Much of the world has become a different reality for most individuals. Being marginalized, targeted, or socially put down is something that happens almost every day in media. The reality we live in is constantly changing and learning from its diverse people, so why hasn’t media learned thus far? Stereotypes and racial bias can often have negative or positive impacts depending on the individual.
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Both of these terms are often used together and simultaneously when dealing with certain situations. We can see many stereotypes and racial bias of Hispanics, Blacks, Asians, Armenians and many more if we analyze through American history. However, the stereotypes that we created subconsciously just to fill in the blanks about the information we are lack of, lead unjust racial discrimination. According to these stereotypes, all Irish people seem easily angered, all White people seem sort of racists, and all African Americans seem lazy, violent or trying to cheat the system. In creating these stereotypes, the media has played a crucial role in creating and distributing this information across many platforms. Not just television, but media has played a role in the way in which the audience perceives and understands these two terms. The media enhances and projects many inaccurate stereotypes and racial biases about various races and or groups of people relating to culture, religious backgrounds and racial differences.
Stereotypes and Racial Bias in Media
For much of American history, the United States media focuses on specific races and negatively represents them. In particular, African Americans, are mostly reflected as being less intelligent, ghetto and more aggressive than the Caucasian citizens when we go through American history. In the book called Cognitive Process in stereotyping and Intergroup behavior by David Hamilton ( 1981), he states that intergroup behavior is a reason behind these judgements. Hamilton (1981) describes intergroup as any perception or behavior that is influenced by society’s members of distinct social groups. The world has begun to build up mostly false ideas and interpretations of people which are called stereotypes (Hamilton 1981). With many ways to communicate these implicit thoughts such as: television, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and many more, it makes it hard to stop or take control of these harmful slurs and or phrases.
Many users of these types of media, don’t realize that they are subconsciously taking part in justifying and making generalizations about others. With the many stereotypes and racial bias surrounding citizens daily, it’s unsure how some might react to hearing or seeing negative comments towards ones ethnicity, origin or etc. According to Racial Bias, Unspoken but Heard by Dovidio (2009), an individual’s implicit prejudice, ingroup racial identity, and current state of intergroup relations can increase his/her sensitivity to nonverbal cues of bias which can be displayed on televisions across the nation.