Racism, Sexism, And Stereotypes In Media

1328 words - 5 pages

This essay discusses censorship and the way in which social media and consumer products affect and model an appropriate societal ‘literacy’ or view in particular regards to gender and race, to young children. A summary of the stereotypes displayed in several videos viewed on YouTube, as well as student’s own identified stereotypes, both in regards to race and gender, are displayed below (Alexander, 2011; BrokenXLoner, 2012; Lac, 2013; Walt Disney Pictures, 1998, 1994, 1992, 1967, 1955, 1953, 1941):

Examples of ‘Frequent Racial Stereotypes’ Displayed in Popular Culture
African American (examples: Disney crows, orang-utans in Jungle Book, The Lion King hyenas) American Indians (example: American Indians from Peter Pan)
• Athletic, often dancing – jive, hip-hop, break dancing, hustle,
• Slowed, slurred speech patterns
• Jungle Book – orang-utans singing about wanting to be like men
• Underdog – has to work hard to get somewhere, ‘sidekick role’
• Criminal – ‘hood’, guns, gangs, ‘crooked/shonky’, poor
• Player - sexualise females in particular
• Loud, opinionated women who boss around their men
• Comedians – loud, funny • Depicted as saying ‘woo woo woo’ whilst clapping hand over mouth, and saying ‘ugg’
• Teepees
• Dancing – jumping and kicking with arms crossed without much knowledge or sequence to their movements

Asian (examples: Siamese Cats ‘Lady and The Tramp’, Mulan) Caucasian
• ‘Asian Features’ – slanted eyes, buck teeth
• Cunning and manipulative
• Seen as sexist and oppressive societies – girls have no value if they are not married, women should obey orders from men
• Intelligent
• Fighting/tough
• Women can be sexualised and fragile
• Tough parental expectations • Rich
• Preppy
• Dumb
• Blonde
• Pretty
• Leader
• Main character
Latino (examples: dog from ‘The Lady and The Tramp, ‘Taco Bell’) Middle Eastern (example: stall merchants in Aladdin)
• Rebellious
• Seen at the ‘bottom’, ‘worthless’, “the more you insult me the more I want you”
• Often referred to, or implied as dogs
• Sexual
• Come across as ‘simple’ and ‘misunderstood’ due to accent
• Loud
• Opinionated
• Rich/poor • Merchants: unfriendly, mischievous and brutal
• Deceptive
• Highly religious – not sexualised,
• Poor
• Oppressed (especially women)
• Serious

Examples of ‘Frequent Gender Stereotypes’ of Women Displayed in Popular Culture (Jonesyy217, 2011)
• Act ‘proper’ & never speak up
• Girls need to be pretty, not intelligent
• Accept that men are dominant figures in relationships
• Need to be domestic – sew, clean • Independent
• Heroic
• Headstrong
• Determined
• Driven

Movies, television shows, books and toys are often a fundamental part of a young child’s life and the ways in which they come to develop their own personal understandings about the world, as well as developing academic knowledge such as literacy and numeracy (MacNaughton & Williams, 2009). With these educational and social materials, however,...

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