Essay On Immigration Stereotypes

1354 Words 6 Pages
While media’s main purpose is to merely inform the public, it often ends up affecting public opinion. This is the case with immigration and religion. When religious immigrants are portrayed in media as a certain way, society often creates prejudices and stereotypes. These stereotypes—whether they seem positive or negative—will have an overall negative impact on the lives of the immigrant and religious groups involved.
When media portrays immigrants with differences from the majority of the public, a division is formed as “desirable” versus “undesirable” immigrant groups and this further reinforces stereotyping, especially against “undesirable” immigrants . For example, in pre-WWII America, Italian and Irish immigrants were primarily Catholic and were treated differently than the German, French and British Protestant immigrants. The Catholic immigrants became “undesirable” and stereotypes were formed through the use of media that still affect these religious people today. Similarly, Middle-Eastern immigrants of today are
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The example of the “loud-mouthed New York Italian” comes to mind when talking about Catholic Italians, such as Joey Tribbiani on “Friends” (Honigman-Smith). Another negative stereotype often equated with Catholic Italians is the idea of Jersey Shore. Additionally, Catholic Irish are often seen as loud, angry and/or drunk. The biggest stereotype surrounding Catholic immigrants—and the Catholic Church in general—is that sexual abuse is condoned. Media often highlight the Church’s “indiscretions” even if there is no proof. What is interesting is that nearly all religions have cases of sexual abuse, yet no group has been attacked for it as much as the Catholic Church (Ferguson, 52). The displays of these reality stars, TV personas, and news stories through media reinforce certain stereotypical ideas in the public’s mind and creates a negative air for whole groups of

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