Stereotypes And The Media: A Reflection On Online Content

May 15th, 2013 | Categories: Uncategorized

By Guest Bloggers: Amanda Watson and Cid Nichols

There is no doubt that the media is a powerful source and entity. It can often act as a mirror or reflection to reality by reinforcing stereotypes that people believe and construct every day. On the flip side, the audience may draw conclusions about particular members of society from what they see in the media.

The concept of social construction of reality is the process by which individuals construct their perceived reality. Media content providers may do this in the way they put together a video or how they write their storylines or scripts. Audience and viewers construct their reality by what they repeatedly see in society and in the media and how they talk about it. They begin to construct it as “real.”

Below are videos that show a clear view on how cultures are stereotyped today in the media. Although depicted through a humorous lens, these videos give insight to how cultures are viewed and stereotyped by different cultures and even members of their own community.

Sh*t Caribbean Moms Say
Sh*t Spanish Girls Say

The 2011, Dark Girls Documentary, directed by Bill Duke and D. Channsin Berry, sheds light on the colorism discourse and how the light skin vs. dark skin issue is being communicated as real. This discourse is becoming increasingly popular in the media in which African American women are sharing their views and reflections on television or through the Internet, especially dark skin black women who may have tried bleaching their skin for a lighter complexion. They are currently working on the light skin version of the documentary, “The Yellow Brick Road.”

Intercultural: Dark Skin Black Girls vs. Light Skin Black Girls

The following link shows how viewers could become desensitized by the media to how serious domestic violence is. When it comes to celebrities in this situation, the reactions being communicated by some fans are unsettling and bring into question how much effect the media has on viewers.

Rape As a Culture

The medium is sometimes a reflection of how people perceive themselves and how they perceive others. People construct what they perceive as “real” everyday through their interactions and through the media. Generalizations and stereotypes are often common constructs treated as “real” because of what people see in the media. There can be no doubt that media has a powerful effect on society.

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