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Racial/Ethnic Stereotypes in the Media

Social prejudices or programmed depictions of groups in a society have long pervaded and shaped social ethos, but it is through this awareness, that cultural humanity is able to dismantle and set aside such associations. In an attempt to understand and determine what social targeting of ad based television may be occurring in present day society, a primetime television show was analyzed for the possible content of stereotypically-aimed ads. For this exercise, a television show depicting the minority group of African Americans was randomly chosen. The show was “Sanford and Son”, airing at 7 pm on Monday night, on channel 44. If a discussion of stereotypes in advertising is to create any sort of insight, though, a defined portrait of what the common stereotype is for the African American culture must first be presented as a foundation. Some of the more common depictions of African Americans involve individuals or families with a low income, wherein they are usually purchasing low cost items, have difficulty finding or maintaining a job, or patronize low cost services and agencies. Furthermore, there is usually a strong implication of poor schooling resulting in a diminished intelligence, as well as a predilection towards criminal activity. Richard Schaefer defines the stereotyping of minorities as, “Unreliable generalizations that do not take into account individual differences of a subordinate group whose members have significantly less control or power over their lives than that held by…the majority” (Schaefer, 506-507). However, these stereotypes are just that, and presumably the television show would choose to cast such ideas aside, and portray each group in a more enlightened manner. Apart from shows that might lampoon stereotypical behavior, any sort of further stereotyping from the program or the commercial sponsors would only serve to engrain such misconceptions and stereotypes, as well as offend or dissuade the targ...

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Racial/Ethnic Stereotypes in the Media. (1969, December 31). In DirectEssays.com. Retrieved 01:21, November 26, 2014, from http://www.megaessays.com/viewpaper/5496.html