Media Stereotypes Of Minorities In America

In the Eye of the Beholder
The Imaging of Minorities in America

Certain things are nearly universal. They are actions that cut across lines of class, race, and ethnicity. Every morning, virtually every American gets up, looks at himself in the mirror, fixes himself up, and gets ready to face the world. Yet the image that a person sees when he looks into the mirror each day is not necessarily that seen by others. One's personal background colors the way one views those around him. Experiences, images, things learned in school and from television, movies, and books, influence our opinions of the world, and of those who are different from ourselves. The media is a powerful factor in ...

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often-voiceless minorities whom they purport to portray. Media stereotypes create their own problems of crime, teenage pregnancy, unemployment, and despair.

"Many critics compare television to a mind-altering drug. ...The medium has been greatly abused...." (Television is Good For You, 1998) Unfortunately, most television producers are far more concerned with ratings than they are with the quality of the programs they produce. Ratings translate into dollars, and sadly those dollars seem most easily earned through the medium of sensational programming. It is a sad fact, but sex and violence sells. And all too often the perpetrators of these violent and anti-social acts are members of minority groups. This bias toward negative - even brutal - images is standard fare even in so-called news programming. "Newspapers, radio and television stations are vastly over-reporting crimes committed by young people, particularly by minorities, according to an analysis of media reports ...

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and Latinos - as essentially violent. And as Hilary O. Shelton points out, this only reinforces the traditional stereotypes about minorities and violence. (Tucker, 2001)

Today's youth has become so accustomed to the high-speed flow of the average television production that a continuous stream of sensory stimulation has become essential to hold their attention. Producers and writers continually push the envelope. What was obscene yesterday is acceptable today. "---- happens," exclaimed actor Mark Harmon's character on the CBS drama Chicago Hope, and another barrier was broken in the realm of decency. (Bauder, 1999) The four-letter expletive is defended on the grounds ...

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Added: 8/2/2015 07:32:13 PM
Category: Social Issues
Words: 4312
Pages: 16

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