Stereotyping is the most common form of representation found in the media.
Remember the media offer us a “Re-presentation” of reality rather than reality itself
In creating any media product there is a careful selection process to determine which stories/images/events will be shown – Mediation.
Stereotypes are the most heavily constructed type of representation
Mediation involves a large element of simplification to produce a text that is clear and direct for an audience to consume.
E.g. Selecting and highlighting important details (Controversial, dramatic, conflict)
This means neutral or “run of the mill” events get pushed aside
Therefore it is often conflict/drama that the media select and use to represent the world
This same process can be applied to the way the media represent individuals and groups
Appearance, clothing, language, attitude, beliefs are all simplified and exaggerated
This results in a “type” being created who is seen to represent an entire group, region, country or race.
E.g. A Chav
What are stereotypes?
Stereotypes are a highly simplified , general and exaggerated type of representation – they are also often negative
However- they generally always contain a grain of truth .
Why are stereotypes used?
Stereotypes offer a shortcut for meaning as they convey a lot of information quickly.
Stereotypes condense complex information into a character who is easy to recognise and easy to deal with.
Stereotypes are often of minority groups .
Stereotyping can be used to marginalise and devalue groups within society .
Walter Lippmann's 4 Functions of stereotypes
Lippmann was an American journalist ( New Republic Magazine) who wrote about stereotyping. He claimed that stereotypes are a "picture in our heads" saying, "Whether right or wrong our imagination is shaped by the pictures seen in the media…
A short cut
An ordering process
A map of the world
An expression of our values and beliefs
What possible problems and issues arise from these heavily mediated representations?
In small groups draw and annotate a common media stereotype.
Remember to focus on how they are constructed – physical appearance, behavioural and speech characteristics.
Choose from one of the following…
The Chav (working class)
The dumb blonde (women)
The Irish man ( nationality)
The Media and Stereotyping
The media uses stereotypes all the time.
Essential as this shortcut to meaning about characters and situations/narratives.