Media Representation Essay

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Media representation of immigrants reflect group prejudice against immigrant population - The media tends to represent groups of people in ways that are largely consistent with the broader society’s view of those groups. As such the media may represent a public face to the unfairness, concerned and worries of the general social group from whom the media expects to extract its funding. The social concerns of a particular era may be reflected in the prevailing themes in the media. As an example, during the cold war era, Russians were frequently portrayed in the media as authoritarian, aggressive and technologically advanced. These examples show how stereotypes can be both accurate (in part at least) and inaccurate. By and large, the Soviet Union …show more content…
That is, the media portrays groups of people differently because those groups actually are qualitatively different. For example, proponents of this alternate view argue that, although indeed different groups may be represented differently in the media, these presentations represent actual differences – stereotypes based on reality, and not prejudices. For example, if Russians (and eastern European countries) are portrayed as being involved with the mafia (illegal organization), this is because it has become a considerable problem of interest relative to the illegal activities of other ethnic groups. Given the media portrayals of any group are not consistent, this group difference is more an overall frequency difference rather than a consistent and reliable one. That is, any frequency difference noted in the media is merely reflective of a frequency difference in real life. However, it is possible that these stereotypes, although initially based upon reality, may be reinforced in the public consciousness and prove indisputable even after the social circumstances that gave rise to them have …show more content…
However, were the media portrays these negative differences, yet it fails to portray positive differences, this would be an unfair and prejudicial portrayal of immigrant groups. Therefore, the argument that media stereotypes of immigrants are based on actual group differences can only be considered non-prejudicial if the media is presenting the actual group in a well-rounded approach. Moreover, media can play a role in reinforcing positive views of immigrant population – in ways that US-born individuals and foreign-born individuals are portrayed as working cooperatively toward a mutual goal are likely to be more useful in promoting positive views of people of all

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