Audience Reactions to Orientalist Stereotyping in "I Dream of Jeannie"

Audience Reactions to Orientalist Stereotyping in I Dream of Jeannie

Date: August 2015  

Author: Katherine Bullock, PhD

This paper presents the results of focus group discussions of the 1960s American sitcom, I Dream of Jeannie. The findings reveal that this popular television series, replete with Orientalist imagery, had contributed to widespread negative stereotypes of Islam and Muslims. Much attention in the field of audience studies focuses on the relationship between media violence and violent behaviour, or the impact of news coverage on voting behaviour. The portrayal of minorities as influencing racist attitudes has been less studied, and an exhaustive literature search on the impact of negative media representation on peoples’ attitudes towards Islam/Muslims only turned up seven studies.

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