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Transcript
Race and the Media
Dates and Mascaro. 2005. African
Americans in Film and Television. Journal of
Popular Film and Television
• Film and television is potentially a powerful
agent for change.
• For civil rights movement it was “the
chosen instrument of the revolution.”
• But despite gains racism still exists
• Why has the media failed to be an
instrument of change?
• “Striking difference between the
representation of African Americans by
white authors as opposed to black
authors”
• Sterotypes: contented slave, wretched
freedman, tragic mulatto, comic negro.
Depictions of Minorities
Depictions of Minorities
Dates and Mascaro
• Need to expose the racial bias depictions
of blacks
• And replace them with more authentic
characterizations, which can only be done
by black authors.
• Gramsci: culture itself becomes a
contested historical arena
Dates and Mascaro
• Stereotypical symbols become familiar
and accepted
• Racial representations help mold public
opinion, hold it in place, and set the
agenda for public discourse.
• 80% of Hispanic characters on TV fall into
a few categories. What are they?
• Drug dealer, gang banger, domestic,
newly arriving immigrant, Latin Lover
Dates and Mascaro
• Coercion is used only as a last resort,
instead ruling class maintains power by
cultivating consensus.
• Cultural imperialism: depictions of whites,
blacks, minorities, of history controlled by
dominant class.
• Media: “explain, instruct and justify
practices and institutions.”
Dates and Mascaro
• Who are the owners of the means of
production.
• “If minority groups in general, and African
Americans in particular, cannot gain
access to the seats of media
decisionmaking, institutional racism will be
perpetuated.
• How will this be done
• Consumer boycotts?
– Difficult since media consumption is passive
• Self-selection bias: women in science example
• Capitalism
– The desire to sell products to diverse population will
drive the hiring of diverse writers, produces,
executives
– Talented people get noticed by decisionmakers
Pantoja, Adrian D. 2005. “More Alike than
Different: Explaining Political Information
among African Americans and Latinos.” In
Diversity in Democracy: Minority
Representation in the United States, ed.
Gary Segura and Shaun Bowler.
Charlottesville, VA: University of Virginia
Press.
The Media and Information
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
Are African-Americans informed?
Are Latinos informed?
Who are the most politically informed goup?
Cubans?
Who are the least informed?
Mexican-Americans?
Why is this important?
Electoral accountability is often weak in
historically black districts because of inadequate
information.
Explaining Variation in Knowledge
• Knowledge = ability + opportunity + motive
• Ability = education
• Opportunity = news consumption + church
• Motive = political interest + voting (reciprical)
• Control variables: gender, age, homeowner.
Findings
BLACKS
• television doesn't help
• Newspapers do
• political church doesn't help
• voting does (a lot)
• gender matters
• age matters
Findings
MEXICAN
• television does matter but newspaper doesn't
• English media matters
PUERTO RICAN
• TV doesn't matter
• Newspaper reading does
CUBAN
• media doesn't seem to matter
Gilliam, Franklin D., Nicholas A. Valentino,
and Matthew N. Bechmann. 2002. “Where
You Live and What You Watch: The
Impact of Racial Proximity and Local
Television News on Attitudes about Race
and Crime.” Political Research Quarterly
55(4, December), 755-780.
How does the media influence attitudes?
• “Lacking such firsthand information, whites must base
their responses on whatever information they may have at
their disposal”
• Media: Local News relies heavily on crime reporting.
Media message: crime is violent and perpetrators are
nonwhite, victims are white
• This is consistent across states, cities and media markets
• Hypothesis: individuals from heterogeneous
neighborhoods will be more likely to possess non-violent
crime schemas for blacks and therefore be less
susceptible to the negative influence of local news
Does segregation interact with
media messages to influence
opinions?
• Yes, in a good way: integrated friendships,
churches, workplaces reduces prejudice
and increases tolerance.
• No: often groups are in competition with
one another which can create hostility. Or
unequal levels of resources and Power
cause resentment. Group threat theories
suggest racial proximity increases
prejudice, heightens fears.
• Yes: even if interaction is competitive and
negative, contact erodes monolithic
stereotyping, creates multiple
subcategories for members of a particular
group.
Methodology:
• 2 Experiments - 289 whites shown 12 minute
news selection. News clip was manipulated to
change type of crime and race of suspect.
• Second study: gang or non-gang crime; race of
suspect.
Findings:
• Context matters. White respondents that live in
more homogeneous areas are more likely to be
affected by the black cue.