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Posted: November 24th, 2022


Roles Played by Media in Society
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The Functions of the Media in Contemporary Society

The media has become an integral part of people’s daily lives in the modern world. The media has a significant impact on the way people live their lives. It penetrates their understanding and perception, conveying a wide range of information that has an impact on their values and beliefs. In addition, it plays an important role in today’s society, either by strengthening or weakening the fabric of society. In order to fulfill its primary function, it must provide current news and fashion information as well as advertising for the newest devices to hit the market. Through the way they present news, media personalities in the United States frequently reinforce the stereotype that Whites are more superior than African Americans, according to some studies. The media has played a significant role in the promotion of racism in the United States through the way they conduct their operations and the way they present information. Many films have been made in which other races are portrayed as being more superior.

Furthermore, the media has an impact on race relations and the perceptions of African Americans held by white people in the United States. The films Coon, Mammy, and Sambo depict some of the historical stereotypes about African Americans that have been perpetuated by the media. The film Coon perpetuates the stereotype that African-Americans or Black Americans were easily scared and too lazy to carry out their responsibilities (Hancock, Jolls, and Jolls, 335). The stereotype goes on to suggest that Africans preferred to remain hidden rather than carry out their assigned tasks. They would sometimes pretend to be ill in order to avoid going to work (Hancock, Jolls, and Jolls, 335). The film Mammy depicted a stereotype that Black women preferred to look after white children rather than their own young children. The stereotype demonstrated that Black slaves were obedient and content with their lot in life as slaves. Finally, the film Sambo creates the stereotype that African-Americans benefited from their slavery and were delighted to be treated as property, which is not true in reality. This is illustrated by the fact that media has an impact on how other people perceive African Americans in the films shown here.

Aside from that, the contemporary media continues to perpetuate false stereotypes of African Americans. African Americans are frequently depicted as criminals in crime-related television programming. African American offenders are reported when they are handcuffed and led away by a white police officer, which is in contrast to reporting a crime committed by a white person (Guo and Harlow, 281). The same is true in many films of the modern era, where black people are given the role of villains who must be defeated. Weapon and drug smugglers, addicts, and violent races are all stereotyped as being associated with them on an almost daily basis in film and television. The way that black people are portrayed in the media portrays them as a race that should be feared. In many films, Caucasians are portrayed as police officers rather than as criminals, and this is especially true in the genre of crime drama (Guo and Harlow, 284). In a similar vein, when compared to Black Americans, they frequently appear as victims in presentations and films. When compared to Caucasians, the portrayal of Blacks as criminals on television news shows and in films is more blatantly racist. By perpetuating that stereotype, the media contributes significantly to the spread of racism and prejudice against African-Americans.

On the other hand, despite the fact that these stereotypes were intended solely for entertainment purposes, they have had a significant impact on the strengthening of racial bias and discrimination in our society. It is believed by the cultivation theory that people’s attitudes can be changed by constantly consuming news and entertainment media. The theory also suggests that the greater the amount of media content that people consume, the greater the likelihood that they will be influenced. People’s minds are permanently imprinted with the stories, beliefs, values, and images they see on a daily basis. As a result, they have a significant impact on how they perceive things. Whites are led to believe that they are superior to blacks by watching films and news broadcasts that depict blacks as violent and criminal (Van Dijk, 20). Racism is exacerbated as a result of the formation of these perceptions.. Furthermore, it is believed that people gain knowledge from what they see or hear in the media. For example, children frequently learn through observation, and they eventually become what they observe. After watching films that are biased and discriminatory towards a particular race or ethnic group, children will grow up believing that the racial group in question is so inferior that it should be looked down upon. As a result, a negative portrayal of a specific racial group can lead to a long-lasting negative attitude toward that group in general.

Furthermore, stereotypes are perpetuated by the media in order to undermine the self-esteem of African-Americans. A number of studies have found that long-term exposure to television and films lowers the self-worth of young black people while raising the self-esteem of white people (Van Dijk, 20). When comparing people of color and Caucasians, there is a significant difference in self-esteem. Caucasians are portrayed as heroes, while Blacks are subordinated and erased as sexual objects, villains, and sidekicks in popular culture. Furthermore, racial images presented by the media and entertainment industry have the potential to distort how people categorize and understand one another and their surroundings (Van Dijk, 22). In some cases, films and media can have a negative impact on how Caucasians perceive African-Americans. In a similar vein, racist fear can be exacerbated by racial stereotypes depicted on television and in films. People are encouraged to increase racial discrimination and biases against other races as a result of what they see on television and in the media.

To summarize, media portrayals of a particular racial group can have a significant impact on the beliefs and values held by that group. Television is used by a large number of people in the modern world to keep up with important news and market trends. People’s thoughts and perceptions are influenced by the media, and advertisements can alter people’s perceptions and thoughts depending on what the media is presenting. In addition, films play an important role in shaping the attitudes and behaviors of their audiences. So the media plays an important role in either encouraging or discouraging racism and bias in the public spheres.

Works Cited

Guo, Lei, and Summer Harlow. “User-generated racism: An analysis of stereotypes of African Americans, Latinos, and Asians in YouTube videos.” Howard Journal of Communications 25.3 (2014): 281-302.

Hancock, Quentin, Tessa Jolls, and Peter Jolls. “Racism and stereotypes in electronic media. ” Public Library Quarterly 32.4 (2013): 333-344.

Van Dijk, Teun A. “The role of the press in the reproduction of Racism. ” Migrations: interdisciplinary perspectives. Springer, Vienna, 2012. 15-29.

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