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Stereotypes in Media

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Stereotypes in Media Everyone has encountered stereotypes. Our society is solely based on face values where we tend to place someone in categories. Prejudicial notations used to define members of a social or ethnic group are called stereotypes. In Content Analysis, gender, class, and race stereotypes thrive in contemporary society, much like they have done throughout human history. With the arrival of television, however, stereotypes assumption have become so pervasive, and so diffused that some call for a serious and purposeful scrutiny of television contents. It's unfortunate that if people see images enough they feed into them, and eventually believe them. Therefore any misconceptions must be corrected; otherwise people will not be living in reality. Instead of seeing real people with real problems and attitudes viewers are plagued with phony fictitious characters that stereotype and ever offend viewers. During prime time hours, men make up the vast majority of characters shown. Whereas women characters, found during this same time frame, are mainly in comedies. ...read more.


Working-class characters, however, are found predominantly in comedies, where they are presented in class-stereotypical roles. The resulting impressions are that "working class lives are funny, whereas serious drama occurs elsewhere." (Anderson 26) In the same manner, men are mainly dominated on television, except in situation comedies, where low-status women outnumber men in relative dominance. In addition, these stereotypical patterns above are further confounded by race. In terms of race, 66 percent of white actors have positive roles on television but that few actors of Latino, African and Asian descent have such roles." (Fears B1) Although African-American watch television significantly more than whites, they are a small proportion of the characters seen. African Americans have been portrayed as maids, servants or clowns. These negative perceptions started to appear in sitcoms such as in Amos and Andy, who are the stereotypical blacks that never took things seriously. In the television show "Friends", a show watched by millions based on the lives of six friends diverse only by personality. ...read more.


Television thereby becomes the common basic for social interaction among very widely dispersed and diverse national community, As such it can only be compared, it terms of its function, not to any other medium but to the pre-industrial notion of religion. If television provides for the maintenance of culture, then it must resist social movements that challenge the culture; rather, they defend the traditional system by co-opting new images that social movements generate. Segregation by gender, class, and race juxtaposes the human potential. It expands cultural divides and gives people little access to the lives of others. Therefore, it is not unreasonable to assume that television offers, for some, the only indirect experience of the vastness the human cultural and individual palate has to offer. Unfortunately, in light of all that has been covered above, television fails miserably in portraying the human potential. Despite increased awareness of harmful stereotypes, cultural habits are hard to shake. A simplified worldview centered on stereotypes, however comforting it may be, is only accomplished by the sacrifice of understanding. Therefore, in order to achieve understanding of others, and consequently one's self; one should look elsewhere than towards television. ...read more.

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