Communication as a Social Force
Media Reprentations on Race and Ethnicity
What is power? What the word ‘power’ exactly means? Very basically it means make people to do things by not using any force maybe potential of force but not a direct force. According to this definition it can be said that media has a great power on all of us. Because it affects people’s ideas, thougths, ideologies and even acts by not using any force. This power can be use in many different ways so ‘media literacy’ is very important to understand the ‘reality’.
Especially race and ethnicity are the sensitive issues which should be reflect on because representation of many race and ethnic groups in media is problematic. Our understanding about other cultures and nations around the world is often colored by our memory of these places that we have received through mediated visual information (Mitra, 1999). Mass media portrayals undoubtedly play a very important role in influencing people’s attitudes towards out-groups, especially when presented in very realistic ways in media such as films (Ramasubramanian, 2005). Mostly we have no chance to directly interact other race or ethnic groups that much and media is the only choice to make an opinion. This sitiuation creates stereotypes and force us to think strictly.
Let’s look at the representaion of Indians in media. When we stop and think about India the only image is very crowded, polluted and poor country but these are only impressions which we internalize through media. Not only Indians under-represented in media they usually represented in stereotypical ways. There are many cliches such as ‘Indians are uneducated’, ‘Indians worship millions of Gods’, ‘Indians are poor but happy’ and so on. The history of stereotypical representations of India largely dates back to colonial rule in India when the narrative accounts and photographic illustrations by missionaries, anthropologists, and...