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Media Use Of Stereotypes Essay

1268 words - 5 pages

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. These ideas create negative or positive images in the intended audience's minds. However, it is notable that the information is only the one that is exemplified through media and therefore, can be wrong or changed than what reality is. Different stereotypes work well in propaganda with the help of propaganda tactics through the use of political campaigns and commercial advertising exposed by mass media.

Many critics define propaganda differently; however, there is a general agreement that propaganda is concerned with influencing opinions (Cole, 1998). The word propaganda has many other synonyms such as big lie, persuasion, brainwashing, disinformation, etc. Propaganda is not a realistic portrayal of an issue; rather it is something that is changed to manipulate the intended public. Propaganda is the aim to change people's views about an issue and the way these aims are intended on the targeted audience is the way propaganda is presented, especially through mass media. Evidently, people strongly tend to select the media, which carry contents with which they already agree (Jackall, 1995). Media tends to produce what they know people will like to hear.

On the other hand, people make certain generalities towards others with different race, ethnic origin, religion, gender, age group, etc with their limited knowledge. These generalizations create negative or positive attitudes towards these stereotype groups. Stereotyping is defined as the "making of generalizations about groups of people on the basis of limited information" (Straubhaar and LaRose: 379, 2004). Stereotype is not the way people behave in certain environments but in fact, the way one has views about them either negative or positive through the way media portrays them.

However, living in a democratic society there is freedom of choice, independence and social equality is a right and in the age of technological innovation. This is where we get hands on information on any particular subject matter we intend to choose through any form of media. However, what we do not know is how much of the knowledge we consume through mass media is accurately representation of the reality. Stereotypes work well in political campaigns where government takes certain steps as a propagandist to exhibit information to a group of targeted audience in order for them to have a certain view or opinions towards others, which is profitable in any manner for the...

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