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Research Article

EEO. 2020; 19(4): 4040-4049

Why bloodthirsty monsters? : A multimodal analysis of incorporation of the supernatural to symbolize racism and othering in webtoons

Saira Asghar Khan, Zainab Shahid, Imdad Ullah Khan, Shazia Rose.

This paper examines the implications of considering supernatural incorporated into the webtoons as metaphorically addressing racism and inclusivity. Based on analysis of two webtoon series Days of Hana (2016) and Orange Marmalade (2019) created by Seokwoo, the current study uses qualitative multimodal and textual analysis situated within a theoretical framework based on the Critical Race Theory. The framework adapts the notions of “historically rationalized racism” and the treatment of the minority group as “subhumans” at the hands of the majority and combines them with some basic tenants of racism related to race as a social construct underpinned by intersectionality. Findings in the current paper suggest that racism found in the two focal webtoon series has been historically rationalized and socially constructed. The supernatural beings in the webtoons are treated as less than humans on account of the differences they have in their physical attributes or biological mechanisms. From this theoretical perspective, the webtoons attempt to unravel notions of racial superiority based on superficial differences and hint at inclusivity by creating plotlines that expose the evils of racism.

Key words: racism, supernatural, webtoons, multimodality, textual analysis, critical race theory

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