Friday, September 30, 2011

The Potrayal of Gender and Minorities in the Media

Minority representation in mass media has become an increasingly important topic as the combination of increased diversity and the information age has created measurable demographics for who is using and most importantly paying for media. Minority races make up almost 40% of the United State's population, women over half of the population, and members of the lower middle and working classes over half by some estimations, yet they are still underrepresented and possibly misrepresented in many forms of media. Therefore, this paper will analyze how different groups of people such as women, racial minorities and homosexuals, have been and still are underrepresented and stereotyped in contemporary media.

As we discussed extensively in class, corporate media such as public broadcasting companies are very interested in, naturally, making money. In my paper I would like to analyze how this capitalistic pursuit leads to certain groups being underrepresented in mass media, and how stereotypical notions of races, genders, and other minority groups can be created perpetuated. The mandates of media corporations, especially broadcast corporations, are in place to, in part, serve the consumer as best as possible. And when media companies chase the all important dollar sign, there is a substantial amount of societal carnage left in its wake.

For my paper, I will start with a background of the development of the mass media industries, linking that to the portrayal of gender and minorities both historically and in present day media. Using specific examples from the media past and present, this paper will delve into the many examples of how certain groups are repressed in mass media, why this is the case, and what can be done about it - both from a consumers and a corporations perspective.


  1. The topic of minority and gender in mass media is very intriguing, especially if you can connect past mass media (radio would be particularly interesting) to modern day. I'm sure we would find out that while there has been a significant amount of progress, mass media may not have evolved as much as we assume it has.

  2. It would be very interesting to look into what stereotypes are perpetuated throughout mass media and how they are received by audiences. Looking at how the marginalization has occurred and has changed over the last twenty or 25 years would be something interesting. I wonder if it has really changed that much; if we really have made progress.

  3. McCavitt, this should be a very interesting topic. Another interesting thing about this topic would be finding how media shapes how our society views these groups. It should be very easy finding examples of all these stereotypes. I am curious to see what you find on how media has changed over the years in the ways they portray these groups.

  4. Since our culture is shaped by the media we consume it would be interesting to see how the media changes or creates our ideas about gender and minority equality. Maybe take a look at how gender roles and minority roles are portrayed when a new show or movie is being introduced. The flyers and dvd covers for various shows will have the characters placed in a certain way that may have to do with their gender or race, it would be interesting to take a look at that as well.