An analysis of racial stereotyping in SABC-TV commercials in the context of reform, 1978-1992.
This thesis uses racial stereotyping as a critical approach to the analysis of television advertising commercials broadcast by the SABC during the period of Reform in South Africa, 1978-1992. Due respect is given to theoretical debates about the ideological role of consumer advertising. In the light of various possible causes, such as an increasing importance of blacks to the consumer market, government co-option in terms of 'Total Strategy', or calls by the business sector for a strong black middle class, particular attention is given to the underlying dynamics of black middle class depiction in advertisements. The Introduction outlines the main arguments of the thesis, key theoretical moves, and discusses research sources. Chapter 1 clarifies the concept of stereotype, the nature of racial stereotyping, and proposes a category framework for the analysis of racial stereotyping in a reformist apartheid context. Chapter 2 marries a racial stereotyping critical approach of consumer advertising in South Africa with theoretically-informed advertising criticism in terms of a conception of consumption as a means of hegemony. Chapter 3 outlines aspects of the post-World War II political economy which have underpinned the ensuing forms of South African racial stereotyping. Chapter 4 examines the basis of the SABC-TV broadcasting dispensation and its influence upon the forms of racial stereotyping in commercials. Chapter 5 examines the use of political and public service advertising during the P.W. Botha era, in consideration of what influence such political dimensions of Reform might have had upon the ideological content of advertising in general. Chapter 6 examines advertising production practices during the period of Reform in order to assess the position of the advertising industry with regard to the changing forms in racial stereotyping. Chapter 7 applies the preceding theorisation and assessments about the relationship between the political economy and changing forms of racial stereotyping in SABC-TV commercials in a case study based on the advertising commercial 'history reel' for Castle Lager. Chapter 8 gives further verification in a case study of the history reel for Rama margarine. The Conclusion sums up the preceding chapters and reassess earlier observations. Appendices in Volume II of the thesis provide 830 shot-by-shot descriptions and 890 stills for 41 commercials that comprise the two case studies.