Racial Stereotypes in Comedy

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The world is composed of millions of people that come from different locations, are part of different races, believe in different religions, and have developed different cultures to those of everyone else. Over the course of human history, the differences that we have developed have played an enormous role in dividing us. Perhaps the chief problem that has plagued society in the past, and continues to do so to this day, is the idea that one’s race is superior to that of others; in other words: racism. Racism has led to the discrimination, oppression, and deaths of countless numbers of people. In the present, racism is often closely associated with stereotypes. In today’s society, being stereotypical often gets you the criticism that “you are being racist.” Racial stereotypes tend to portray their pertaining race in a negative manner which may be why the tow words are frequently interchanged. However, both have very different meanings and should not be confused. Although the tow are separate entities, they do share roots. The lack of knowledge and understanding of a race may lead to one or the other and sometimes both. Although both racism and stereotypes are condemned, there seems to be a more lenient stance on stereotypes. For example the media is constantly reminding us that whites are wealthy, while black and Hispanics are poor, and Asians are highly intelligent and are masters in martial arts. It is not uncommon for television shows, movies, and advertisement to be filled with generalized portrayals of certain people and group. Most are disregarded as being offensive.However, when comedy tries playing with stereotypes, it is not unusual for people to become offended. Stereotypes play a large role in comedy. Popular shows lik... ... middle of paper ... ...tools such as stereotypes, we share many things in common. Such a level of connection allows us to feel comfortable in laughing with each other at the absurdities that we naturally believe about the people who share this world with us. Works Cited Foote, Kim. “Oburoni No More.” One World, Many Cultures. Hirscheberg, S. & Hirschberg, T. Pearson Longman, 2009. 332-339 “180 Million Fans.” Parker, T, & Stone, M. South Park.. Comedy Central. New York. Paul, Annie. “Where Bias Begins: The Truth about Stereotypes .” Psychology Today 1 May. 1998. 29 Sep. 2009 . “Factile: Global Migration.” BBC. Web. 30 Sep. 2009.
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