Television and Media - Stereotypes, Stereotyping and the Media

Television and Media - Stereotypes, Stereotyping and the Media

Length: 1973 words (5.6 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Excellent

Open Document

Essay Preview

More ↓
Stereotypes and the Media

“Hey isn’t that Reverend Camden's daughter? I thought she was a Christian!”

“Isn’t her dad a policeman?”

“What! The President's daughters were arrested for drinking?”

These are statements that are frequently made by people like myself. I expect more from my peers whose fathers have jobs as prominent moral leaders because of the way the media portrays them. Our society places higher standards on pastors of Christian church, a policemen, and the President of the United States of America, because of their positions. These fathers are expected to be upstanding, moral citizens of their community, and are expected to have children that conduct themselves in the same manner. As college students we have learned from the media how to judge our peers' social actions based solely on their fathers' jobs. The nightly news broadcast, newspapers, and television sitcoms such as the The Cosby Show, 7th Heaven, and Dawson’s Creek are all examples of where we learn to judge based on these stereotypes.

Imagine you are at a party having a great time listening to a Marilyn Manson CD playing in the background, “Sweet dreams are made of these, who am I to disbelieve?” While filling up your glass of beer you spring a conversation with the person standing next to you. The music is loud so you both venture out to the porch to talk. Names, where you live, and your major are all exchanged in the beginning of your conversation. The two of you quit talking for a moment to take a sip of the beer you had both just filled up a few minutes ago. As the conversation gets deeper, the issue of your fathers' careers is brought up. Your dad is a real estate agent who sells homes for a living. The person standing across from you informs you that her father is a pastor of a Christian church. Your mouth drops, then your stomach. You quickly look down at your glass of beer, and then you look at her glass. A surprised eyebrow is raised, confused as to why this person is drinking, or why she is even at this party. Automatically, without any reason, you have already stereotyped this person and placed a higher standard of social prestige on her because of her fathers’ job.

How to Cite this Page

MLA Citation:
"Television and Media - Stereotypes, Stereotyping and the Media." 06 Dec 2019

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Stereotypes, Stereotyping and Ideals Essay

- Various sources indicate that female body images presented through models, mannequins, and even Barbie dolls are strikingly deviant from the actual female form. One such example occurs in the January 1998 issue of Marie Claire magazine, which states that the average American woman is 5’4” and a size 12. She has a 37-inch bust, a 29-inch waist, and 40-inch hips. A mannequin is 6 feet tall, a size 6, with measurements of 34-23-34. A life-size Barbie doll would be 7’2,” with bust, waist, and hip measurements of 40-22-36, respectively....   [tags: Television and Media Essays]

Research Papers
5003 words (14.3 pages)

Stereotypes And The On Stereotypes Essay

- According to Greenwald article On Stereotypes, he believed that stereotypes are inevitable, it is human nature to stereotype and put different people in categories. This theory maybe true, but different authors express their opinions about the idea of suggesting positive stereotypes. The idea that positive stereotypes can be beneficial to people rather than negative stereotype can improve and help the lives of other people. Doosje, Russell, and Spears in the article When Bad Isn 't All Bad: Strategic Use of Sample Information in Generalization and Stereotyping they point out that “people use variability judgements strategically… [They] proposed a motivational basis is relatively homogeneous...   [tags: Stereotype, Stereotypes]

Research Papers
1069 words (3.1 pages)

Media Use of Stereotypes Essay

- Media Use of Stereotypes We live in a world of technological innovation where mass media is a major part of us today. People make assumptions on what they hear. They do not try to analyze the situation to see who is right and who is wrong, and mass media is the main source of manipulating one's mind. The concept of propaganda has changed over time. Propagandists create ideas stereotypically through the use of propaganda and use media to promote it and target people's minds to have influence on their views towards a certain group of people....   [tags: Media Stereotypes Stereotyping]

Research Papers
1268 words (3.6 pages)

Essay on Media Stereotyping of Men

- Males are stereotyped in movies, books, magazines, television, almost any type or medium with a male figure exhibit some type of male stereotyping. The most common male stereotypes in the media are often very well known and referred to as normal traits that men are suppose to posses, and these male traits are the following: man are naturally stronger than the opposite sex, men are the family providers, bread-winners , men are tough, adventurous, brave, protectors, and most importantly a men must be able to shoot guns, jump off cliffs, ride motorcycles, and must be able to save the damsel in distress....   [tags: Common Stereotypes of Men in Media]

Research Papers
2727 words (7.8 pages)

Stereotypes in the American Media Essay

- 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....   [tags: Media Stereotypes Stereotyping]

Research Papers
1371 words (3.9 pages)

Propaganda and Stereotyping Essay

- Propaganda and Stereotyping Propaganda: a word that is commonly underestimated in its power. Confused with advertisement, people tend to take the disasters caused by propaganda lightly. One such disaster is the stereotype – a felicity confused with the truth. In this research paper, a closer attention will be given to the propaganda generation of stereotypes about a specific age group; how easily and believable stereotypes are carried by propaganda tactics on youth will be presented. Throughout this paper, a demonstration of the negative stereotypes on public opinion will be presented along with important methods in which stereotypes work in propaganda....   [tags: Media Stereotypes Stereotyping]

Research Papers
1380 words (3.9 pages)

Essay on Stereotypes in the Media

- Stereotypes are everywhere; they are on television, billboards, posters, magazines, and even on the internet. Stereotypes are presented everywhere in the media; from the stereotypical skinny model on the cover of a magazine, to a racial stereotype on television. The people creating these tactless items in the media may not be aware of the danger they are causing to society, but this unfortunate occurrence must be prevented. The media can unquestionably present danger to many people when they exhibit stereotyping....   [tags: Media]

Research Papers
1713 words (4.9 pages)

Media Stereotypes Essay

- Media Stereotypes “Media stereotypes are inevitable, especially in the advertising, entertainment and news industries, which need as wide an audience as possible to quickly understand information. Stereotypes act like codes that give audiences a quick, common understanding of a person or group of people—usually relating to their class, ethnicity or race, gender, sexual orientation, social role or occupation.” Stereotypes are deeply embedded in every society in numerous ways. The dictionary definition of a stereotype is “one that is regarded as embodying or conforming to a set image or type.” Stereotyping or Labeling is a technique that “attempts to arouse prejudices in an audience by lab...   [tags: Media Stereotypes Stereotyping]

Research Papers
1423 words (4.1 pages)

Stereotypes, Discrimination and Prejudice Essay

- Stereotypes, Discrimination and Prejudice If a young girl is walking alone through a park late at night and encounters three senior citizens walking with canes and three teenage boys wearing leather jackets, it is likely that she will feel threatened by the latter and not the former. Why is this so. To start off, we have made a generalization in each case. By stereotyping, we assume that a person or group has certain characteristics. Often, these stereotypical generalizations are not accurate....   [tags: Media Stereotypes Stereotyping]

Research Papers
1493 words (4.3 pages)

Racial and Ethnic Stereotypes Essay

- Racial and Ethnic Stereotypes People being generalized based on limited and inaccurate information by sources as television, cartoons or even comic books (Tripod). This is a definition that seems to go against many public standards. The above words are the exact definition of stereotypes. Stereotypes as understood from the definition, goes mostly hand in hand with media -- only not the regular meaning of the innocent media we know. Media propaganda is the other form of media that is rather described as media manipulation....   [tags: Media Stereotypes Stereotyping]

Free Essays
1332 words (3.8 pages)

Related Searches

The Bush family is a prime example of a family that we hold to a different standard. There is George W. Bush, the President of the United States, his loving and supporting wife Laura, and their two beautiful and obedient twin daughters, Jenna and Barbara. They are supposed to be an example of the picture perfect American family, because, after all, they are the “First Family.” They attend church on a regular basis, their religious beliefs are strongly rooted in Christianity, and they portray the image that their family is a standard that other families should strive to emulate. But in May of 2001, these supposedly perfect daughters got in trouble with the law at a Mexican restaurant in Austin, Texas. Jenna was cited for using a fake I.D., while Barbara was cited for underage drinking. The reaction of the media and other college-aged kids was shamefully judgmental. Jenna and Barbara Bush’s story was plastered over several newspapers and magazines across the nation. We were so incredibly shocked that, of all people, the President's daughters were caught drinking while underage. What made it so news worthy? It certainly wasn’t that two girls were caught drinking or that one was using a fake I.D., but that they were the President's daughters. Even though we have this idea of how the Bush twins should act, they too are human and make mistakes just like any other teenager growing up in a family.

Another example comes from an experience I had in junior high. I had a friend, Niccole, whose best friend Brandy was an acquaintance of mine. Brandy’s father is a policeman for the city of Arvada, Colorado. Niccole would always tell me stories of how Brandy would go out drinking and sneaking out of her house to go party with older boys. Every time Niccole would tell me these stories, which happened many times, I would always think to myself, “but her dad is a cop!” I automatically thought that because her dad was a policeman, she should be a good kid, and not do behave as she did. The irony is that she is the type of person a policeman, like her father, would arrest. So, I too fell into my peer group who stereotype these high profile families. This just goes to show how we think children with fathers in an authority or leadership position should not cause the problems their dads are trying to fix. We automatically think that the children’s actions are a direct reflection of their father because they are saying one thing, and their kids are doing the opposite.

The sitcom 7th Heaven on the Warner Brothers network is about a family of nine (formerly seven). The father, Eric Camden, is a Christian pastor of the local community church in the city of Glen Oak, California. They live in a typical white suburbia neighborhood where everyone walks to church and everything looks perfectly quiet and normal from the outside. Whenever any one of the Camden children do something even slightly wrong, he or she becomes the gossip of the town. There are five children: Matt, Mary, Lucy, Simon, Ruthie, and two twin baby boys. They all bring a different personality and aspect to the show. The Camdens religiously attend their father's church sermon every Sunday and have a very close and loving relationship with each other. In every episode, the show deals with a handful of problems; in each case, the children are encouraged to talk through these problems either with their siblings or with their parents.

Lucy, the third oldest in the family, both reinforces and challenges our belief that a child of a pastor should act morally and ethically only because society thinks her father should act this way. She is a straight “A” student and does not cause many problems for the family. She is the most popular girl in her school and was voted prom queen by her classmates. Lucy has many friends and is always the talk of the boys at the cafeteria table. She does community service, loves to help out her fellow friends in need, and is always there for her brothers or sisters. Whenever she has a problem she goes directly to her parents for advice and wisdom. She is an example of what we think a child of a Christian pastor should act like.

In an older episode, Lucy has a paper due for her English class. At this time in her life Lucy is trying to juggle her school, family, church, her boyfriend, and cheerleading. She becomes stressed out and decides to put her paper on the back burner. When the time comes and the paper is due, she does not have anything written. The night before it is due, she finds her older sister Mary’s paper that had been written for the same class a few years before. Feeling pressured for time, she makes the decision to copy her sister’s paper and turn it in as her own. She receives a “B” on the paper and is initially relieved and happy with the grade. Soon after, though, feeling guilty about cheating and receiving such a good grade, she decides to tell her teacher what she did. Her teacher is naturally surprised that Lucy, of all people, has done something like this. Being well aware of who Lucy’s father is, the teacher did not expect a pastor's daughter to be the child who cheated.

This action of cheating is not something that a pastor’s child should be doing. Why not? Is it something that any child should be doing? Or is it more shocking that a child of a Christian pastor is cheating? This is the cultural belief that we as peers have of one another with fathers in an authoritative or leadership type of role. 7th Heaven takes on this cultural belief by using Lucy’s cheating as an example to show its audience (in this case students) that taking someone’s paper is not acceptable. In order to use Lucy’s cheating as an example, the show has to both reinforce and challenge this belief that a pastor's daughter should not cheat in order to effectively get the point across.

Mary, the second oldest in the family, also reinforces and challenges this common belief. In earlier episodes, Mary plays the role of a good kid who is a tomboy and the star player on her basketball team. She is a good female role model for her younger sisters Lucy and Ruthie. Lucy looks up to Mary and comes to her often for advice about boys and school situations.

Yet Mary begins to take a turn for the worse in an episode where she meets Carrie, the new girl in school. Carrie, who has a previous reputation of being “wild," befriends Mary and asks her to go to the mall with her that afternoon. While at the mall, Carrie asks Mary if she wants to go to a fraternity party with her later that night. Mary says no at first because she knows her parents will not allow her to go out on a school night. Carrie convinces her that it will be fun and encourages Mary to sneak out and not tell her parents. Mary has to make a decision about whether she wants to disobey her parents, or call it a day and stay home. Mary decides to disobey her parents and sneak out with Carrie. When the two arrive at the party, Mary and Carrie are offered beers upon their entrance. Mary declines politely, while Carrie gladly takes the beer from one of the frat boys who is hosting the party.

While inside the party, one of the girls inside recognizes Mary and says, “Isn’t that Reverend Camden’s daughter?” The group of girls huddle up and start discussing how shocked they are to see Mary at the party. The girls are shocked because it isn’t typical to see a Christian pastor's daughter at a fraternity party. The girls who are talking about Mary only reinforce the idea that people think kids of pastors, or policemen, or the President, don’t make bad choices. 7th Heaven must address this issue of partying in order to make the show seem more like the realistic situations high school and college students are faced with every day. By putting Mary in this situation, the show reinforces the belief that a pastor’s daughter does not make decisions like the one Mary made about sneaking out. This belief is prevalent in the reality that we live in because the television media makes it so evident by showing us how we should act when situations like these arise.

Judgment is a problem among young adults because too often we do not look past their family ties before we pin a personality on them. In our minds, if a person is the daughter of a prominent moral leader then she must not stray from acting justly at all times. We think that because of who her father is, social decisions are already made for her. As her peers, we must find a way to minimize this judgment and common belief. We can do this by treating each person on an individual and personal basis. By doing so, we will not let a person's father’s occupation define his or her personality or, let it define how that person should act in a social environment. Having an open mind can be one way in which we can help decrease this type of social judgment.
Return to