Both age and ethnicity are still too often portrayed by the mass media in ways which reinforce stereotypes. Discuss (June 2010) (33 marks)
YES / NO structure to the essay
INTRODUCTION for ethnicity:
Research into the media treatment of ethnicity has emphasised the way in which minority ethnic groups are represented as a problem. Sociologist Hall argues that they tend to be reported as the cause of social disorder, i.e. riots and crimes such as mugging. While black youths are involved in such disorder, so are large groups of white youths.
In one representation of ethnic minorities, they are portrayed as being abnormal. For instance, cultural differences are often exaggerated or interpreted in terms of western values. For example, it is claimed that some Asian, and/or Muslim women are oppressed by having to wear the veil when in reality many choose to wear it as they feel liberated from the unwanted gazes of men. They often report that Asian parents force daughters into arranged marriages against their will. The distinction between 'forced' marriages is a rare occurrence that is in fact strongly disapproved of Asian communities and arranged marriage which is based on mutual consent. However, media representations have changed in Britain. In recent years, programmes and films developed primarily for minority audiences have become popular with white audiences e.g. shows like Goodness Gracious Me. Halls suggests the overall result of cultural and racial representations in the media have shown the complexity of what it is like to be Asian or Black.
Ethnic minorities are also seen as a threat in media representations. Although Afro-Caribbean and Asian immigrants are rarely seen as a threat to jobs and housing of the 'white majority' today, the same concerns are expressed about refugees…