Stereotypes in media refer to the conception that is fixed on certain opinions about an individual or a group of people. According to Scharrer and Ramasubramanian (2015), stereotypes automatically generate exaggerated mental images that perceive the opposite character pegged on certain racial, social and political differences. Therefore, this paper delves into stereotypes in media, which has become the major source of propaganda being spread. In particular, the paper focuses on examining racial stereotyping and prejudice as portrayed in social media.
The media has created awareness and, therefore, is changing perception and assumption about a group of people into realities. This it done by representing the minorities and showing inspiring stories about demeaning conceptions. This is exemplified in various media advertisements, for instance, magazines, radio, television and newspapers (Scharrer & Ramasubramanian, 2015). Research indicates that the advertisements profoundly influence how people relate to one another. Through this the world today has become a diverse place where people socialize, go to same schools, and share public utilities, such as restaurants and toilets.
Nonetheless, social media propagates racial stereotyping and prejudice owing to the fact that it is the platform where children and adults can find some stereotyped content, for example, in entertaining programs including music, movies and drama that are saturated by racial and gender stereotypes. The negative perceptions about group of people have led to many effects where an individual develops low self-esteem and becomes unable to express themselves. Such persons always have low expectations because they feel limited. They doubt themselves and lack motivation because of the negative perceptions created against their race.
Additionally, stereotyping pervasively concerns other aspects including ethnicity, religion, and nationality. These have adversely affected sport team companies and participants who are against the use of the mascots. For example, the Native Americans protest against the use of the mascots to symbolize them. The use of the mascots in teams like the Brave brought about controversies prompting the change of their team’s logo. Scharrer and Ramasubramanian (2015) highlight that men are considered to dominate in sports compared to women. Thus, women were viewed as spectators, which later led to the development of title IX of the Education Amendment Act of 1972. The amendment stated that no one was to be excluded, denied, and discriminated against activities in regards to education programs and were to be supported financially by the federal government. This is backed up by investigating agenda setting and framing in sports magazines, analyzing whether or not racial stereotypes and inequality still exist. The amendment paved the way for women to become part of contemporary sports, starting with the United State of America.
In conclusion, stereotyping and prejudicing are detrimental and deleterious to the progress, development and growth of the societies. As such, the social media should be opposed to fueling stereotypic contents and should consider conducting civic education in order to eradicate negative perceptions about people’s races, religion, ethnicity and nationality. Through civic engagement, the media will conceptualize the significance and need to stand out and shun stereotyping and prejudicing.
Scharrer, E., & Ramasubramanian, S. (2015). Intervening in the media’s influence on stereotypes of race and ethnicity: The role of media literacy education. Journal of Social Issues, 71(1), 171-185. https://doi.org/10.1111/josi.12103