This fascinating...study examines the rise of stereotyping in modern society and how the mainstream stereotypes the "other"-whether black, Jewish, gay, disabled, etc.-to maintain social order. Ewen & Ewen-the pseudonym of Elizabeth and Stuart Ewen, professors, respectively, of American studies and film and media studies-have amassed a huge amount of material across a broad spectrum of disciplines, all pro-viding concrete examples of how Western culture, beginning in the mid-18th century with the study of physiognomy (the evaluation of character based on facial features), has consciously created visual, verbal, scientific and artistic cues to identify those out-side of the dominant culture. The Ewens' research is prodigious and their examples eclectic-silent star Mary Pickford's film persona and notions of femininity, the social phi-losophy behind Roget's Thesaurus, blackface and minstrel shows, and George W. Bush's rhetoric on Iraq-and this mass of information is extremely well organized thematically. [T]he Ewens' writing is clear and compelling, ...[T]his is a terrific volume that will be eye-opening to academics and general readers alike. B&w illus.
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