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Relationship Among Media, Society, And Individuals

2356 words - 10 pages

Of the various social and cultural forces in our society, the mass media is arguably the most influential in molding public consciousness. Americans spend an average twenty-eight hours per week watching television. They also spend an undetermined number of hours reading periodicals, listening to the radio, and going to the movies (Gregory Mantsios, 386). These form of entertainment promote products, moods, attitudes, beauty ideals, and all that is considered important. Media has become a dynamic influence on our distorted perception of our bodies, minds, and spirits. The constant exposure of media portrayals is a significant force in modern culture. Individuals are frequently being ...view middle of the document...

It purpose is to deliver a message to a bigger and broader audience. However, the disadvantage of mass media is that the material that is delivered can also be misunderstood causing confusion and providing people with the wrong message. Misinterpretations of such messages give birth to racism, sexism, and classism within our society.
Power dynamics between gender roles and privileges amongst class and race is frequently seen in the media. The messages provided by media cause society to unconsciously conform to such ideals. Sociologists and authors refer to this as a mediated culture where media reflects and creates a culture (Sociology of the Media). Media promotes and cultivates serious critical thinking about how media references our social identity, represent race, class and gender in society, and influences the ways in which we see others as well as ourselves (Kendall Hunt). Generalization, in turn, leads to stereotyping. Critics have targeted prime‐time entertainment in particular for portraying distorted images of minorities and women (Oversimplification and Stereotyping). One example of this is the reality based show such as The Bachelor. Author Rachel E. Dubrofsky critically analyzes the racial references within the show. She concludes stating; The Bachelor is “raced”: [a] series with a context in which only white people find romantic partners, while women of color work facilitate the coupling of white people (369). Although prime‐time programming has increased the numbers and types of roles for minorities and women, programming as a whole still does not reflect the demographics of the general population.
The entertainment business represents minority women as inferior. “Work as domestics, waitressing, and factory jobs are all that’s available to women with little English and few skills. The myth of the Hispanic menial has been sustained by the same media phenomenon that made “Mammy” from Gone with the Wind Americas idea od the black woman for generations; Maria, the household or counter girl. Is now indelibly etched into the national psyche. (Judith Ortiz, 163). Latinas are often classified as women who are only good in the kitchen because of society’s belief that their possibilities in prospering in life are very slim compared to White women. The media also prompted the image of a Latina in the United States as waitresses, domestic and factory workers. While our fathers work in agricultural fields, construction, or as a janitors. Lower class jobs such as the ones played by Latin actors/actresses are set into place with the excuse that those are the only employments available to those with little English and few skills. Examples of this can be seen in movies like Maid in Manhattan, portrayed by Jennifer Lopez, in which the poor little Latina is trapped in the submissive role of a housekeeper or nanny and is usually rescued by a kind-hearted white man and images on a daily basis (Alicia Perez). Although Men also suffer from Latin...

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