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(Dis)Connecting Race, Ethnicity, and Class

(Dis)Connecting Race, Ethnicity, and Class

(p.38) Chapter 2 (Dis)Connecting Race, Ethnicity, and Class
Making and Remaking Horror in the 1970s and 2000s
David Roche
University Press of Mississippi

Taking up Toni Morrison’s thesis of the “symbolic figurations of blackness,” this chapter aims to reveal that questions of race and ethnicity are at stake even when they appear invisible. The analyses of the films confirm that social class occupies a more prominent place in the 1970s films that rarely tackle issues of race and ethnicity head on and tend to favor a metaphorical mode. These films underline both the specifities of, and connections between, these issues, while the representation of the “monster” often calls into question the essentialism traditionally attached to these notions. One of the “disturbing” aspects of the 1970s films, then, has to do with the way the “monster” can enable a politically subversive subtext. In the remakes, the treatment of class, race, and ethnicity is more explicit, but the focus on one issue is often detrimental to a focus on others. Though the remakes increase the number of characters from different racial backgrounds, they tend to suggest that problems of race and ethnicity have largely been resolved.

Keywords:   Race, Class, Ethnicity, Subversion, Visible and invisible

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