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How far do you agree with Tessa Perkins views on stereotypes? Illustrate your answer with examples from a range of different media texts.

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Introduction

How far do you agree with Tessa Perkins views on stereotypes? Illustrate your answer with examples from a range of different media texts. "The importance of an image lies not so much in its truth as in its consequences." (Naegele and Stolar, 1960) A stereotype is defined as a label, which involves a process of categorization and evaluation, although it can refer to situations or places. Merriam-Webster defines a stereotype as "a standardized mental picture that is held in common by members of a group and that represents an oversimplified opinion, prejudiced attitude, or uncritical judgment." Our society often innocently creates and perpetuates stereotypes, but these stereotypes often lead to unfair discrimination and persecution. For example, if we are walking through a park late at night and encounter three senior citizens aided by canes we may not feel as threatened as if we were me by three high school boys in leather jackets. Why is this? We have mad a generalization in each case. These generalizations have their roots in experiences we have had ourselves, read about in books, seen on television or heard about from friends or family. In virtually every case, we are resorting to prejudice by ascribing characteristics about a person based on a stereotype. ...read more.

Middle

The media can be a powerful tool in creating or reinforcing stereotypes. An example is the public perception that youth crime is on the rise, or out of control. This impression has been created largely through media coverage of alarming stories about high school shootings, property crimes, and incidents involving so-called youth gangs. Between 1987 and 1997, the rate of youths charged with property offences, the most common kind of youth crime, dropped steadily. Negative stereotypes not only affect how adults see teenagers, they influence how teenagers see themselves. The feeling that the rest of the world doesn't respect or understand you does little to encourage a positive sense of self-worth. "An important issue is how adults treat me just because I'm a teenager. Sure there are bad ones out there but I'm not one of them. It doesn't just hurt but it's disrespectful when security figures follow me around like I'm some kind of loser or criminal Canada's Teens, Today, Yesterday, and Tomorrow Other minority groups in society, such as blacks, native people, women, gays and lesbians have all experienced the effects of negative stereotyping and lack of positive images in the media. Many of these groups have lobbied successfully to educate the media about issues that concern them, to challenge stereotypes, and to provide more balanced coverage of their communities. ...read more.

Conclusion

Stereotypes of a group of people can affect the way society views them, and change society's expectations of them. With enough exposure to a stereotype, society may come to view it as a reality rather than a chosen representation. I do agree with Tessa Perkins, because I think that all stereotypes have a grain of truth. I think we should start looking at people for who they are individually and work away from stereotyping. The media can be a powerful tool in creating or reinforcing stereotypes. An example is the public Other minority groups in society -- such as blacks, native people, women, gays and lesbians -- have all experienced the effects of negative stereotyping and lack of positive images in the media. Many of these groups have lobbied successfully to educate the media about issues that concern them, to challenge stereotypes, and to provide more balanced coverage of their communities. Stereotyping is a natural function of the human/cultural mind and is therefore morally neutral in and of itself. A culture, however, endorses moral or immoral actions based upon the beliefs and assumptions implicit in the simplifying stereotype, and every culture seeks to simplify a complex reality so that it can better determine how best to act in any given circumstance. While it's human nature to categorize people based on our experiences, stereotyping have far greater and more negative consequences than making judgments about individuals. ...read more.

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