Assess the view age and ethnicity are still portrayed in ways which are stereotypical by the media (33 Marks)



Age and ethnicity are both portrayed in ways that are stereotypical by the media. Media representations of ethnicity, especially, often return to stereotypical ideas and minority ethnics are underepresented in the media. Hall suggests that Blacks are often shown in a subordinate position to Whites in the media.

Van Djilk studied the inner city riots in the 1980s and found that the media tended to imply that there was a racial criminal element in the stories reported. He suggested that the media tries to flatter the British whilst using stereotypical representations of minority ethnics as terrorists, bogus asylum seekers, benefits cheats and job stealers. Hall agreed with these views and implied that the media saw ethnicity through a 'White eye' which tended to result in portrayals of colonialism. A new concept has also entered the debate about ethnicity; tokenim has become a popular idea, the suggestion of having a character from an ethnic minority group to show that the program is not racist. However, this idea has often backfired as critics say that tokenism draws further attention to the fact that minority ethnics are underepresented. South Park, for example, parodies the idea by naming the only Black character Token. The Fair Play study also found that minority ethnics were underepresented in video games, 81% of heroes in the games studied were White and, when Black characters did appear, 8/10 were in sports games. When Black women did appear 84% of them were shown as victims are violence. This is particually alarming as young children play video games and such games may enforce racial stereotypes from a young age, suggesting that ethnicity is portrayed in a stereotypical manner. Muslims have become the latest ethnic group to become targetted by the stereotypical media. The Professor of Sociology at York University suggests that Muslims are "huddled together" by the media and that peopel are ignorant of the differences there are between members of the Muslim community. Moral panics about terrorism by the media help to promote the idea that "all Muslims are terrorists" and cause the population to enter into a culture of hatred towards minority ethnics. Furthermore, even when the media covers a story which is positive about Muslims, such as the Muslim man who saved 7 people in the Paris terrorist attacks, it is seen as a one off, one "nice" Muslim and thousands of terrorists.

The media…


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