• Created by: Shadow
  • Created on: 16-11-20 11:18
  • Ethnicity

What is ethnicity?
A social group which has a common nation or background.
Many people confuse ethnicity and race. Your ethnicity is defined by your cultural identity, which is demonstrated through customs, dress, food, etc. Ethnicity suggests an identity that is based on a sense of place, ideology and religion. You can be British, but be of a Jewish ethnicity.

Race is simply defined by descending from a common ancestor, giving you certain racial characteristic, such a skin colour or facial features.

Van Dijk (1991) claimed that news representations of ethnic minorities can be categorised into several types of stereotypically negative news:

Ethnic minorities as criminal - Black crime is the most frequent issue found in media news coverage of ethnic minorities. Van Dijk found that Black people tend to be portrayed as criminals, especially in the tabloid press and more recently as members of organised gangs that push drugs and violently defend urban territories.

Ethnic minorities and moral panics - Watson (2008) notes that moral panics often result from media stereotyping of Black people as potentially criminal. Moral panics have developed around rap music, e.g. in 2003, ‘gangsta rap’ lyrics came under attack for contributing to an increase in gun crime.

Ethnic minorities as a threat - Ethnic minorities are often portrayed as a threat to the majority White culture. It is suggested by some media that immigrants and asylum seekers are only interested in living in Britain because they wish to take fraudulent advantage of Britain’s ‘generous’ welfare state. Poole (2000), pre 9/11, argued that Islam has always been demonised and distorted by the Western media. It has traditionally been portrayed as a threat to Western interests. Representations of Islam have been predominantly negative and Muslims have been stereotyped as backward, extremist, fundamentalist and misogynist.

Ethnic minorities as dependent - News stories about less developed countries tend to focus on a ‘coup-war-famine-starvation syndrome’…


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