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Media Representation and Society

In spite of the fact that the media have a large influence on society and are a primary filter through which people learn about one other, a number of studies reveal that they keep promoting ethnic and racial stereotypes, which may have a lot of bad impacts on individuals. Ethnic minorities are often not given the attention they deserve in a lot of different types of media, like news, drama, and video games. It’s very common for them to be cast in very specific roles, like the ideal Asian migrant or exotic Latina. They are also often cast in a bad way, like being aggressive or criminal, or as the “problematic” “other” i.e., less intelligent, less wealthy, less powerful. It’s common for ethnic minorities to make their own media, which is media made by and for them. This type of media often shows ethnic minorities in a better light and tells a different story than most people think. Limited typecasting and stereotyping can also be done to it, so it can be a good target for that as well.

All kinds of media use stereotypical images of people because of complicated media production processes, norms and values, economic motivations, and a lack of ethnic minority media producers. This is true for everything from movies to TV shows and comic books (Henkel 1999). As a result, even though it’s hard to figure out how big their impact is, it has the power to be huge. By stereotyping certain groups, the media make other groups look bad to people who see them. This makes other groups look bad to people who see them. There is some evidence that these biased media images might make people angrier at other groups of people and make ethnic minorities less confident in their own abilities. As a result, it’s important to look into ways to fight prejudices and make the media portray people in a better light.

Students in this cultural-critical approach to media studies came up with the idea of representation, and they looked into it a lot. They were able to see media messages as more than a picture of reality because they used this method. Imagery is woven into the 24-hour-a-day media stream, setting the rules about people, groups, and institutions. This is how it works in today’s world. Everyone can understand the same thing when the media use representations to make sure everyone is on the same page (Hall, 1997). Culture, meaning, and how we know about ourselves and the world around us are all shaped by how we see things. Cinema, TV, photography, and print journalism aren’t just ways to show what’s real. They help to build it and make certain worldviews or ideologies seem more real. Cultural theorists came up with this point of view, and it says that ideology is a powerful force that makes things normal in modern societies (Eagleton 1989). Cultural media experts are interested in how representations are made into pictures with ideological overtones. Political and social decisions could be made more difficult by representations that are too limited. They could also be a part of the perpetuation of social and political inequality because they can help people understand each other’s cultural values.

After a cultural shift in many humanities fields and the influence of semiotic and post-structural theory, critical-cultural media studies have looked at how people from different ethnic, racial, gender, or sexual backgrounds, as well as people from other countries, are shown in media (Fursich, 2002). It was after the work of on the history of “Othering” in the West that cultural studies scholars, both inside and outside of mass communication programs, began to study this topic. For example, they used things like newspaper stories or TV shows or ads to show this Othering. As time went on, Said’s ideas were often questioned by people. It’s been said that he likes to make new comparisons (the west vs. the Orient) when he criticizes other people (Varisco, 2007). In 1994, for example, Shohat and Stam called for a “radical pedagogy of the mass media,” which was a new way to look at European media representation. You can use this method to point out bad representations in the media and popular culture, and you can also use popular culture to “re-imagine global culture politics.”

When I think about today’s society and what it is all about, the media and how it affects us all come to mind first. In today’s world, we need to know the truth about the media and teach people about it so that we can better understand what we are getting into when we work in the media (Jaworska 2012). A whole new world has opened up to me. It’s almost like a look at what we go through every day. In my concept paper, I chose to write about misrepresentation in the media and how it affects today’s society, as well as what I think will happen in the future.

In this article, we’re going to talk about how the media works in society and the problems that arise from it. Some people are shown in a different way in the media than they are in real life because of how the media shows them. Take this discussion a step further and I’m going to talk about how people don’t show up. In the book “miss representation,” which talks about the crisis of women in the media, I found it very interesting because I think that the media is unfair to girls and that it has an impact on our society that we don’t think about. It also has an impact on women in different ways. In this article, we can learn more about what the media does to each person, but we don’t know everything about it yet. As far back as time has gone, women have been portrayed as “housewives” who stay at home and cook and take care of the kids, which has helped set the stereotype for women in today’s society. In my opinion, this is very wrong and not the norm anymore.

Research reveals that we see so much in the media that there’s so much criticism towards women and their weight and how they appear, and it’s simply a symbol of the pressure we feel to fit to the man’s ideas. There’s this image of the perfect woman who looks this specific way, and since women may not look that way, they’re examined. It is terrifying how terribly women nowadays may be discriminated against simply because they’re a woman, particularly those who are in positions of power and in the political/legal sphere. Women have to struggle with every day self-esteem and confidence concerns since the media presents women to appear and behave a specific way. I know myself that I go on Instagram or twitter and see all these beautiful models and how slim and wonderful they look and for a second, I feel as like I need to look that way. it may be highly demeaning to anybody who may not look like all the ladies they see in the media and create many additional issues like eating disorders and similar. Being a woman in today’s society is very hard to live up to which is why I think it’s so important to be aware of the misrepresentation in the media that women need to look “perfect” and to start treating everyone as equals and hopefully in the future we develop a more realistic version of women that doesn’t include discriminating against them for their looks, etc.

The problem with most of the major media companies is that they are all owned and controlled by the same type of people, which is mostly white males and not to say that all white males in the media are adding on to the discrimination but what they choose to have in the media correlates with what we, the consumers, are viewing. This then leads to the negative body image of women all over the world because we are sexualized and self-objectified so much in today’s society, and the sad part is that it’s not just women who are being stereotyped, it includes many minorities being victimized as well (Kidd 2016). A quote from Germaine Greer: If your hair is curly and you want it to be straight, you try to straighten it and curl it. If your hair is light and you want it to be dark, you try to make it dark and make it light. Not all of these decisions are made because of the myth of fashion. They all show a dissatisfaction with the way the body is and a strong desire for it to be different, not natural but controlled, made. Many of the things’ women use to hide their bodies aren’t cosmetic or decorative.

They hide what they don’t want people to see because they’re afraid or disgusted. Women feel as if they need to change themselves to become this perfect image of what men want them to be or what they think that society wants them to look like and it is very depressing to me that we think we aren’t good enough the way we are because of men. I mean we do give birth to them so I think we should be treated equally. In the future, I hope that women all over the world finally realize that we are just fine the way we are but if we want to do something because we want to, then that is totally fine. Unfortunately, though, I believe that women will still be objectified and judged for their looks, their weight (Widdifield 2012). I hope to see that women finally realize that whatever the media portrays isn’t always real life or realistic in the slightest way, there’s Photoshop and other editing techniques that make it so much more unrealistic but it’ll take time. I think that women should empower each other and try to make a change as a whole to end the stereotypes and discrimination and stand up for themselves, trying to make a change in the way the media portrays women. I hope to see women still being put in positions of power and fighting to make the media a more realistic version of real life and correctly portraying the way women actually are and not what men or anyone else wants them to be. I hope that all groups of people get to be equal, giving every person the chance to have a voice and be heard.

In conclusion, the media still has such a huge impact on society and how it works every day, which is why it’s so important for kids today to be aware of the discrimination that we all face and to try and be better to ourselves to change that. Being in communication has really taught me a lot about the challenges and hardships that people face in everyday life. I hope to see people trying their best to positively change the way that media portrays people.


Fürsich, E. (2002). How can global journalists represent the ‘Other’? A critical assessment of the cultural studies concept for media practice. Journalism3(1), 57-84.

Hall, S. (2020). The work of representation. In The Applied Theatre Reader (pp. 74-76). Routledge.

Eagleton, M. (1989). Gender and genre. In Re-Reading the Short Story (pp. 55-68). Palgrave Macmillan, London.

Grion, V., & Varisco, B. M. (2007). Online collaboration for building a teacher professional identity. PsychNology Journal5(3).

Jaworska, S., & Krishnamurthy, R. (2012). On the F word: A corpus-based analysis of the media representation of feminism in British and German press discourse, 1990–2009. Discourse & Society23(4), 401-431.

Rotstein, M., & Henkel, M. (1999). Representation and the media. Literature and Psychology45(1/2), 100.

Kidd, M. A. (2016). Archetypes, stereotypes and media representation in a multi-cultural society. Procedia-Social and Behavioral Sciences236, 25-28.

Widdifield, T. (2012). Media, Gender and Women’s Social Marginalization Review: Miss Representation. Institute for Women in Leadership at Brescia University College.


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