The Homeland of Stereotypes

  • Hossein Keramatfar University of Tehran, IRAN
Keywords: Ambivalent character, Captive Mind, Nativization, Negative Formula, Orientalist Discourse

Abstract

Following the vigorous critique of orientalism, orientalist discourse had employed complex strategies to create ambivalent non-Western stereotypes. The earlier fixed oriental characters were often discarded; they were instead accorded certain amounts of flexibility. However, the fact was that despite such changes and these less negative images, orientalist discourse continued producing the Oriental other to perpetuate Western domination. In fact, it simply drew upon old repertoire of stereotypes, recycled them, and produced new ones; only care was taken that they did not sound as markedly negative as the old ones. The present paper sought to investigate how the American TV series Homeland (2011-) repeated the imperialist claims of the orientalist discourse by presenting a range of oriental character types, from the classic Muslim terrorist to some less negative characters. It employed “Negative formulas” to produce more ambivalent stereotypes to reinforce the alleged essential superiority of America. The series staged the character of the captive mind as the ideal oriental type to be imitated by all Orientals. The paper also demonstrated that how Homeland employed the orientalist theme of nativization, again only to prove the eventual un-contaminability and superiority of the West. Islam and Iran were the particular targets of Homeland’s stereotyping.

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Published
2019-01-03