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STEREOTYPES IN THE MEDIA

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Juliana Brittis

on 19 November 2013

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Transcript of STEREOTYPES IN THE MEDIA

STEREOTYPES IN THE MEDIA
STEREOTYPES
comes from the Greek "stereos" meaning "firm or solid" and "typos" meaning "impression"
1. to believe unfairly that all people or things with a particular characteristic are the same
2. to repeat without variation
Richard Dyer's
"The Role of Stereotypes"
"“for the most part it is from stereotypes that we get our ideas about social groups”
Dyer discusses stereotypes in the terms of psychologist Walter Lippmann who originally coined the term as a way of categorizing and creating order
He takes these concepts and applies them to stereotypes within media representation
STEREOTYPES AS
an ordering process
the process by which individuals and society make generalities and typifications in order to make sense of their society or a society
a shortcut
shows stereotypes as a simple, striking, and easily grasped form of representation
condenses a great deal of complex information into something simple
e.g. "dumb blonde" is not only referring to hair color and intelligence, but instead is commenting on her status in society, relationship to men, & her inability to think or behave rationally
reference
STEREOTYPES AS
stereotypes that can be compared to fictional characters where character "types" are recognized by aesthetics and traits which do not change
expression of values
the effectiveness of stereotypes shown by how they invoke a consensus
"this is what everyone thinks this group is like"
Dyer says...
the most important function of stereotypes is to "maintain sharp boundary definition"
make visible the invisible so we are not afraid or surprised by it
depressing yet true...
Walter Lippmann says that we are born into a "preconceived reality" and that our whole world is already defined for us before birth
Stereotypes represent a version of reality and are used to place individuals or groups into categories to fit within a particular power structure in society.
CONCEPTS OF STEREOTYPES
1. Applied with rigid logic
"If you are ____________, then you must be ________."
we find comfort and safety in defining people & assigning them names in order to contain and tame them
CONCEPTS OF STEREOTYPES
2. "Kernel of Truth"
Finds it's basis in a "fact." Assigns a quality to an individual and then correlates this quality to the group that the individual is part of.
e.g. Italian mobster
CONCEPTS OF STEREOTYPES
3. Simplified Generalizations
Emphasizes the part standing for the whole. It assumes HOMOGENEITY > HETEROGENEITY ignoring individual agency and variety
CONCEPTS OF STEREOTYPES
4. Ignores History
Takes a historical events and alters it to create a stereotype. The Hollywood depiction then enforces this inaccurate stereotype
ex. Mexican bandido
CONCEPTS OF STEREOTYPES
5. Normalize Stereotypes
Repetition of Hollywood character stereotype creates a normal and expected role
ex. Bandido becomes Colombian Drug Lord
CONCEPTS OF STEREOTYPES
6. Dominate vs. Subordinate
Mass media is the dominants media and routinely reflects the attitudes of the dominant group
CONCEPTS OF STEREOTYPES
7. US vs. THEM
Dominant in-group convinces us that they are superior and finer than the other, which is why "the other" is controlled
**seen in Media buzz word "illegal aliens" enforcing an US vs. THEM mentality**
CONCEPTS OF STEREOTYPES
8. In-Group on In-Group
Stereotyping from dominant in-group members on other in-group members
WHAT THE DOMINANT DEEM UNACCEPTABLE WITHIN ITS OWN RANKS.
ex. dumb blondes, jocks, nerds, rednecks, snobs
CONCEPTS OF STEREOTYPES
9. Self-Stereotyping
When specific stereotypes affect a persons self-evaluation. A self-inflicted stereotype.
ex. The stereotype that women have lower mathematical abilities than men led to women evaluating their abilities as lower and men evaluating theirs as higher without a basis for this
STEREOTYPES
Gender and Sexuality
GENDER ROLE THEORY
Grounded in the supposition that individuals socially identified as males and females tend to occupy different ascribed roles within social structures and tend to be judged against divergent expectations for how they ought to behave.
GENDER ROLE THEORY
MALE VS. FEMALE
Children learn to categorize themselves by gender usually by the age of 3. It is claimed that boys learn to manipulate their physical and social environment through physical strength or other skills, while girls learn to present themselves as objects to be viewed.
"to be viewed"
does this have any importance or relevance to media?
http://video.foxnews.com/v/2628375423001/do-ads-promote-gender-stereotypes/
FEMALE REPRESENTATION IN MEDIA
the gender theory definition of women's role as objects to be viewed is prevalent in all forms of media...
THE GAZE
In psychology, Freud discusses the concept of "the gaze" as
SCOPOPHILIA
"pleasure in looking"
"taking people as objects and subjecting them to a curious and controlling gaze"
LAURA MULVEY
discusses "the gaze" in media and how it relates to gender roles and a gender split...
MALE
the gaze is active
controls the gaze
sexualizes the female through the gaze
FEMALE
the gaze is passive
receiver of the male gaze
source of male arousal
where do we see "the gaze" in media today?
GENDER IN ADVERTISING
Objectification
GENDER IN ADVERTISING
SELLING SEX
GENDER REPRESENTATIONS

television & film
since the rise of TV, there has been an increase in a more positive portrayal of genders in sitcom television shows...
1970s most women's occupation on TV shows was housewife or homemaker
1992-1993 study showed only 3% of female TV characters as housewives for main occupation
we see a shift...
+1990s made a shift where genders were seen on television as EQUAL but DIFFERENT but still high prevalence of male as central character (Seinfeld, ER, Frasier, Dawson's Creek)
+We see female lead characters in the 90s on Ally McBeal and Sex and the City
+these women are characterized as working professionals, driven, opinionated, but all focused on the quest for sex, pleasure and love
Can you think of modern television shows that are different from this mold?
In modern shows, women are represented as strong, confident, powerful, sexy and in charge of their own sexuality. BUT they use this sexuality to have power over others and get what they want...
At the same time, we see men represented as powerful, occupation focused, providers. Their needs are met first over women. There has been a shift in more sensitive representations of men.
THE BECHDEL TEST
introduced in 1985 in a comic strip by Alison Bechdel. A female character states she will only watch a movie under the following requirements:
1. It must have at least 2 women in it
2. The women must talk to each other
3. The women must talk to each other about something besides a man
We frequently see gender stereotypes reinforced in children's movies and shows...
Media that break the stereotypes?
LGBT Representation in Television
+similar to the Bechdel test, GLAAD created the Russo Test with three criteria:
1. Contains a LGBT character that is recognized
2. may not be defined or characterized solely by gender identity
3. character must be tied into the plot in such a way that their removal would have a significant effect
+1990 US drama "Thirtysomethings" featured a scene where two men were sitting on a bed having a conversation, they were NOT TOUCHING. After this scene aired, advertisers withdrew their support from the show.
+1997-1998 Ellen came out through her character on her show "Ellen." Advertisers withdrew immediately. Show was canceled after ONE "lesbian" season.
+2000 Dawson's Creek featured the first male kiss on television
+1998 Will + Grace went two seasons without showing a same-sex kiss
what TV shows could potentially pass this test?
We have come a long way since 2000...
+"ANTM" featured a transsexual contestant
+"Orange is the New Black" features a transsexual character
+"Modern Family" features a gay couple who have an adopted child
Stereotyping in the Media: Television
Racial Stereotypes
Why do we STILL see racial stereotypes in the media despite progress in fighting racism?
Name one show where the MAIN character is of African American, Asian, or Latino descent.
Can't think of that many? There's a reason...
In a 2007 study of prime-time television it was found that:
+74% of Primetime TV actors were white
+16% were black
+5% were Latino
+<2% were Asian
+<3% were "other" descent
*also interesting to note, is that of that 16% of black actors, 3/4 were female.
The same study had been conducted 10 years earlier and the results were virtually identical
.
Advertising and Racial Stereotypes
We see a constant reinforcement of racial stereotypes in the world of advertising
Not only do we see advertisements pushing racist stereotypes but we see it in the "real world" of the news.
What happens when gender stereotypes are reinforced by the "real world" in the news?
A truly powerful study was first conducted in the 1950s to study black and white attitudes about race
in the study, black and white children were presented with two dolls
one was black, with brown hair, and the other was white with blonde hair
they asked the children to pick which doll they wanted to play with more...
both groups of children chose the white doll.
they asked the children to pick which doll was nice...
both groups of children chose the white doll.
they asked the children to pick which doll was bad...
both groups of children chose the black doll.
we see an example of self-stereotyping from the black children and stereotyping due to cultivation from the white children
WHY?
why do we see small children with this prejudice already instilled?
+young black men "demonized" as criminals through media images
despite our feelings towards OJ, it is clear that TIME magazine's intention by darkening his face was to instill a sense of fear and danger
...think back to Trayvon Martin's case, where the popular news media emphasized the fact that Trayvon had smoked weed before, an attempt to criminalize a young black male with a behavior that implies being "bad"
http://www.buzzfeed.com/jessicamisener/are-these-disney-movies-racist
CONSEQUENCES
what are the consequences of the various stereotypes in the media?
why is this an issue?
PRIME-TO-BEHAVIOR
a study conducted had two groups of subjects take a general knowledge test
Before the test, one group was "primed" with cues (images and words through flashcards) relating to the word "PROFESSOR"
The other group was primed with cues relating to the word "HUSSIE"
the group that was primed with the word professor did better on the test
PRIME TO BEHAVIOR
In a similar experiment, two groups of blonde women were primed before taking a general knowledge test...
the first group was primed with cues relating to "PROFESSOR"
the second group was primed with cues relating to "DUMB BLONDE"
the first group primed with professor did better on the test
We see the media fulfill the role providing us with stereotype priming through depictions of stereotypes in film, music, magazine, ads, and the news.
CULTIVATION THEORY
television shapes our perception of reality and affects our attitudes and ways of thinking
what is it?
recall those who watched more tv felt the world was a more violent place...
CULTIVATION THEORY & DOUBLE DOSE
states that pertinent ideas and themes in the media resonate and reinforce ideas that the viewer already holds
not only does this reinforce and create stereotypes about others but it reinforces our own idea of personal identity and what it means to be black, white, asian, a female, gay, etc.
we see races and genders homogenized and mainstreamed through the media, creating a less-unique and widespread notion regarding people of other races
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