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During the course of looking at education, and ethnicity issues I became interested in how ethnic groups were portrayed in the media

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Introduction

Lesley Symons - Sociology Coursework AS THE MEDIA AIM During the course of looking at education, and ethnicity issues I became interested in how ethnic groups were portrayed in the media. Although I haven't studied this before, I wanted to do something different, but still apply the fundamental theories which I have studied. I have noticed how there seems to be a trend with all areas involving ethnicity, and personally feel there is racism and under-representation of ethnic groups on television, and definitely inequalities in the press. The media has a huge effect on our perception of life and self-concepts, and reinforce stereotypical ideals, and it seems that ethnic minorities tend to be characterised as uneducated, illiterate and bad role-models. Therefore the aim of this research is to see how people feel about the way the media represents all ethnic groups, and whether they think they are stereotypical. (139) CONTEXT & CONCEPTS My first concept is the cultural effects model which sees the media as a very powerful influence, but also sees it as very diverse, and one type of audience's response may vary to another. ...read more.

Middle

Here he analyses the reporting of ethnic issues in 1985 & 1989, in which the press, (especially the tabloids) portrayed black people as a 'problem' and a 'threat' to mainstream society. The collected findings of both pieces of research generally give a depressing reading. Under-representation and stereotypical characterisation within entertainment genres and negative, problem-orientated portrayal within factuality and news forms, and a tendency to ignore structural inequalities are recurring research findings when looking into the media. (417) Main Method of Research Using the interpretavist method, I am going to use a semi-structured interview in this research; in which I will be showing participants a photo and then be asking closed and open questions. The photo is an image of a white policeman and a black male in ordinary clothes, running. The two men are in fact both policeman but it could be interpreted as a policeman chasing a black man. The reason for doing this is because it will be more practical for what I want to achieve. I will be observing initial reactions to the photo, and then elaborating on the reasons why. ...read more.

Conclusion

Practically, it takes some time to conduct an interview, this meaning that not many interviews can actually take place. Another factor in consideration is this research cannot be representative; the sample is too small and therefore cannot be generalised to the whole population. This research could be replicated and possibly suggest similarities but due to conditions of an ever-changing society, it is more likely the results could not be found the same. There is more qualitative information to be collected and therefore it cannot be measured. With closed questions there is the possibility of producing quantitative data, however with this piece of research, the chosen sample is too small to have a general reliability. One of the main problems with the design method is the variable of ethnicity. I have deliberately chosen not to control this, and therefore could present some problems, with regards to interpretation and also, ethically, it produces a sensitivity; both as a researcher and for the participant. Another problem of interviewing, especially with disregarding ethnicity, is the effect on perhaps what the interviewee thinks he/she should respond. If race and/or stereotyping is a major issue in society, it is possible that participants will come to generalisations themselves and come to the defence of either their own, or others' social group. (260) (Total 1161) ...read more.

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