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Assess the claim that media texts reproduce racist ideologies.

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Introduction

Assess the claim that media texts reproduce racist ideologies. The Mass Media plays an important role in social and cultural ideologies and can easily change them through time. "British Broadcasting literally mediates the politics of race, ethnicity and cultural identity." Hall (1988:257) The Mass Media can shape representations and people's ideologies about ethnic minorities in either a positive or negative way. The media instigates the communication of dominant ideologies and can sustain them. It can also challenge them. There are counter-hegemonic ideologies among oppressed groups such as ethnic minorities that the public are exposed to. With repeated exposure, racism seems "normal" to those who engage in such disclosure. To analyse racism in the media, we must first operationalise the concepts and determine what racism is. Racism is a social system of ethnic and racial inequalities. In the media, various levels of discourse may be involved in the emphasis of negative beliefs about immigrants and minorities and thus contributes to the ideologies of racism. Racism is "not biologically inferior, but a means of different culture." D'Souza (1995). This inequality in power and status between ethnic and cultural groups can be expressed, enacted and confirmed by media discourses such as newspapers. Media discourse is the main source of people's knowledge and it's primarily discursive and symbolic. ...read more.

Middle

It also says that they are "all claiming benefits." This is a big claim by The Daily Mail to suggest that all Algerians are doing this. It seems to be an assumption that immediately puts a negative tag onto Algerians. It also backs up Thompson's claim about objectivity being preserved by journalists - opinion is often omitted. The word "ruthlessly" is a strong word and can suggest that Algerians are being aggressive with their exploitation of returns and it is now becoming a common practice. This will make people wary and think that all Algerians are doing this and could lead to racism from these negative words. There is nothing positive said about them. However, not all text about ethnic minorities is negative. I would have to ensure my sample was aware of this before they conducted their own research. This is a good method of analysis of ethnic minorities in the media. My sample is large and representative and targets a large part of ethnic minorities in the media. However, it is difficult to maintain objectivity in my chosen method. People tend to have preconceived ideologies about ethnic minorities and what one person thinks is a negative point, another may think it is positive. The interviews after the analysis should help determine this and because of their formal structure the participants may be able to ask any questions that they might have about the research. ...read more.

Conclusion

This would make my results more valid and ultimately reliable. My conclusions about the two methodologies show that content analysis was more effective. Although both the samples used were the same, qualitative analysis can draw up better conclusions than quantitative analysis. Qualitative analysis is more in-depth and can help you depict the ways in which ethnic minorities are represented in the media. Not all representations are negative and this must be made very clear in a covering letter to your sample before research is undertaken. You also have to ensure your sample is notified if you intend to record their answers. This is for ethical reasons. Questionnaires are a fast way of analysis. They aren't time consuming and can be sent to a large sample by mail. Although this would make your results generalisable, they wouldn't be representative because most don't return them. However, asking people to complete them in a closed environment would problematize their responses. People would want to answer in a way to make themselves look better, than truthfully, because they are being closely analysed. By using qualitative analysis people can speak truthfully because the questions aren't controlled, they are open-ended. Although it is difficult to analyse the types of words that promote racism in newspapers, the interviewer could direct the participant in the right direction in the unstructured interviews. This would make the results valid and the coding sheet would back this up. 1 ...read more.

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