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Media Stereotype

Media Stereotype

Sample Answer 

Media Stereotype

Everyone watching the Netflix series Dear White People will agree to the stereotypes engendered by popular culture and a reflection of our generation’s views on race relations. The show is all about the stereotypical portrayal of the black community. African American students are portrayed as a population struggling both socially and financially and always running into problems with the authorities through violent protests. On the other hand, the drama shows the African American student population’s communal aspect and also how they are hardworking, determined, and full of culture, depicting the stereotype of the sense of community associated with African Americans.

All of what I have seen about the African American community in Dear White People impacts how people construct perceptions surrounding the community. The media is part of the social institutions with profound effects on constructing these misguided perceptions, including pop culture. The stereotypes, as shown in this television drama, are based on the ‘ideology concept’ since it functions by shaping and being shaped by the same social institutions (Rosenblum & Travis, 2016). Both positive and negative stereotypes about the African American community are ideologies mostly constructed by the media, especially pop culture, as a social institution.

The show also portrays African American students as financially struggling. Such notions become stereotypes that are embedded in the social systems on how people look at the Black community. Black students are seen in the university as strugglers who need financial support and have extra work to match the flashy lifestyles of the white majority. This is constructed out of the myth about ‘poverty” (Gorski, 2008). Hence, such a notion becomes embedded and defines people’s view and thinking about African Americans as poor and economically struggling.


Gorski, P. (2008). The Myth of the culture of Poverty”. In Rosenblum, K.E. & Travis, T.(eds). The meaning of differences: American construction of race and ethnicity, sex and gender, social class, sexuality, and disability (pp.313-317), New York City: McGraw Hill Publisher.

Rosenblum, K.E. & Travis, T. (2016). The meaning of differences: American Construction of Race and Ethnicity, Sex and Gender, Social Class, Sexuality, and Disability. New York City: McGraw Hill Publisher


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Media Stereotype

In Week 1, you considered constructionism, which suggests that political, legal, and economic social processes influence perceptions of race and ethnicity. Media is an example of a social process that influences perceptions of race and ethnicity. Media includes film, television, print, the Internet, and radio. One way that media influences perceptions of race and ethnicity is by depicting stereotypes. A stereotype is a depiction of a member of a group that suggests that all members of that group share the same characteristics. Examples of stereotypes include the following: Asians are good at math, blacks have rhythm, and Mexicans are lazy, to name a few. When individuals repeatedly view imbalanced portrayals in the media, they may perceive others in a way that is consistent with the stereotypes portrayed. Stereotypes may be positive or negative. In your text, Framework Essay III explains how Asian Americans often are stereotyped positively, while African Americans often are stereotyped negatively.

To prepare for this Discussion:

  • Review the “Framework Essay” in Section III and Readings 13, 31, and 33 in the course text. Pay particular attention to stereotypes and media representations of racial and ethnic groups.
  • Think about how media influences racial and ethnic stereotypes.
  • Consider positive and negative stereotypes that you are aware of.
  • Watch a television sitcom, a drama, a news program, a talk show, or the commercials aired during one of these types of shows. Identify one example of a positive racial or ethnic stereotype and one example of a negative racial or ethnic stereotype.
  • Consider how the racial or ethnic stereotypes in the media that you viewed may influence viewers’ perceptions of race and ethnicity.

    Media Stereotype

    Media Stereotype

With these thoughts in mind:

By Day 3

  • Post one example of a positive racial or ethnic stereotype that you viewed. Explain why you identified the stereotype as positive.
  • Then, post one example of a negative racial or ethnic stereotype that you viewed. Explain why you identified the stereotype as negative.
  • Finally, evaluate how the stereotypes that you identified might influence viewers’ perceptions of race and ethnicity. Provide specific examples to illustrate your explanation.

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