Resistive Reading of Anti-Islam Movies by Educated American Audience: An Analysis

This article provides an assessment of the dominant meaning inserted in Hollywood movies that offer anti-Islamic content, compared to the meaning that the American audience attaches to these movies.

Framed by a theoretical synthesis of Gadamer’s approach to reception and Said’s notion of Orientalism, we employ such concepts as lived experience, inter-cultural communication and media literacy to indicate how the American audience is taking a resistive orientation.

This analytical model suggests that any typical American audience seeks to expand their understanding of the lived experience with Muslims based on their inter-cultural experience with Muslims and apply it to their readings of the popular anti-Islamic movies. 

To examine the paper’s theoretical claims we used an internet-based in-depth interview technique in which 12 women and 10 men participated. Some of the findings reveal that the educated American audience may not perceive Hollywood fiction as a reliable source of information about either Muslims or Islam, and that they engage in alternate and resistive interpretations of movie content.

Photographers of recent years document land, nature, and the environment to reveal to the public, politicians and lawmakers decay or spoiled lands, endangered cultures and wildlife, and other issues affecting the degradation of Earth’s natural resources and all its inhabitants.

Different from their predecessors, contemporary photographers use all media to expose and make the public aware of wide-ranging environmental concerns.

Therefore, the purpose of this research was to explore how photographers visually document environmental issues. Interviews and analysis of environmental and nature photographers’ websites are the primary sources for this exploratory study.

Findings reveal photographers do not just document the environment, they engage in media as activism. More than words and pictures, media activism comprises a myriad of mediated content from still photos, to moving images, graphics, audio, web and mobile devices, as well as social media all in an effort to improve society.