The acclaimed film Roma, released in 2018, brought much-needed attention to the lives of indigenous domestic workers in Mexico City. Produced with the support of organizations like Just Films and the National Alliance of Domestic Workers, Roma aimed to disrupt stereotypes and shed light on the conditions faced a marginalized group. The film’s success can be attributed to the collaboration of these organizations, which form what the author refers to as “recognition chains.” These chains are networks that work together to transform narratives and expand the circle of those considered worthy.
In her book “Seeing Others: How Recognition Works and How it Can Help Heal a Divided World,” the author conducted interviews with individuals involved in recognition chains. These change agents include Hollywood professionals and comedians, who play a crucial role in challenging stereotypes and stigma through their work. These narratives are disseminated through traditional and digital media, which have a significant impact on shaping shared identities.
Historically, traditional media, such as print publications, played a vital role in shaping collective identities and bringing communities together. However, the rise of digital media platforms like Netflix and Patreon has disrupted the dominance of traditional gatekeepers in the cultural industry. This diversification of media sources has strengthened recognition chains and provided more inclusive representation.
While new digital platforms offer greater inclusivity, the consumption of these platforms remains concentrated among a relatively small group. The most active users tend to be younger and more educated, with social media serving as their primary source of news. Television still remains the primary medium for the majority of the population, with local TV news serving as an important source of information.
Unfortunately, other forms of media, particularly those controlled the powerful and privileged, are facing challenges. Print journalism has been in crisis for decades, with declining advertising revenues leading to the closure of many newspapers. The dominance of online media platforms like Facebook and Twitter has further undermined the influence and reach of print publications.
In conclusion, recognition chains play a significant role in shaping media and cultural narratives. Collaborations between organizations and cultural creators help challenge stereotypes and amplify the voices of marginalized groups. While traditional media still holds influence, the rise of digital platforms presents opportunities for more inclusive representation. However, the concentration of media consumption among certain demographics poses challenges in achieving widespread recognition. As the media landscape continues to evolve, understanding these changing dynamics is essential for a more equitable and diverse representation in the media.
– The Atlantic (no URL)
– The New York Times (no URL)