Introduction of Media, Culture and Identity Assignment
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Several studies have indicated that media depictions of people from diverse ethnic and racial origins have a detrimental impact on the lives of those who encounter them. Throughout a broad spectrum of genres, minorities are often disregarded and marginalised (news, drama, and entertainment). “Even when they are featured in narrowly defined roles such as the model Asian migrant or the exotic Latina, we seldom see the other, the other, disproportionately presented as hostile or criminal, and as lesser”. It is possible that ethnic minorities are shown in a more favourable light in ethnic minority media, although there may also be less typecasting and stereotypes. Stigmatization is rampant across all platforms because of standardised manufacturing methods, cultural norms, and business interests that exclude people of colour as per McLaughlin et al. (2018). No matter how tough it is, it might have a major effect. The public’s perception of other social groups is distorted when stereotypes about certain groups are used to shape public perceptions. In addition to inflaming public animosity against other ethnic groups, inaccurate media portrayals may erode ethnic minorities’ feeling of self-worth. As a consequence, it is critical to do study into prospects of stereotypes that are driven by media representations.
Account for stereotypical representations from a range of different media formats
Stereotypes based on race and ethnicity persist in part b ecause the media serves as a vital conduit for the dissemination of data about various ethnic and racial groupings. Mass media has made it hard for us to get to know one other face to face and build meaningful relationships. The mass media are significant social actors because of their extensive reach and tremendous impact. Consequently, researchers dedicate a lot of time and effort on them. Ethnic minorities’ systematic misrepresentation and marginalisation in media production have been studied extensively in the context of ethnicity and media. “Researchers believe that these mediated constructions of difference are related to power structures or structural inequalities, meaning that the media are at least extremely influential in moulding society’s views on race and ethnicity, even if they are not directly accountable” as per Mastro (2015). The media’s involvement in creating and perpetuating stereotypes may account for some of this.
It is important to remember that the more a stereotype is repeated in popular culture, the more it becomes accepted and impacts people’s impressions of other groups. McLaughlin et al. (2018) stress this point. Few studies have been done on how non-Western cultures depict Western society, particularly those of other non-Western nations. A greater understanding of media industries’ routines and structures may help us better comprehend the perpetuation of stereotypical images of people in the media. Journalists have shown, for example, that their routines and professional neutrality requirements have tended to boost dominant opinions and values while marginalising ethnic minorities in the news media when utilising news values to prioritise and choose stories.
Stereotypical Media Representation on Ethnic and Racial Minorities
Racial/ethnic minorities are shown negatively in every media, from “primetime television to newspapers and TV news to advertising, movies, sports and videogames” (Mastro 2015). Researchers in the United States have conducted several studies on “Native Americans, Arab Americans, Asian Americans, and Hispanic and Latino minorities” Ethnic relations and immigration are often framed as concerns or inside discourses that strengthen dominant groups’ power in the media. This has been noticed by experts elsewhere. However, there have been a few outliers when it comes to news, drama and video games when it comes to ethnic minorities being shown positively.
According to Mastro (2015), people’s attitudes of diverse racial/ethnic groups may be influenced by media consumption. Blacks are still portrayed as violent and criminal in print and television news, despite improvements in their image in primetime entertainment programming. Latinos are more represented in dramas, but this does not change the fact that they are underrepresented in comedies. As a consequence, those who exclusively consume specific kinds of media have a distorted view of the world. News organisations, in particular, should consider this. Credibility as a source of information on ethnic groups is greatly enhanced when the general public has confidence in the news media’s capacity to provide information in an unbiased way Ethnic minorities are often underrepresented in the news media, according to media studies.
There is a strong correlation between the media portrayal of ethnic minorities and the depiction of dominant race groups as victims or witnesses,” according to international research by Xu (2022). The media has portrayed Lebanese Australians as aggressive and criminal, “Chinese Australians as illegal immigrants, and Sudanese Australians as criminals rather than victims of violent crimes.” The most common subcategory for stories involving ethnic minorities was crime. For the Australian press to simplify and essentialize what it meant to be Arab or Muslim”, researchers discovered that they used xenophobic stereotypes and a binary of “them” vs “us”.
Mainstream New Zealand media portrays Muslims, Pacific people, and indigenous Mori as terrorists, unmotivated, unwell and “criminal others.” “As a whole, these depictions might portray an image of crime and danger in a neighbourhood or place.” According to Rodríguez-López (2018)’s investigation, the mostly ethnic “Pacific community of South Auckland” was often depicted in the mainstream media as a hotbed of crime and violence.
There were more than a third of all articles in the news focused on crime, exceeding the greatest proportion observed in an “international meta-analysis of crime reporting”. The media’s depiction of ethnic minorities may inflame racial hostility among the broader population, according to research. It is common for a person of colour to be stigmatised and criminalised when they are a victim of crime. According to Dukes and Gaither, this is the case (2017). Six unarmed “Black men” were slain by police in 2016 as part of a content research by Mitchell and McKinnon (2019). The research discovered that media coverage of crime and poverty in the areas where the victims were killed or lived emphasised a negative, stereotypical view of their life, including their criminal behaviour, physical appearance, and clothing. According to Besana, Katsiaficas and Loyd (2019)’s own 2017 study, the kind of information presented about the victims increased people’s sympathy and empathy for shooting victims, as well as their suggestions for punishment. According to the study, negative Black stereotyped information about a shooting victim substantially coloured the people as being more too responsible for their own deaths.
Most journalists do not go to work with the intention of smearing a whole ethnic group while they are there. These perceptions are more frequently the result of unintentional bias and the demands of the media. It is possible for journalists to fall back on – and reinforce – assumptions in the middle of 24/7 real-time news generation, since they do not have time to fully evaluate their work. ESPN dismissed a reporter in 2012 for calling Jeremy Lin’s underperformance “chink in the armour.” in a mobile news item. An interview with Dixon (2019) claims that, according to Erba (2018), the reporter was working in the middle of the night, alone, and at an extremely fast pace. It would be ideal if as-live production allowed for a time of reflection before going on, but this is not possible. There is a tendency for assumptions to be expressed in live sports media commentary, which is also created at a quick speed and with little time for thinking, according to several content evaluations. Many studies have shown white commentators tend to give more credit to their white players and depict them in a more favourable light than they do to their black counterparts during live NFL games on television.
Ethnic minorities have received a bad rap from the media for the most part. When it comes to social groups, some are represented more negatively than others owing to the way they are linked with other dominant ideas (such as class, gender, sexuality, and so on). According to Pantic et al. (2018)’s analysis of racial and ethnic tendencies, the poor in US newsweeklies’ graphic reporting on poverty were disproportionately represented as Pakkasvirta (2018). According to his research, Americans getting public assistance have a different demographic profile than the media portrays: Blacks have a two-to-one overrepresentation, while Hispanics make up less than 10% of the newsweekly visual content but 21% of those receiving public assistance. D’Heer et al. (2020), for example, asserts that many people assume that welfare is a black issue since the news media often emphasises on low-income black families.
Other forms of entertainment, such as popular movies and television, comedies, reality television, and video games, reflect many of the stereotypes we see in the news. Ten reality programmes shown in the United States between 2005 and 2008 had at least one stereotypical African American contestant, according to research by Parrott, Albright and Eckhart (2022). African American participants constituted more than half of the programmes’ participants, and they were frequently the cause of debates, disagreements, and even violent altercations with the other participants. A genre that had a considerable impact on defining pop culture reinforced unfavourable prejudices, according to Tyree. However, although Latinos are America’s biggest ethnic group and account for fewer than 10% of prime-time television depictions, they tend to be relegated to crime dramas and comedies that typecast a group of people in restrictive ways. It is encouraging to observe that ethnic consumers’ desire for more inclusive programming has resulted in more varied film and television series, including those that are ethnically, racially, gender- and class-balanced.
There is still a widespread issue in popular media, not only in the United States, but across the world, of “othering” and “narrow typecasting.” In their (2017) research of Ethiopian popular films, Geertsema?Sligh (2019) found that “Chinese characters were often represented negatively as the “other” and in ways that reinforced restricted ideas of what it meant to be African”. When it came to portraying Chinese migrants as the racist “other” and a danger to the Spanish way of life, film and media producer Haw (2021) discovered a similar pattern. “It was observed that entertainment media in Manila had a racially hierarchical perspective of Filipinos and other ethnic groups: The city’s Indians and Koreans were marginalised, and portrayals of Filipinos who were so-called Mestizo were favoured over those who were brown or dark-skinned”. Lighter-skinned Koreans were also favoured.
Evaluation of Ethnic Media on Stereotypical Representation
The majority of research that have been done on ethnicity and stereotyping have solely focused on how ethnic minorities are depicted in mainstream media and how they are presented. “According to the few studies that have looked at how people of colour use ethnic media, ethnic minority media fills a gap in the literature by correcting negative stereotypes, providing a counter-narrative to mainstream news, and allowing people of colour a forum to express themselves” as per Li and Zhang (2022).
This is because ethnic minority media fills a gap in the literature by correcting negative stereotypes and providing a counter-narrative to mainstream news. Throughout the course of media history, ethnic media has been an important counterweight to the narrative of the mainstream media. According to Besana, Katsiaficas and Loyd (2019), the Mori people and their culture are shown heavily on the indigenous New Zealand television network Mori Television. Mori Television is owned and operated by the Mori people. According to Dixon (2019), ethnic media has supplied minorities with an extra source of knowledge on their ethnic identity, which has resulted in an increase in both the ethnic pride and performance of the minority. As these individuals have pointed out, neither the ethnic nor the mainstream media have given sufficient attention to the groups who have been marginalised. It is possible that some ethnic minority may get greater attention from the media due to the commonalities they share.
Ethnic minority media have been questioned by researchers as to “whether they can provide an alternative voice to mainstream media by demonstrating that they could in reality be replicas of these media”. The case studies of Native American media channels revealed that a substantial amount of the content they created was reproduced from mainstream sources. Ethnic media often used mainstream media content, production values, and aesthetics to create their work. Both English- and Spanish-language television news networks followed the same journalistic standards, it was discovered. It had similar news values and presentation, as well as a strong focus on profit. Even the company’s journalists had a lot in common with those of the other corporations in terms of education and work experience. There is speculation that mainstream media have even bought large ethnic media outlets, prompting some to predict that ethnic newspapers will become no different from mainstream publications as a result of losing control over their production methods.
According to her findings, “ethnic audiences may also play a role in the development of stereotypical representations”. Audiences put pressure on producers to depict their group in a more positive light, which limits their efforts. As a result of this intense consumer scrutiny, black artists, especially filmmakers, have been hampered from challenging popular prejudices about their work, according to hooks. There seems to be a lack of diversity in ethnic minority media because some have a very limited perspective of their audience, according to Pantic et al. (2018). Although publishing or broadcasting in a minor language is essential to the preservation and resuscitation of a culture, it may also act as a barrier and stereotype that divides those who really belong from those who do not. Second and third generation Japanese-Americans, for example, are less competent in English than their parents and grandparents, but the bulk of Japanese-American periodicals remain in Japanese and their circulations have declined as a result.
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