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Stereotypes in the Media

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on 20 March 2014

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Transcript of Stereotypes in the Media

Maybe if you base your life around a doll, you deserve what you get.
Sex Role Stereotypes & Their Effects
Body Image In The Media
Racial Stereotypes
In the 1960s Frito Lay introduced a cartoon character, dubbed the Frito-bandito, where he would steal bags of Fritos.

The Mexican community protested because they felt the commercial reflected them in a negative light.

They argued 2 points: (1) The frequency of media depictions of Mexicans is so low that and depiction is crucially important in terms of of the overall image it represents to the masses of media consumers. (2) The image of the Frito-bandito was one that encouraged consumers to adopt an undesirable stereotype, associating this ethnic group with crime and thievery.
Wednesday, March 19 2014
Group 5 - Carlee, Angela, Gillian, and Chris
Over-representation of African Americans as Lawbreakers
Stereotypes in the Media
Most controversial is how African-Americans are portrayed.

Richard Jackson Harris noted that, Until the 1960s there were almost no African-American models in mainstream U.S. advertising, and the only African-Americans in prime-time television took on stereotypical demeaning roles.

In a study of TV news, two media researchers. Travis Dixon and Daniel Linz carried out a major content study designed to show TV newscasts in a major US city represented African-Americans and Latinos.

Used 3 Comparisons in their findings: 1) Intergroup Comparison
2) Interrole Comparison
3) Interreality Comparison
The tendency to represent people in terms of their face or head as opposed to their body.
What Exactly Is It?
The face-ism ratio can be computed by taking the distance from the top of the head to the bottom of the chin and dividing it by the distance from the top of the head by the bottom of the body.

An image showing only a face would have a face-ism ratio of 1.00 and an image showing no face would have a face-ism ration of 0.00.

For males, the average ratio was 0.65, but for females it was only about 0.45.

That means that in photos of males, the head was depicted as about 65% of the entire male figure, while for females, the face was only 45%.
The Ratio
So What?
High ratio
= attention on intellectual and personality attributes

Low ratio
= attention on physical and sensual attributes

In the media, females are perceived as less intelligent, less ambitious, and are the focus of sexual attention and that is reflected by the Face-ism Effect.
The Imbalance of Media Research on Stereotypes

Susannah Stern conducted a study on substance abuse in teen-centered movies:

What did she find?

For the first 143 teen characters in these movies, about 17% were shown smoking , nearly 40% were shown consuming alcohol, 15% were shown drinking on multiple occasions, over half of alcohol teenage drinkers were depicted as drunk and 9% of them were shown drunk driving, and only 25% of characters who drank suffered long-term negative consequences.

Stern concluded that teen world in movies depicted substance abuse as relatively common and risk-free.

What is a stereotype?
A stereotype is a cognitive structure that contains the beholder's knowledge, beliefs, and expectations about human groups.

Gregory Fouts & Kimberly Burggraf
Studied 18 different Sit-Coms from prime-time television
Discovered that females in these shows were far more likely to be considered "below average" in body weight
Discovered that the higher the weight of the female character, the more likely it was that negative comments were made by other characters of the show about her or directly to her
These comments were often followed by a laugh-track which suggested to the audience that these negative comments were funny.
How The Media Effects Body Image
The media establishs sociopolitical definitions for different aspects of American culture.

They often fail to reflect the true nature of reality.

Female viewers are particularly affected by their representations in the media.

The book cites that women have a natural tendency to engage in social comparison, making them more susceptible to media messages that affect self-esteem.
Studies, Studies, & More Studies

Randomly assigned 157 female college students to view pictures in magazines that contained either thin models, average models, or no models.
After viewing the material, the students responded to a questionnaire.
The questionnaire revealed that the students who were exposed to the magazines depicting thin models were more likely to report negative emotions such as stress, shame, guilt, depression, and insecurity.
Studies, Studies, & More Studies

400 college student survey

Commercial Experiment

Study of commercial idealization on 158 male participants
A stereotype is typically comprised of a role schema.
Eric Stice and Heather Shaw
Kristen Harrison and Joanne Cantor
Duane Hargreaves and Marika Tiggemann
Daniel Agliata and Stacey Tantleff-Dunn

Media is the reflection of society
Construction of social reality
The Impact of Television Study
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