingly and uniquely, it attempts this analysis using a cross-genre approach that does not limit the framing discourses to factual programmes only but includes all programmes. Furthermore, it breaks new grounds in the application of a postcolonial critical approach to television content. It adopts a canon-questioning perspective, unravelling covert factors at play in the media's selection and structuring, the prevalence of dominant themes, the power dichotomies influencing the Othering and the subjugation of the unfamiliar. Positioned within that postcolonial ambit, the thesis draws on the disciplines of Anthropology, International Communication and Media Studies, Cultural Studies, English, Linguistics and Literary Studies, drawing from these, aspects of analytical scrutiny and interrogation that are triggered by the representations found in the medium of popular television. It shows how discourses, language, silences and absences construct a continent and concept out of 'Africa'. Arguments in this thesis also point towards a constructed sub-text around the reference 'Africa', paralleling Edward Said's theories on Orientalism. This thesis locates the sharpest positioning of Africa as the domain of nature, as the realm of the problematic, and as a singularised homogenized space and the silent impressionable site of external gazes. The roots and implications of this fashioning - neo-colonial and neoimperial - are also considered. Uniquely, the thesis' approach to television material, from a postcolonial critical perspective, moves the predominantly textually based politics of the postcolonial into the audiovisual and the mass media. The interaction of interdisciplinary approaches allows a close study of particular cultural hegemonies, at the international level.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available