Stereotypes about the San people

Topics: Culture, Anthropology, Cultural anthropology Pages: 3 (890 words) Published: October 18, 2013
The San have been represented by the media as a primitive group living in untouched area. We see this a lot in news, articles and films. The film titled “the gods must be crazy” which portrayed the San as people who have never seen a bottle of coca cola is a good example . However, one may ask this question : “how can a “primitive” group that is “untouched by civilization” feature in a movie?” In 1980s the San took part in making a film. This is one of the top things that come into mind when we think of “civilization”. Yet the youtube video shown above which was published in 2012 still portrayed the San as “the classic stone age people”.

As Richard Lee highlights , the San specifically the Ju’ Hoansi have been a recognized human race since the 19th century (Lee 2013). That being said, it is not right to call them a primitive race just because they have a culture that is different from the western culture. Misrepresenting the San is problematic because it makes us view them in a wrong way. In addition, it enhances the false romanticization of the San as an authentic stone age culture (Mega Essays 2013). The truth is that the San people cannot be compared to a stone age culture because their culture is not static. The San culture is ever changing and being affected by “western civilization” and technology just like other cultures. With that in mind, this paper is going to critique today’s media representation of the Ju’Hoansi as a “lost” race, living in “untouched”. “harsh” environment.

Firstly, the Ju’Hoansi people and the San in general are usually referred to as “bushmen” in the media. This term is problematic because it has some racist and sexist connotations. It is similar to calling someone “indian” (Lee 2013:9). The word is self explanatory as it means “bush” and “men” put together. In the video shown in the beginning, the word “bushmen” is the only word used to describe the San and that is the name that we find in the media often. This name...

References: Retrieved 22, 07, 2013 from http://www.studymode.com/essays/Namibian-San-
People-Begins-New-Chapterred-1113806.html
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