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Colourblind racism discourses presented in YouTube review videos of "Just Mercy"

Faculty Advisor




colourblind racism, movie reviews, YouTube

Abstract (summary)

In the current age of the COVID-19 pandemic with issues about race and discrimination becoming more apparent, many individuals turn towards media to learn more about race and racism in the world. Therefore, this research project aims to explore how white audiences are discussing films that depict race-based issues. Just Mercy, directed by Destin Daniel Cretton, depicts the true story of civil rights defence attorney Bryan Stevenson as they work to free wrongly convicted African Americans on death row. Using critical discourse analysis, this study explores whether colourblind racism discourses are present in how white audiences discuss the film Just Mercy. To do so, this project will be using Eduardo Bonilla-Silva’s four frames of colourblind racism and Jayakumar and Adamian’s fifth frame of colourblind racism to analyze movie review videos published by white YouTubers. Through the analysis of these videos, the findings indicate that Jayakumar and Adamian’s fifth frame of colourblind racism is used more commonly by white individuals in racially conscious contexts than Bonilla-Silva’s initial four frames.

Publication Information



Presented on April 26, 2021 at Student Research Day held virtually at MacEwan University in Edmonton, Alberta.

Item Type

Student Presentation




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