Race, Gender, and Genre in Crash
Crash (Paul Haggis, 2005) follows a range of diverse but intersecting characters who, in their entirety, are meant to represent a social landscape: modern American urban existence. Through an ensemble cast and a multi-story structure, the film depicts a circuitous society in which one part affects other parts that, in turn, affect all parts. This chapter takes up the complex, multi-discursive world depicted in Crash in order to explore the place—or absence—of emotion in genre studies. Looking specifically at the moments of collision between characters in which the issues of race and gender are inseparable, it considers how anger specifically, and perhaps emotion in general, can be understood to ignite and fuel complex social relations. Such an analysis tells us about the ways in which emotions as cultural phenomena are understood or, equally, overlooked in media and other social representations.
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