Exposure to Stereotypes
“Stereotypes are stubborn beliefs, overgeneralizations, myths, and distorted information about groups of people that shape people thinking and form the basis of prejudice. Stereotypes are projected through the media, become part of the collective consciousness, and are used to justify discrimination (York, 2006).” The media plays a huge influence on stereotypes, whether it is pertaining to race, gender, culture, or even socioeconomic status it is still influencing the views of those who are exposed. As I researched for this paper I realized that I have been so overexposed to these stereotypes that I may have never recognized them without it being pointed out. This paper will discuss the influence that the media has on stereotypes, and strategies that could be used to counteract these influences.
Children between the ages of 2 and 5 spend an average of about 32 hours a week in front of the television watching movies and television, and children between the ages of 6 and 11 spend about 28 hours a week in front of the television (No Author, 2010). With that being said, I think that our biggest influence on children is television and movies. Although children’s television shows seem to be making a more conscious effort when it comes to equality among race, there are still subtle influences that many parents may not recognize are being taught to their children. I think that the biggest stereotypical area I have seen on television have to do with gender. Even 30 second commercials can make a lasting impression on children. When thinking of commercial about teddy bears and toy cars it is easy for most people to determine which commercial girls would play in and which commercial boys would play in. As children grow and remember what is presented to them they begin to believe that girls and boys are different and that they deserve different things.
Learned stereotypes extend into the school setting, and, if not recognized and handled early...
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