Racial/Ethnic Stereotypes in the Media

Length: 4 Pages 942 Words

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 crimi Continue...

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 target audience. 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. It has become apparent then, that instead of using the stereotypical portrayal of African Americans directly, the omission of such a group in lieu of the stereotypically affluent white majority was no better in creating an atmosphere of equality. A cereal commercial had only one African American individual amongst five white people, which somewhat accurately represents the 12. A minivan commercial had a white male narrator, and another ad involved a white family planning a spur of the moment vacation. A bread commercial with a white woman talking about grains did little to advance or hinder any group, and an acid reflux commercial seemed to imply that the same disease can affect all people regardless of ethnicity or credo. These two commercials seemed to entrench the stereotype of African Americans having economic troubles, as well as a reliance upon a government agency. The network seemed to use a higher percentage of African American individuals (24) than what would accurately represent the American population, due to some ethnic targeting of the commercials during a minority program. 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). The commercial described a mother trying to feed her family on a "tight budget using an inexpensive baking product, but this could just as easily be seen as a prudent mother looking for a good meal. It was noted at this time, however, that advertising involving luxury items, such as an expensive new truck, omitted African Americans altogether. Only one of six commercials had African Americans portrayed as economically depraved, and only in a circumstantial form. The other commercials at this time seemed to have little implication for African American culture, depicting a white celebrity hosting an awards show, children of different ethnicities using products such as air fresheners or eating cookies, as well a phone commercial with a well known African American celebrity.


Stereotyping & Cultural Competence
are frequently stereotyped in the media and in These stereotypes may interfere with the provision of good at a minimum, looks at racial, ethnic, and sexual (1295 5 )

the police to use racial stereotypes when selecting incidents were reported to the media by participants and operations to address, racial, ethnic, gender, age (10383 42 )

US Public School Demographics
depictions of characters without the use of racial, ethnic and cultural stereotypes; b) inclusion of teachers who utilize a wide variety of media such as (5716 23 )

Delivery of Health Care: An Analysis
or incomes below the national media were likely 17) noted that among racial/ethnic minority women These researchers maintained that stereotypes about male and (4607 18 )

Issues Impacting Health Care Delivery
or incomes below the national media were likely 17) noted that among racial/ethnic minority women These researchers maintained that stereotypes about male and (4592 18 )