Stereotypes in the Media

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Running Head: STEREOTYPES IN THE MEDIA

The Portrayal of Stereotypes in Different Genres of Television

Daniel Waters

Perth Modern School

Abstract

The aim of this research is aimed to compare the frequency of stereotypes between different genres of prime time television shows. 36 Year 11 students were enrolled to record the number of stereotypes they saw portrayed in televised media. The results were collated to compare how many stereotypes appeared in the genres. Results indicated that News portrayed the most stereotypes, followed by comedy, then by drama. Results interpreted showed news stereotypes are considered more socially acceptable, whereas comedy stereotypes can be viewed as offensive and not suitable for children. Drama was very similar to comedy.

Stereotypes and their Pervasiveness in the Media

The media these days is littered with stereotypes. These stereotypes portray a multitude of different categories, such as age, race, religion, sex and sexuality, mostly in a negative light. The aged, for example, have bad hearing; Muslims are all violent and suicidal; and the French have a snobbish attitude, love for frogs legs, and a hate for the English. While stereotypes tend to have a grain of truth within them (the French really do hate the English), they tend to overlook the differences between individuals, making them too generalised and unreliable. Despite this inaccuracy, the media still does this often. While stereotypes are used in comedy “for the lulz,” they are deliberately used in this manner, unlike in certain news and current affairs shows, where it is used out of ignorance and efficiency. Because of the way media has stereotyped minorities, society has absorbed this into everyday use and many find it socially acceptable to use offensive stereotypes in everyday conversations. While comedy shows are not trying to offend and proliferate...
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