Stereotypes in the American Media Essay

Stereotypes in the American Media Essay

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Stereotypes in the American Media


Propaganda is an effective device that is used to influence and manipulate human behavior by appealing to emotions. When propaganda is combined with stereotypes, it usually produces negative results. A simplified view of a group of people, spread by mass communication can cause people to be more narrow-minded and can alter their perspective. Living in the Information Age, people are exposed to a constant stream of ideas and images. These ideas can reflect the views of those with a hidden agenda. They can also produce a generality about something that people are not familiar with, therefore readily accept the stereotype. There are many examples of propaganda from recent times that include stereotypes that assist in getting the message across. From political ideology to advertising, some uses of stereotypes in propaganda are successful in influencing the masses, while others are more transparent and less effective.

Sweeping generalizations of people of Middle-Eastern descent are prevalent the American media, especially films, which can easily influence how an audience regards people of this origin. Most action films promote American patriotism, but at the same time, make an enemy of Non-American people. In the past 10 years, people from Arab speaking countries have been portrayed as terrorists in American films. This typecasting generates a view of this ethnicity that is associated with terrorist activity. In the article “Arabs in Hollywood: An Undeserved Image” that author, Scott J. Simon, discusses action films that portray Arabs as the enemy. “While the plot of True Lies seems to be no different than any other action movie involving spies and smugglers, the characterization of the Arab g...


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...ALD, Michael. [2003]. Dixie Chicks axed by Clear Channel. Online at: , consulted on April 1st, 2004.

FRANCL, Luke. [2004]. Back to Vermont: New Club for Growth Ad in Iowa. Online at: , consulted on April 1st, 2004.

CHAVANU, Bakari. [1999]. Seventeen, Self-Image, And Stereotypes. Online at: , consulted on April 1st, 2004.

MEDINA, Sam. [2003]. Female Stereotypes in Advertising. Online at: , consulted on April 1st, 2004.

GRAHAM, Judith. [2001]. Five Ways to Save on Essential Cosmetics. Online at: , consulted on April 1st, 2004.

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