Media Stereotypes

Media Stereotypes

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  • Created by: Lollipop
  • Created on: 20-06-12 14:07


  • Women as wives and mothers
    • Women who are successful homemakers and carers are shown to be admired in advertising and TV programmes
    • Negative images are of women who neglect there children and homes or who regret the decision to place a career above domestic life
  • Women as sex objects
    • Newspapers exploit images of partially dressed women which are aimed at a white, male, working class audience
    • Stereotypes are enforced about women and appropriate behaviour which is sexist
  • Male authority continues to be represented as 'natural and inevitable' in television programmes and women who are in positions of power struggle with their role and emotions
  • Female magazines have advertising that is concerned with appearance, make up and hair, developing an 'ideal body' to remain attractive to men
  • Women who fail to establish a relationship with a man are portrayed as failing in life
  • These stereotypes have an impact on our ideas about how we should live are lives. This also has an effect on children who are regularly exposed to these ideas
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Stereotyping and Gender Identity

  • Sociologists see gender as a social construct
  • Society dictates what it is to be and man or a women through expected norms and expectations - these vary over time and are different in various societies
  • The media represents these expectations through stereotypes
  • These can influence a person's perception of themselves in comparison with others
  • The media represent different gender groups with certain characteristics which effect how someone thinks they should act
  • They are qualities that people think they must have and they become aspirations
  • Examples of these are:
    • Male - aggressive, ambitious, assertive, leadership, independent
    • Female - affectionate, compassionate, sensitive, loyal, shy
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Ethnic Minorities

  • Ethnic minority groups are often portrayed in terms of the 'problem' they present to the majority of the population and sometimes the 'threat' to the traditional way of life
  • Media claim they are reporting  an area of concern eg. crime, but the stories are exaggerated and the images in television programmes reinforce an image of the minority groups as different and dangerous
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  • The mass media has an important role in defining what is and isn't acceptable behaviour
  • They help form social attitudes towards the punishment of those that break the law or go against the norms and values of society
  • The media make frequent use of stereotypes when describing criminal and deviant behaviour
  • People respond to these stereotypes and use them to form mental images eg. murderer
  • Like all stereotypes they can be misleading and create a climate of fear and mistrust
  • This victimises particular social groups (usually minority groups), and stigmatises members of that group as potential criminals
  • This process is known as deviancy amplification
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