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Media Stereotypes Essay

1503 words - 7 pages

Media Stereotypes

“Media stereotypes are inevitable, especially in the advertising, entertainment and news industries, which need as wide an audience as possible to quickly understand information. Stereotypes act like codes that give audiences a quick, common understanding of a person or group of people—usually relating to their class, ethnicity or race, gender, sexual orientation, social role or occupation.”

Stereotypes are deeply embedded in every society in numerous ways. The dictionary definition of a stereotype is “one that is regarded as embodying or conforming to a set image or type.” Stereotyping or Labeling is a technique that “attempts to arouse prejudices in an audience ...view middle of the document...

Propoganda may seem like a topic of the past as opposed to a topic in the contemparary field of studies. This is because propganda was always related to movements like Hitler and Stalin in the 1930s. Even though nothing of that scale exists today, propganda still can be as serious as the swastika or a minor as a riddle. Its repititive and perasuasive techniques are found in all fields such as politics, journalism and addvertising. As Anthony Pratkanis and Elliot Aronson point out:

"Every day we are bombarded with one persuasive communication after another. These appeals persuade
not through the give-and-take of argument and debate,
but through the manipulation of symbols and of our most basic human emotions.

F or better or worse, ours is an age of propaganda." (Pratkanis and Aronson, 1991)

Apart from all other forms of media the growth of the internet since the 1990's has had agreat impact on the sudden explosion of communications where any kind of messages can be uploaded uncensored to any kind of audience. For the first time in history people from all walks of live and from every corner of the world are interacting on a new level. This is a magnificent development but the negative repercussion is that it works against the people of color and support the people of power. The topic of stereotyping and propaganda in the media is a rather vast one and can be demonstrated in a number of ways. These stereotypes range from the effeminate bisexual man to the butch lesbian women form the dumb blonde to the nerdy scientist; from the villain in black to the terrorist Muslim. However, rather than briefly touching upon each topic I will instead discuss women and the stereotype created around them. The reason I have chosen gender is because women have always been a victim to the stereotypes the media creates. Some could argue that various steps have been taken in media over the past twenty years to change the negative representations of women as “the femme fatale, the supermom, the sex kitten, the nasty corporate climber, typically white, desperately thin, and made up to the hilt” and that the influence of women behind the scene has grown but still till today female stereotypes are prevalent in the information we consume each day.

Advertising can be said to be the most propaganda promoting in all of media. The way the ads are presented to the viewers and the time and context also play a major role in shaping our views. Once the stereotype is created, these ads work their way in to making the stereotypes stronger. If we take an example of gender stereotyping and how advertising carefully drills the difference in the viewers mind we can look at the image below; the image "Bijan Perfume Trio" that was published in 1992 by the Bijan perfume company is a perfect example of gender stereotyping and how media presents and reinforces these racial stereotypes. The image shows three women and each one represent a different league of women. Each...

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