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Who is James Bond? Show more Show less

From the beginning of the James Bond movie franchise in 1962, 007 has proved to be a long-lasting cultural icon. The spy for the U.K. Secret Service has now starred in 26 movies, accruing many high-tech gadgets and charming huge amounts of women as he goes. But who is James Bond? Is he a hero? A villain? A symbol of a time gone by? Or totally irrelevant?

James Bond is a problematic figure Show more Show less

James Bond is nothing but a symbol of sexism, imperialism and capitalist over-indulgence
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James Bond is a symbol of xenophobia and imperialism

James Bond was created to justify British imperialist rule, and xenophobic undertones have underpinned much of the franchise.
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Context

The Argument

James Bond was originally created during the Cold War, when British influence was heavily waning. Correspondingly, the series was a Trojan Horse for anti-Communist and pro-British Empire ideas.[1] There have also been several instances of overtly racist portrayals of characters in James Bond movies. For instance, the white actor Joseph Wiseman wore makeup to portray the eponymous half-Chinese character in Dr. No.[2] In a further example of yellowface, in You Only Live Twice, James Bond disguises himself as a Japanese man. These images serve to portray broad conceptions of Asian culture, and perpetuate stereotypical ideas about the people who live there. James Bond is a weapon of the British Empire, sent out to defeat Communists and other evil-doers. Along the way, non-white people are Othered as unimportant.

Counter arguments

Framing

Premises

[P1] James Bond was created in reaction to the Cold War and the British Empire's waning influence. [P2] James Bond is a symbol of imperialism and anti-Communism.

Rejecting the premises

Proponents

Further Reading

References

  1. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RFBmM1HLooA
  2. https://www.themarysue.com/bond-girl-dr-no/

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This page was last edited on Tuesday, 3 Mar 2020 at 10:27 UTC