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Representation Of Race In Media Essay

1848 words - 8 pages

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* Much of our perceptions of the world are based on narratives and the images that we see in film, television, radio, music, and other media. These are some of the outlets that construct how individuals see their social identities, as well as learn and understand about what it is to be black, white, Native American, Asian, South American, etc. (Dow, Wood, 2006, p. 297). You will get a better understanding of this once you understand the concept of ideologies. Ideologies are what create our perception of the ...view middle of the document...

Innis believed that bias could be within media itself. He underlined his concern on human biases and how they are incorporated into predominate institutions, organizations and technologies, specifically the institution called media. He came to understand that the bias of communication is due to interests engaged in the struggle to control wealth, force, and knowledge (Comor , 2001, p. 280). This can be reflected back to our discussions about capitalism in class as well as to some of the readings in the class text. As mentioned in both, owners of the largest unit of production hold enormous amounts of power over us. This power owned by them can also be linked to the power in the sphere of ideas, which are also known as ideological spheres (Naiman, 2012, p. 92). What we take away from this is that those in power are trying to integrate their ideologies into us through the media. Herman Gray a sociology professor at the University of California also touches on this topic but in a different approach. According to Gray, race representations in the media authorize and maintain the terms of the dominant cultural and social order that position whites at the top of power hierarchies. Hence, the reason why racial minorities are often prejudiced in media (Li-Vollmer, 2002, p. 208). If you look at a large number of topics in the press, news about ethnic minorities and immigrants are mostly restricted to news such as new immigrants arriving, political response to policies about new immigrants, social problems such as welfare, employment, and etc. (Cottle, 2000, pp. 38-39). This is not only limited to the press, it expands across all media such as films, music, etc. The media elites are ultimately responsible for discourses of the media they control. This is based on their ideologies about ethnic minorities and immigrants. These ideologies construct how we see our own identities as well as see what is to be Black, Asian, Native American, and South American as mentioned earlier. All in all, those in power are manipulating us.

Post 9/11 has seen a dramatic increase in newspaper coverage about Muslims and Islam. Misrepresentations of Muslims are compounded by the medias attention focused on Muslim fundamentalists/extremists (Saeed, 2007, p. 456). These discourses have highlighted the “otherness” of Islam/Muslims from mainstream society. It is obvious and easily noticeable by any individual that the media is guilty of presenting negative images of Muslims and Islam. This reinforces Anti-Muslim racism in our society (Saeed, 2007, p. 454). Western media has depicted Islam and Muslim as opposite of the Western society. It is believed that Islam has created a problem for the Western universal project of globalization by its refusal to be over taken by western ideals and networks of culture and politics (Saeed, 2007, p. 456). This refusal for them to comply with Western ideals have resulted in them being seen as a threat. This falls into my earlier reference of...

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