Study: TV May Perpetuate Race Bias
In this article, researchers at Tufts University devised a study to reveal how even passive diversion may lead to actively damaging affects, especially when it comes to issues of race and how we shape out attitudes towards those of a different race. Being a couch potato may be more detrimental than previously thought.
When I got to the part about which shows the researchers actually used in their studies, I couldn’t imagine how Scrubs could be bad to social biases. I watch that show all the time. I have the entire series on DVD and can even recite to you word for word all of my favorite lines! Maybe it is because I am knowledgeable enough to know the difference between purposeful racism and light-hearted joking, but I never really sat down and thought about how some of Turk’s and JD’s jokes toward one another could negatively shape someone else’s view on their race. JD has always called Turk his “chocolate bear”. To the men it is an endearing term. They crack jokes some time about his afro days in high school, and other various African American stereotypical jokes about height and talents. I guess by coupling these jokes with the fact that on the show Turk is the highest paid and respected surgeon in the hospital with a wife and kids, it makes the racist jokes harder to pick up on and see as poisonous to the viewers perception of the African American standard. All of the characters on the show receive pretty equal stereotyping and biases. Elliot is the dumb blonde. Carla is the fiery Latina. Dr. Cox is the overbearing egotistical Chief, and JD is the pretty sissy lover boy doctor. Maybe it is because I always loved Scrubs more for its love stories rather than the humor and jokes, but I truly never thought it was making other people subconsciously think negatively of any one of the characters or other’s of their same color…well besides maybe Elliot because the show sometimes plays really really really heavy on the dumb...
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