Is White Dominance Exaggerated?

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Re: Is White Dominance Exaggerated?

Postby gmalivuk » Tue Jul 15, 2014 11:50 am UTC

leady wrote:
actually how per capita stats form such an argument... 17% of 60% is far larger than 25% of 10%)
What are those numbers?

I was a little out of on the latino pop - man thats 16% now. The numbers are the per capita "cinema goers" from your source from which I didn't see any average spend or trip frequency either. But I still make it 2.5 times more in favour of Holywoods defacto choice even before other factors.
I still don't get where you're getting "25% of 16%" from. That 25% isn't the fraction of the Hispanic population going to movies, it's the total fraction of ticket sales purchased by Hispanic moviegoers.

So why are only 1.2% of lead roles given to Hispanic actors and actresses? And why are 85% of movies about men despite the fact that women have made up more than half of ticket sales for a long time? (I know the sexism andle isn't directly relevant to thethread topic, but it is another illustration of how the movie industry is making shitty decisions.)

Why is Hollywood continuing to cater especially toward white men when the majority of their audience isn't made up of white men? Do you *really* believe it's just sheer dumb coincidence that this just happens to be the same group that has held a disproportionate fraction of wealth and power in this country since the beginning? Society is still racist, but Hollywood totally isn't, and so it's just by random chance that Hollywood is nonetheless catering to the historically dominant group at the expense of historically marginalized ones?
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Re: Is White Dominance Exaggerated?

Postby Azrael » Tue Jul 15, 2014 11:58 am UTC

mobiusstripsearch wrote:So when Jay-Z tours in Europe, he's spreading white culture?

America can be white-dominated without being completely white.

No one has come anywhere close to suggesting that America is completely white. Well, except maybe you, so you could deftly prove otherwise? Anyhow, you're strawmanning like crazy. At this point, you're also arguing against your own position -- that the US is seen as a white-majority by the rest of the world.

So, again with an answer as to "why?": For every Jay-Z, there's Bill Gates. While some music genres (e.g. not rock or country) and some professional sports (e.g. not hockey, golf or racing) have significant minority inclusion, celebrities on the whole don't really have the political or financial influence their fame might otherwise suggest. Great, some kid (demographics is another huge factor here) in $Foreign Country is consuming non-white American cultural exports. That doesn't mean jack shit about who's influence is dominating the economic and political direction of *this* country. Eventually, once that kid has moved into the age brackets associated with political and economic influence in their country (i.e. not youth), the white-dominated view of the US you propose may shift. But shifting entrenched stereotypes usually takes as long or longer than shifting the actual traits of the observed culture -- and since the US is still in the beginnings of that shift, it'll be a while before a) there a non-white dominated reality and b) the stereotypes catch up.

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Re: Is White Dominance Exaggerated?

Postby leady » Tue Jul 15, 2014 1:02 pm UTC

maydayp wrote:
leady wrote:Essentially a version of Thomas Sowells arguments in the 80s that once you isolate race as a category (eliminating gender, education, marital status, employment history, parentage etc etc) then its practicaly impossible to see the effects of race.

Nope. Racism exists. Very visible in fact. But it isn't the only cause of many issues its blamed for. And by fix and deal with? In really do mean for everyone. Ideally everyone would get free universal healthcare (including vision dental and mental health coverage.). There would also be gaurenteed housing and wages.


Nothing in that line of thought proves that it doesn't, it could well be that its racism that sets the categories - but I think its telling that within a given category, economics is racially blind even in the 80s (a result I'd personally expect, racism is an oportunity cost).

I still don't get where you're getting "25% of 16%" from. That 25% isn't the fraction of the Hispanic population going to movies, it's the total fraction of ticket sales purchased by Hispanic moviegoers


I read that the 25% vs 16% is a per capita measure, which seems far more plausible than a population 1/5 the other goes to the cinema more often on absolute measures

Why is Hollywood continuing to cater especially toward white men when the majority of their audience isn't made up of white men? Do you *really* believe it's just sheer dumb coincidence that this just happens to be the same group that has held a disproportionate fraction of wealth and power in this country since the beginning? Society is still racist, but Hollywood totally isn't, and so it's just by random chance that Hollywood is nonetheless catering to the historically dominant group at the expense of historically marginalized ones?


God no, its not coincidence - its the natural consequence of attacking your marketplace (the people with money are white and speak english). The same reasoning is why there has been a grand total of 2 mainstream holywood films that explicitly are explicitly Christian... from the US film industry for gods sake (pick one of many large categories that are underrepresented ). If there really is all this cash on the table in the industry, then why is no one trying to grab it? I don't think its there, but if you do, grab like the wind! hell I'll volunteer to let you swat me across the face with a fist full of notes if you succeed :)

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Re: Is White Dominance Exaggerated?

Postby Tyndmyr » Tue Jul 15, 2014 1:37 pm UTC

gmalivuk wrote:
They're far outnumbered, but that's expected at society's extremes. If, say, a new actor had a 60% chance of being blue, and a 40% chance of red, it's likeliest that more than 60% of actors would be blue.
Why should that be the case if you ignore other factors? This doesn't make any sense statistically unless you are additionally supposing that blues make better actors or that society is racist against reds. Actually, it doesn't make much sense even then, unless you're also implying that the proportions are changing over time, so that now it's 60/40 for new actors, but previously it was, say, 80/20.


Yeah...I'm not sure that I buy that explanation. Maybe if you were trying to explain very marginal inequalities, but everyone understands there's a bit of sampling variance. Nobody expects things to be *perfectly* proportionate. Just, yknow, sort of. If you're within a couple of percent, then most people are not going to worry about stuff that falls into the margin of error. Current role demographics cannot reasonably be explained as falling into that.

That said, your graph adds up to 18.1% of lead roles being minority, which is significantly higher than ten-ish. That's still not on par with actual demographics, but let's be accurate about it.

Don't get me wrong...Hollywood totally IS racist in some of it's stuff, sure. I just think that overstating the case, using weak arguments, etc risks the perception that started this whole thread.

As for why it's racist, well...you might look at, for instance, how movies are rated. Because there's nothing fair or reasonable about that...and there's a history of them being slow to adopt more modern mores. That's in addition to the dislike of risk, naturally. So, the "free market" argument is a bit off, since the market really isn't free. If your movie gets rated NC-17 because of two guys doing something that would be accepted as R between a guy and a girl...well, your movie simply is not allowed in most areas. That ain't freedom.

KrytenKoro wrote:Was this on shortpacked.com? I remember there being a comment thread where a self-identifying african american was saying that prejudice against any race, including whites, was wrong, and then a load of self-identifying caucasian americans told him that it's impossible to be racist against white people anywhere (he namedropped china as an example, if I recall correctly), and told him something like it was terrible that a black man had been taught that it's bad to be angry at white people.

I'm not entirely sure where I stand, personally, but that sounds like what you're describing.


That seems a bit wild. I've certainly heard the "it's impossible for white people to be victims" thing, but it's usually some extremist person. Or they are really, really focusing on a specific culture, and not thinking beyond that.

I tend to avoid overly extremist sites, though, so I might be missing some of this. I find little of value in most of them.

gmalivuk wrote:I'd like a citation before I accept that as fact, but it's a good data point if true: the South was willing to go to war to defend an institution they thought gave them an economic advantage, despite the fact that in reality something marginally less racist resulted in even higher profits. Meanwhile the film industry only makes the most rational, enlightened business decision because reasons.

(And even if it's not true, there are plenty of other examples of more humane (or at least less inhumane) alternatives that would make or save more money, but which weren't accepted for ultimately ideological reasons. The fact that giving homeless people houses is actually one of the cheapest ways to deal with homelessness, for example, or the fact that cutting down on work hours can increase overall productivity.)


I imagine that the details would depend on the exact comparisons made...but there are many examples in which profit sharing is a good motivator. It wouldn't surprise me at all to learn that this was the case. Certainly, the north had less in the way of slavery*, and they boomed economically compared to the south. Slavery covers up inefficiencies and reduces incentives to automate. It's never been an economically good idea from a macro perspective...it's just been nice for the guy on top.

*I am aware of indentured servents, etc, but...speaking generally here.

maydayp wrote:I think the poverty aspect is a good example of this. Personally, I think classism is a bigger part of the racism picture then people like to address. And I think a lot of the issues stem from this, rather then strait out racism. But the fact that "xyz" (in this case poverty) isn't racist, doesn't mean "abc" isn't. But when you compare two people, one Caucasian, and the other a PoC, who both share a family history of poverty? Most of the privileges are gone. That tells me how much of the issue is related to economics, and that it should be dealt with on that angle, when appropriate.


Oh, for sure. Being poor *really* sucks. It isn't the only factor, but it's almost invariably the largest factor by a significant margin. Hell, the more stable parts of the world(ie, not constantly breaking down into sectarian warfare) tend to be the ones with money. It's a self-reinforcing cycle...if you're at each other's throats, it's gonna hamper gains...which is gonna make people bitter, and of course, they always blame the other team...weeee.

maydayp wrote:In fact, in this instance, at least in canada, some PoC have more resources then a poor Caucasian does, through special, ethnic specific, scholarships/funding (frequently with less qualifiers then the general/Caucasian scholarships). The administrating practices of colleges/universities is too complicated for me to comment on, except that, unless there is a bloody (non-prejudicial) reason for it, No one should ever be passed over for someone who has less qualifications then another. In some cases this will mean that there aren't the proper number of PoCs. In others it hopefully would mean that more PoC are admitted.


In my tiny community college(the first of far too many colleges) in the US, this was particularly bad. I recall flipping through the list of scholarships, and concluding that there were literally none I could pursue, while pages existed for various minorities. Furthermore, as they had some sort of quota system, and northern MN's diversity consisting mainly of if you were german or norwegian, they bussed in a bunch of folks from Chicago every year, gave 'em a full ride, put them in the sports program(which required essentially no work), and put them up in the dorms, which existing basically just for them and the dealing of drugs. This mostly just caused annoyance as other students had the perception that this was...not even vaguely fair, and honestly, I don't think it gave the bussed in students much of an education either. Seemed to be an exercise in futility all round.

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Re: Is White Dominance Exaggerated?

Postby setzer777 » Tue Jul 15, 2014 2:41 pm UTC

Does anyone know how China compares to the US in terms of international cultural/economic influence? I was always under the impression that they had a huge influence on most of the Eastern Hemisphere. Or is most of the cultural influence from pre-PRC China?
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Re: Is White Dominance Exaggerated?

Postby Crissa » Tue Jul 15, 2014 4:13 pm UTC

leady wrote:The same reasoning is why there has been a grand total of 2 mainstream holywood films that explicitly are explicitly Christian...

So the four that were pushed out this year don't count? The vast number of characters which thank god or have christian morals don't count, either?

Such a high bar, turning christians into non-christians, so one can pretend to be a minority.

-Crissa

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Re: Is White Dominance Exaggerated?

Postby Tyndmyr » Tue Jul 15, 2014 4:16 pm UTC

setzer777 wrote:Does anyone know how China compares to the US in terms of international cultural/economic influence? I was always under the impression that they had a huge influence on most of the Eastern Hemisphere. Or is most of the cultural influence from pre-PRC China?


Significant. Even in the western hemisphere, "chinese food" is fairly pervasive as a resteraunt option. They have a LOT of regional pull, and in fact, their naval claims are a pretty big issue in the south pacific, etc.

Now, in say, Europe or the US, the question of who has the more pull, US or China, isn't even a real question...but if you're living next to China, it's a very different world. As would be expected. Even with modern globalization, local influence still matters.

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Re: Is White Dominance Exaggerated?

Postby Crissa » Tue Jul 15, 2014 4:34 pm UTC

maydayp wrote:it isn't the only cause of many issues its blamed for.

Yes, racist outcomes are not all correlated with racist ideals. And probably more important, since it does more damage.

Without the outcome being racist, the input is pretty much unimportant. Which is why your straw-feminist teacher was trying to teach out that bias that did not include actual oppression or power was meaningless.

maydayp wrote:(one off line example, in my Womens Studies course the teacher said that no white male could ever experience discrimination or racism.)

Not like I haven't heard that before! <sarcasm>'Oh, my teacher said X, I couldn't possibly have misunderstood...'</sarcasm>

-Crissa
Last edited by Crissa on Tue Jul 15, 2014 4:34 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Is White Dominance Exaggerated?

Postby leady » Tue Jul 15, 2014 4:34 pm UTC

Crissa wrote:
leady wrote:The same reasoning is why there has been a grand total of 2 mainstream holywood films that explicitly are explicitly Christian...

So the four that were pushed out this year don't count? The vast number of characters which thank god or have christian morals don't count, either?

Such a high bar, turning christians into non-christians, so one can pretend to be a minority.

-Crissa


I probably wasn't clear, I'm suggesting that by the same proportion logic the cinemas should be filled with overtly christian films based on the proportion of the US population. They aren't because they would all be utterly utterly terrible and lose a fortune. Personally though I think I'd personally watch a literal version of the old testiment, just because it would make the 300 look tame.

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Re: Is White Dominance Exaggerated?

Postby Crissa » Tue Jul 15, 2014 4:39 pm UTC

Okay. Not clear? It was positively opaque from this angle. And apparently looked very similar to an argument I've seen in many places

Your clarification is obviously much different than I'd interpreted.

-Crissa

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Re: Is White Dominance Exaggerated?

Postby setzer777 » Tue Jul 15, 2014 4:45 pm UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:
setzer777 wrote:Does anyone know how China compares to the US in terms of international cultural/economic influence? I was always under the impression that they had a huge influence on most of the Eastern Hemisphere. Or is most of the cultural influence from pre-PRC China?


Significant. Even in the western hemisphere, "chinese food" is fairly pervasive as a resteraunt option. They have a LOT of regional pull, and in fact, their naval claims are a pretty big issue in the south pacific, etc.

Now, in say, Europe or the US, the question of who has the more pull, US or China, isn't even a real question...but if you're living next to China, it's a very different world. As would be expected. Even with modern globalization, local influence still matters.


Yeah, I'm only really familiar with their military pull and their significance in large-scale industry. I'm utterly uninformed about how much modern cultural influence they have (in terms of media, product trends, etc.) Obviously Chinese culture has historically influenced a massive number of present-day cultures, but I don't know if that's an ongoing thing.
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Re: Is White Dominance Exaggerated?

Postby KrytenKoro » Tue Jul 15, 2014 4:50 pm UTC

Crissa wrote:
maydayp wrote:it isn't the only cause of many issues its blamed for.

Yes, racist outcomes are not all correlated with racist ideals. And probably more important, since it does more damage.

Without the outcome being racist, the input is pretty much unimportant. Which is why your straw-feminist teacher was trying to teach out that bias that did not include actual oppression or power was meaningless.

maydayp wrote:(one off line example, in my Womens Studies course the teacher said that no white male could ever experience discrimination or racism.)

Not like I haven't heard that before! <sarcasm>'Oh, my teacher said X, I couldn't possibly have misunderstood...'</sarcasm>

-Crissa

Pretty sure maydayp is distinguishing behind institutionalized discrimination, and personal discrimination.

Personal discrimination is not meaningless.

It's also a bit irrational to attack that one line in maydayp's post as if that's all he said, when he spends quite a long post explaining his thinking. You're taking his points out of context to the point of non sequiter.
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Re: Is White Dominance Exaggerated?

Postby Derek » Tue Jul 15, 2014 5:06 pm UTC

On the failure of Hollywood to make movies with Hispanic protagonists: Could it be that this market is already served? There are non-trivial movies industries in Latin America, I know Mexico in particular has one. Most of the movies coming out of here obviously have Hispanic protagonists. I know these movies make it to the US on DVD release, and I wouldn't be surprised if many of them get screen in theaters in states like Texas and California (though I have no evidence to support this). Could the explanation be that these movies are enough to satisfy the market, and therefore Hollywood stays out? Similarly, Asian countries like Japan, China, and India have thriving movie industries, and many movies with Asian protagonists either come from there or are joint productions between Hollywood and Asian studios. (Bruce Lee and Jackie Chan both got there start in Hong Kong cinema before moving to Hollywood)

Of course, there is a difference between a film featuring Asians in Asia or Latinos in Latin America, and a film featuring Asian-Americans or Hispanic-Americans in the US, but this may be a partial explanation.

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Re: Is White Dominance Exaggerated?

Postby LaserGuy » Tue Jul 15, 2014 5:33 pm UTC

leady wrote:
gmalivuk wrote:
leady wrote:When a highly competitive and largely free industry makes a decision then I'm 99% sure that they know what they are doing.
This is such utter bullshit, as if it were true there wouldn't be examples of corporations making absolutely terrible business decisions.


Individual corporations do make serious mistakes (but even then not that frequently), industries as a rule generally don't. Its a little staggering to me that you can think that an industry of millions of people is wrong and that you are correct in this matter.


It's an industry of millions of people, but the number of decision-makers is very small. 90% of Hollywood movies are made by one of six corporations. In a close-knit oligopoly, it's entirely possible that there's a lot of groupthink going on about what types of things people want to see. The MPAA ratings board is (as of 2005, at least) eight people, all white men with children, and has a huge amount of power in the already very conservative industry.

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Re: Is White Dominance Exaggerated?

Postby Derek » Tue Jul 15, 2014 6:19 pm UTC

LaserGuy wrote:The MPAA ratings board is (as of 2005, at least) eight people, all white men with children, and has a huge amount of power in the already very conservative industry.

According to that list, there are nine people (and one dead?), three of which are probably women (Arlene Bates, Joan Worden, and Joann Yatabe), and one does (did?) not have children. (Though I am definitely not a fan of the MPAA ratings)

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Re: Is White Dominance Exaggerated?

Postby CorruptUser » Tue Jul 15, 2014 6:20 pm UTC

There was a story about tomato sauce. People chose which tomato sauce based on 3 possibilities; sweet, spicy, and chunky. A researcher noticed this, and at the time no major manufacturer was making chunky tomato sauce. The CEO said to the researcher "you mean to tell me people want chunky tomato sauce and NO ONE is making it?".

Major industries leave sections of markets unexploited all the time because sometimes no one high up knows the market is unexploited. A little manufacturer that can figure out what or who isn't being served and how to service them can become a dominant player very quickly, but it can be decades before that happens.

Another real life case. Did you know the first (American) black millionaire was also the first woman self made millionaire? Madame something or other. The major manufacturers weren't making hair products that black women wanted, such as hair straighteners and other stuff (yes, to "look white"). She did, and became a millionaire. The companies did leave millions on the table because they didn't realize that there was millions being left on the table.

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Re: Is White Dominance Exaggerated?

Postby gmalivuk » Tue Jul 15, 2014 6:26 pm UTC

leady wrote:
I still don't get where you're getting "25% of 16%" from. That 25% isn't the fraction of the Hispanic population going to movies, it's the total fraction of ticket sales purchased by Hispanic moviegoers

I read that the 25% vs 16% is a per capita measure, which seems far more plausible than a population 1/5 the other goes to the cinema more often on absolute measures

I was very clear about what the numbers meant, as was the site I linked to. I'm still not sure what you think the numbers mean.

25% of US movie ticket sales went to Hispanics in 2013, despite their making up only 17% of the population.

Did you think I was saying 25% of Hispanics see movies in a year, compared to only 1 in 6 white people? What on earth would give you that idea? It certainly didn't come from me or anything I've linked to.
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Re: Is White Dominance Exaggerated?

Postby maydayp » Tue Jul 15, 2014 6:32 pm UTC

Crissa wrote:
maydayp wrote:it isn't the only cause of many issues its blamed for.

Yes, racist outcomes are not all correlated with racist ideals. And probably more important, since it does more damage.

Without the outcome being racist, the input is pretty much unimportant. Which is why your straw-feminist teacher was trying to teach out that bias that did not include actual oppression or power was meaningless.
maydayp wrote:(one off line example, in my Womens Studies course the teacher said that no white male could ever experience discrimination or racism.)

Not like I haven't heard that before! <sarcasm>'Oh, my teacher said X, I couldn't possibly have misunderstood...'</sarcasm>

-Crissa

It's hard to miss understand someone who actually straight out says "white men cannot be discriminated against". And she's not the only person I've heard say things like this. Because they think that being the majority makes it impossible to be discriminated against due to the power difference. And truthfully, that teacher was an extreme feminist, and it was obvious, since every class sounded like a rant on how men suck and ruin the world. (I took maybe 10 pages of notes. every day sounded the same). I pointed it out because someone asked for examples of people saying that white people couldn't experience racism. (and I do have online examples. I just don't want to sort through all my post on another site to find the topics, then search through the 20+ pages of posts. Especially in my op, since I needed to go to sleep.)
Also, as KrytenKoro said, you are completely taking what I said in that first quote out of context.

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Re: Is White Dominance Exaggerated?

Postby CorruptUser » Tue Jul 15, 2014 6:42 pm UTC

There is one implied assumption that you are making; Hispanics want to see a Hispanic lead.

Is this really the case?

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Re: Is White Dominance Exaggerated?

Postby Tyndmyr » Tue Jul 15, 2014 7:06 pm UTC

setzer777 wrote:
Tyndmyr wrote:
setzer777 wrote:Does anyone know how China compares to the US in terms of international cultural/economic influence? I was always under the impression that they had a huge influence on most of the Eastern Hemisphere. Or is most of the cultural influence from pre-PRC China?


Significant. Even in the western hemisphere, "chinese food" is fairly pervasive as a resteraunt option. They have a LOT of regional pull, and in fact, their naval claims are a pretty big issue in the south pacific, etc.

Now, in say, Europe or the US, the question of who has the more pull, US or China, isn't even a real question...but if you're living next to China, it's a very different world. As would be expected. Even with modern globalization, local influence still matters.


Yeah, I'm only really familiar with their military pull and their significance in large-scale industry. I'm utterly uninformed about how much modern cultural influence they have (in terms of media, product trends, etc.) Obviously Chinese culture has historically influenced a massive number of present-day cultures, but I don't know if that's an ongoing thing.


It's already a significant influence on Hollywood. Were it not for the Chinese market, for instance, there would almost certainly not be a Pacific Rim 2 in development. And in ages past, the original would almost certainly have been set primarily in NYC/LA, not in Asia.

Now, sure, it's gonna be heavily made by Americans, and foreign cinema isn't nearly so popular over here...but the Chinese market is large. Their preferences matter. If you see what looks like a product placement shot for a brand you've never heard of, google it. Sometimes, it's a notable product in foreign markets.

There are other examples, of course, but I figured I'd stick with the ongoing Hollywood theme.

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Re: Is White Dominance Exaggerated?

Postby Crissa » Tue Jul 15, 2014 7:34 pm UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:And in ages past, the original would almost certainly have been set primarily in NYC/LA, not in Asia.

Only one part of the movie was in Asia. Alaska, Vancouver, San Francisco are all not in Asia. Hong Kong was used as a Cyberpunk dystopia.

-Crissa

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Re: Is White Dominance Exaggerated?

Postby eSOANEM » Tue Jul 15, 2014 8:14 pm UTC

CorruptUser wrote:There is one implied assumption that you are making; Hispanics want to see a Hispanic lead.

Is this really the case?


Don't specifically about this case, but given the enormous number of blog posts by people from oppressed groups complaining about the lack of representation (and/or celebrating the little they get), I'd be shocked if it weren't the case.
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Re: Is White Dominance Exaggerated?

Postby Tyndmyr » Tue Jul 15, 2014 8:25 pm UTC

Crissa wrote:
Tyndmyr wrote:And in ages past, the original would almost certainly have been set primarily in NYC/LA, not in Asia.

Only one part of the movie was in Asia. Alaska, Vancouver, San Francisco are all not in Asia. Hong Kong was used as a Cyberpunk dystopia.

-Crissa


A portion of the setup flashed over all of those places, yes. The movie takes places in and around Hong Kong. Neither cyberpunk nor dystopia were particularly relevant...did you actually watch this movie?

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Re: Is White Dominance Exaggerated?

Postby CorruptUser » Tue Jul 15, 2014 9:02 pm UTC

eSOANEM wrote:
CorruptUser wrote:There is one implied assumption that you are making; Hispanics want to see a Hispanic lead.

Is this really the case?


Don't specifically about this case, but given the enormous number of blog posts by people from oppressed groups complaining about the lack of representation (and/or celebrating the little they get), I'd be shocked if it weren't the case.


That's just talk. Doesn't mean that they'd see an action movie starring Danny Trejo over Jason Stathom. I mean, it's not like switching out Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper for Adam Sandler and Sarah Silverman would've caused more Jews to see Silver Linings Playbook.

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Re: Is White Dominance Exaggerated?

Postby LaserGuy » Tue Jul 15, 2014 9:10 pm UTC

CorruptUser wrote:
eSOANEM wrote:
CorruptUser wrote:There is one implied assumption that you are making; Hispanics want to see a Hispanic lead.

Is this really the case?


Don't specifically about this case, but given the enormous number of blog posts by people from oppressed groups complaining about the lack of representation (and/or celebrating the little they get), I'd be shocked if it weren't the case.


That's just talk. Doesn't mean that they'd see an action movie starring Danny Trejo over Jason Stathom. I mean, it's not like switching out Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper for Adam Sandler and Sarah Silverman would've caused more Jews to see Silver Linings Playbook.


Well, the opposite effect appears to be true. White people are far less likely to watch films with a predominately black cast than a predominately white one.

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Re: Is White Dominance Exaggerated?

Postby gmalivuk » Tue Jul 15, 2014 9:15 pm UTC

CorruptUser wrote:There is one implied assumption that you are making; Hispanics want to see a Hispanic lead.

I'm not making that assumption, as my original reason for bringing up moviegoer demographics was simply to refute the nonsense about cishet white dudes being the majority of the audience the way they're the majority of the protagonists.

CorruptUser wrote:That's just talk. Doesn't mean that they'd see an action movie starring Danny Trejo over Jason Stathom. I mean, it's not like switching out Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper for Adam Sandler and Sarah Silverman would've caused more Jews to see Silver Linings Playbook.
Can't speak for any Hispanic people, but I'd sure as hell watch another Trejo film before another damn Stathom one.

And in movies at least, Jews aren't exactly hurting for reepresentation the way a lot of other ethnic groups are. Trying to draw analogies between them and Hispanics is therefore dubious at best.
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Re: Is White Dominance Exaggerated?

Postby CorruptUser » Tue Jul 15, 2014 9:28 pm UTC

I will agree though that if Hispanics purchase 25% of tickets, Hollywood should cater to them more. So, umm, more movies like Elysium?

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Re: Is White Dominance Exaggerated?

Postby gmalivuk » Tue Jul 15, 2014 10:08 pm UTC

LaserGuy wrote:Well, the opposite effect appears to be true. White people are far less likely to watch films with a predominately black cast than a predominately white one.
Right, because of racism.

And specifically because of privilege: white people (white men especially) can afford to avoid movies that aren't about people like them, because they know from experience that the majority of all movies are about people like them.

The privileged group is invisible. Media about women is for women, media about men is for everybody. Media about PoC are for PoC, media about white people are for everyone. Media about LGBTQ+ people are for LGBTQ+ people, media about cishet people are for everyone. Which boils down to: cishet white dudes can go around only consuming media about cishet white dudes and most people won't think they're artificially limiting themselves and they can count on people in other demographics being familiar with the same pop culture and they can pretty safely expect to continue to be specifically catered to by just about everyone who makes entertainment.

Anyone in other groups, meanwhile, usually has to seek out the much smaller niches that actually cater to people like them. Niches that are often housed in different parts of bookstores and movie stores, that are marketed on a much smaller scale and have much smaller cinematic runs, and so on.
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Re: Is White Dominance Exaggerated?

Postby setzer777 » Tue Jul 15, 2014 11:23 pm UTC

Cinema seems like another area that seems very America-focused in most discussions. I believe that Hollywood makes the most money, but Bollywood films are actually seen by more people on average.

It does make sense for people to focus on their own region in conversations, but sometimes it does seem to lead to overly-sweeping statements.
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Re: Is White Dominance Exaggerated?

Postby gmalivuk » Tue Jul 15, 2014 11:26 pm UTC

That might be true of many other movie discussions, but there's a reason this particular one is focused on American cinema.
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Re: Is White Dominance Exaggerated?

Postby setzer777 » Tue Jul 15, 2014 11:35 pm UTC

For sure. I didn't mean that in an accusatory way. Just drawing a tangential point.
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Re: Is White Dominance Exaggerated?

Postby jseah » Wed Jul 16, 2014 2:41 am UTC

setzer777 wrote:Yeah, I'm only really familiar with their military pull and their significance in large-scale industry. I'm utterly uninformed about how much modern cultural influence they have (in terms of media, product trends, etc.) Obviously Chinese culture has historically influenced a massive number of present-day cultures, but I don't know if that's an ongoing thing.

The answer is yes. I'm not entirely sure how to demonstrate that beyond a laundry list of examples that chinese people in Singapore/Malaysia do.

Spoiler:
Primary speaking language between chinese is dialects and most can speak mandarin.
Chinese traditional medicine is considered a respectable profession, although not quite to the level of a western physician.
Chinese dramas, historical dramas, comedy things; while there's no big budget Hollywood style films, the background cultural output is all solidly Chinese, either looking back to ancient China or at current drama/problems with the life of the everyday chinese man and woman. You have 1001 reruns of reality television, we have 1001 reruns of chinese classic wuxia fairytales and drama series that go into 700+ episodes. There's a reason why Hongkong Cop Dramas are a trope, and this is it.
Confucian values are supposedly a thing here, or so my more socially observant friend tells me. I couldn't tell you how big this one is because I don't see it at all, having grown up here in SEAsia, it's all invisible background to me. The scary part is that I can't even predict what sort of cultural difference would exist here since the base assumptions are probably at fault. Perhaps this is why I don't understand the parts of the internet talking about morals.
We have actual flavours for our food here. Not like the bland stuff which was all I could get in the UK. Steak and yorkshire pudding was nice, but surely you have more than just brown, white, tomato and no sauce... right?

Politically, China is also pretty huge. SEAsia is watching the Japan-China islands dispute quite closely. Taiwan also attracted alot of attention. And of course, with China's pushing claims in the south china sea, China's actions are also a major source of worry. The diplomatic waves are quite hard to understate, when people worry about foreign aggression here, it's China they're worried about.


In terms of US influence:
The USA is some monolithic foreign land (sorry, I don't even know how many states the US has, and many people would not be to tell you when the US civil war happened beyond sometime in the 1800s, if that) that has managed to get everything right and everything is new, shiny and hi-tech over there. Also expensive. And the people are invariably tall and fat. Relatives who go to US are unconsciously labeled "successful" unless their children can't speak chinese, then the grandmas will grumble incessantly about it.
Well ok, not "get everything right", there's also a worry that the US is throwing its weight around, what with the whole middle east thing, but it's a more abstract far away sort of problem that people cluck their tongues about and don't do anything. Still, there is a sense that American political systems, while hilariously dysfunctional, are somehow stronger than our own.
Netizens know about this mythical Bible Belt which has American brand extremism and a source of funny "oh, these crazy Americans" stories, but wouldn't know where it was on a map. Netizens are also aware of the existence of this race known as the African-American, but that's something very few people get to see. /hyperbole

The LGBT movement here is sort of only on the L & G part. Governments and people talk about gay marriage, trans is rarely mentioned. I'm not sure if it's because we don't consider it a problem or if it's because its a taboo. Probably taboo.
As for what I notice here, racism / discrimination is an "American worry". Everyone knows the story of discrimination in USA, few notice the principle.
Racism here is not so much outright discrimination but more like a self-segregation. Everyone has stereotypes about other races, but no one will refuse other people's business. People don't like to stay in a community full of a different race (hence community areas having sharp divisions along race lines) and rooms for rent are quite race biased towards the owner's race. Boycotts of stores that serve the 'wrong' race basically never happens, people don't care, but you'ld be hard pressed to find a non-chinese in a chinese restaurant. Worker hiring / promotion is quite meritocratic or I should say based on who you make friends with, and race only influences who you're likely to mix with but not the base chances.

Business environment and dress is all euro-centric but that's probably due to colonial-era influence. Similarly, common language between races is english.
We know chinese names confuse you but hells if we're going to stop putting our surnames in front. (I know, many whites know that chinese put surnames in front, but the impression is that surnames in front is deeply confusing to whites)
Your clumsy attempts to speak chinese are atonal meaningless sounds, hilarious and atrocious at the same time.
Sexual relations with minors is wrong. This is more closer to an imported attitude from western ideas than innate. While it is a crime and everyone dislikes it, it's not on the Original Sin level that is our impression of white attitudes towards the issue. Your experience may vary, but I haven't seen anyone in RL get all that worked up about it beyond, "eh, off to jail with 'im".
Christmas and Valentine's days are excuses to go shopping. No store is going to close on Christmas over here, they're all making too much money. Seriously, I was very very surprised (and hungry) to find that I couldn't buy anything at all when I stayed over for Christmas in the UK. That was a very cold christmas. =(
On the other hand, good luck finding a chinese employee willing to work over CNY. (or then again, since we like money, you might be able to get some at triple pay or something) Also, CNY, mooncake festival and chinmin have mythological significance, Christmas doesn't. Easter is not on the radar beyond another bank holiday. Good luck finding anyone who knows this thing called Lent.
Organized religion is not a thing. Buddhist temples are... optional. It's like a good luck charm, "if you don't go, it's your loss" is the sort of attitude. That's why the bible belt is so fascinating.


On the other hand, Japan is also creeping into quite alot of areas. Made is Japan is now the term for budget quality. Not as good as Made in Germany/US/Australia which you never see due to cost, but cheaper and better than Made in China. Sushi is common and considered expensive/good food. Various japanese knickknacks show up every now and then. Daiso does a roaring business.
I suppose the Japanese are similar enough that acceptance is easy, while still retaining the glossy "foreign culture" image.
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Re: Is White Dominance Exaggerated?

Postby leady » Wed Jul 16, 2014 10:58 am UTC

gmalivuk wrote:
CorruptUser wrote:There is one implied assumption that you are making; Hispanics want to see a Hispanic lead.

I'm not making that assumption, as my original reason for bringing up moviegoer demographics was simply to refute the nonsense about cishet white dudes being the majority of the audience the way they're the majority of the protagonists.


Ah and there is the divergence. I thought we were just discussing a single categorisation and why it might be underrepresented purely due to sound commercial reaons (why market to 25% when you can market to 50% (the numbers in that article seem to switch for per capita to absolutes) - and a 50% that speaks English and is going to be more affluent.

But of course the discussion needs to be shifted to that evil quadrant of society...

There was a story about tomato sauce. People chose which tomato sauce based on 3 possibilities; sweet, spicy, and chunky. A researcher noticed this, and at the time no major manufacturer was making chunky tomato sauce. The CEO said to the researcher "you mean to tell me people want chunky tomato sauce and NO ONE is making it?".

Major industries leave sections of markets unexploited all the time because sometimes no one high up knows the market is unexploited. A little manufacturer that can figure out what or who isn't being served and how to service them can become a dominant player very quickly, but it can be decades before that happens.

Another real life case. Did you know the first (American) black millionaire was also the first woman self made millionaire? Madame something or other. The major manufacturers weren't making hair products that black women wanted, such as hair straighteners and other stuff (yes, to "look white"). She did, and became a millionaire. The companies did leave millions on the table because they didn't realize that there was millions being left on the table.


Absolutely these infrequent gaps in the market exist periodically and the first mover makes a killing.

My advice - stop moaning and get doing if you believe there is a gap. Bemoaning the fact that other people should take the risks that the collective you won't is well...

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Re: Is White Dominance Exaggerated?

Postby morriswalters » Wed Jul 16, 2014 11:57 am UTC

gmalivuk wrote:Anyone in other groups, meanwhile, usually has to seek out the much smaller niches that actually cater to people like them. Niches that are often housed in different parts of bookstores and movie stores, that are marketed on a much smaller scale and have much smaller cinematic runs, and so on.
And generate less money. However, describe another way for it to work.

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Re: Is White Dominance Exaggerated?

Postby Tyndmyr » Wed Jul 16, 2014 12:47 pm UTC

gmalivuk wrote:
LaserGuy wrote:Well, the opposite effect appears to be true. White people are far less likely to watch films with a predominately black cast than a predominately white one.
Right, because of racism.


That is one explanation.

Another explanation that doesn't jump right into "white people are mostly racist" would be that black casts appear less in the kinds of movies people want to watch. I mean...there's not THAT large of a sample set of movies with mostly black casts. A single series of bad movies might be enough to skew interest. I realize that "bad" is subjective, but, say...half the Tyler Perry movies are pretty horrible.

This might be merely racism on the part of the makers, directing worse parts and worse movies to the minorities. Surely the history of Hollywood makes such an explanation plausible.

After all, when was the last blockbuster starring a gay, minority dude? Hell, such a char appearing at all, starring or not, would almost invariably be played for laughs.

On the flip side, Will Smith's entire career can be held up as an example that white folks will totally watch movies starring minorities, if they are good. Well, except for the nepotism that was After Earth. Ugh.

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Re: Is White Dominance Exaggerated?

Postby Brace » Wed Jul 16, 2014 1:16 pm UTC

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Re: Is White Dominance Exaggerated?

Postby setzer777 » Wed Jul 16, 2014 1:48 pm UTC

jseah wrote:The answer is yes. I'm not entirely sure how to demonstrate that beyond a laundry list of examples that chinese people in Singapore/Malaysia do.


Wow, that as an incredibly thorough response. Thank you!

As an aside, I totally agree about food. Have you ever had good authentic Mexican food?
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Re: Is White Dominance Exaggerated?

Postby Tyndmyr » Wed Jul 16, 2014 2:19 pm UTC

Brace wrote:There's no scenario where racism accounts for 0% of this, but there's room to argue how much and where.


Shorted quote for brevity...but it is noticable that people do like happy endings. Historical or not, people tend to prefer some level of "everything fits together, and the good guy gets rewarded in the end". I don't think this is a racial thing, so much as it is a simple human bias towards a "just world".

But...I don't think Hollywood is particularly focused on historical truth in general. Sure, it comes up in a few films, but the big blockbusters have never been the documentaries. There's no reason we HAVE to link minority representation so strongly to historical fact.

Will Smith's chars being the same kind of roles that a white dude could play, well...yes. There's nothing wrong with that whatsoever. In fact, I dare say that's the point. Casting a minority in a historical role where only a minority fits isn't terribly bold. To get some kind of equality, you want a mix in the sort of roles where identity really isn't important. Personally, I'd like to see a better mix of action stars. Like...maybe a female who is believably buff, instead of ridiculously thin(yes, yes, I know that maybe two of these exist in hollywood) as the protaganist in an action movie.

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Re: Is White Dominance Exaggerated?

Postby CorruptUser » Wed Jul 16, 2014 3:36 pm UTC

gmalivuk wrote:
LaserGuy wrote:Well, the opposite effect appears to be true. White people are far less likely to watch films with a predominately black cast than a predominately white one.
Right, because of racism.



The Jeffersons was more popular among white people than the show it was spun off from, All in the Family. Fresh Prince of Bel Air also had a very large white following.

Maybe the problem is that movies with all-black casts tend to be things like Madea Eats Fried Chicken. Forgive me if I didn't go see a movie about Tyler Perry masturbating inside a fat-suit.

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Re: Is White Dominance Exaggerated?

Postby leady » Wed Jul 16, 2014 3:58 pm UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:Personally, I'd like to see a better mix of action stars. Like...maybe a female who is believably buff, instead of ridiculously thin(yes, yes, I know that maybe two of these exist in hollywood) as the protaganist in an action movie.


Oh god no - or at least not in general. We need a new generation of proper action movies, not targetted at the PG-13 crowd. I'm also pretty tired of the "action barbie" ongoing silliness in movies and TV (bar Johanson as black widow...), my disbelief suspension has been used up at this point :). Saying that, if they changed it away from hand to hand combat back to the more plausible Ripley model...

Then again Buffy and veronica mars are probably my favourite TV shows of all time so clearly my tastes are all over the place


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