Othering Through Media Essay

4675 Words Jun 22nd, 2013 19 Pages
University of Helsinki
Faculty of Social Sciences
Meeting the Other by Prof.emerita Ullamaija Kivikuru

‘Othering’ and the media
A literature review on media about, for and by minorities

Lieselotte De Mey
Student ID no. 014214154
Master student Media and global communication

Since we live in a multicultural society, meaning that we are constantly faced with ‘the other’, we often turn to media as a source to gather information about this unfamiliar other. Arguing that media have the potential to shape people’s perception of social relations and groups, this paper contains a literature review on the relation between media and the portrayal of ethnic minorities. By
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Stereotyping and ‘new racism’
When in exclusionary ‘othering’ (see above) particular signifying attributes or linkages are used, we might refer to this activity as stereotyping or the activity whereby a reductive impression or image is created of a given social experience (Canales, 2000; Malik, 2010). Stereotypes are “shared perspectives of the dominant majority that are produced and sustained through primarily dominant-controlled communication channels-verbal, visual, and technological” (Canales, 2000, p. 6). Stereotypes become part of established norms and values via these communication processes. In addition, the adherence of group members to stereotypes perpetuates them. As a result, dominant group members’ identity is defined and constructed through the communication of stereotypical representations of those whom are stigmatized as ‘other’. In the absence of interactional and personal experiences with individuals who are different from themselves, persons heavily rely on their stereotypical representation, further perpetuating the division between self and ‘other (Canales, 2000).
In relation to racism, it is important to mention van Dijk’s (2000) interesting difference between old and new racism. Simply put, “racism is a social system of ‘ethnic’ or ‘racial’ inequality” (p.35), a system consisting of two

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