Discussion: Influence of Media on Stereotypes
In Week 1, you considered constructionism, which suggests that political, legal, and economic social processes influence perceptions of race and ethnicity. Media is an example of a social process that influences perceptions of race and ethnicity. Media includes film, television, print, the Internet, and radio. One way that media influences perceptions of race and ethnicity is by depicting stereotypes. A stereotype is a depiction of a member of a group that suggests that all members of that group share the same characteristics. Examples of stereotypes include the following: Asians are good at math, blacks have rhythm, and Mexicans are lazy, to name a few. When individuals repeatedly view imbalanced portrayals in the media, they may perceive others in a way that is consistent with the stereotypes portrayed. Stereotypes may be positive or negative. In your text, Framework Essay III explains how Asian Americans often are stereotyped positively, while African Americans often are stereotyped negatively.
To prepare for this Discussion:
- Review the “Framework Essay” in Section III and Readings 13, 31, and 33 in the course text. Pay particular attention to stereotypes and media representations of racial and ethnic groups.
- Think about how media influences racial and ethnic stereotypes.
- Consider positive and negative stereotypes that you are aware of.
- Watch a television sitcom, a drama, a news program, a talk show, or the commercials aired during one of these types of shows. Identify one example of a positive racial or ethnic stereotype and one example of a negative racial or ethnic stereotype.
- Consider how the racial or ethnic stereotypes in the media that you viewed may influence viewers’ perceptions of race and ethnicity.
With these thoughts in mind:
By Day 3
Post one example of a positive racial or ethnic stereotype that you viewed. Explain why you identified the stereotype as positive. Then, post one example of a negative racial or ethnic stereotype that you viewed. Explain why you identified the stereotype as negative. Finally, evaluate how the stereotypes that you identified might influence viewers’ perceptions of race and ethnicity. Provide specific examples to illustrate your explanation.
Be sure to support your postings and responses with specific references to the Learning Resources.
Read a selection of your colleagues’ postings.
By Day 5
Respond to at least one of your colleagues’ postings in one or more of the following ways:
- Ask a probing question and provide insight into how you would answer your question and why.
- Ask a probing question and provide the foundation, or rationale, for the question.
- Expand on your colleagues posting by offering a new perspective or insight.
- Agree with a colleague and offer additional (new) supporting information for consideration.
- Disagree with a colleague by respectfully discussing and supporting a different perspective.
Rosenblum, K. E., & Travis T. C. (2016). The meaning of difference: American constructions of race and ethnicity, sex and gender, social class, sexuality, and disability (7th ed.). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.
- Section II, Reading 24, “From Friendly Foreigner to Enemy Race”
- Section I, Reading 12, “What’s Class Got to Do With It?”
- Section I, Reading 13, “The Silver Spoon: Inheritance and the Staggered Start”
- Section II, Reading 31, “Cause of Death: Inequality”
- Section II, Reading 33, “The Myth of the Culture of Poverty
- Section III, “Framework Essay”
Bonilla-Silva, E. (2004). From bi-racial to tri-racial: Towards a new system of racial stratification in the USA. Ethnic and Racial Studies, 27(6), 931950. doi:10.1080/0141987042000268530
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