Klein & Shiffman(1)

Klein& - The Howard Journal of Communications 17:163182 2006 Copyright Taylor Francis Group LLC ISSN 1064-6175 print/1096-4649 online DOI

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Race-Related Content of Animated Cartoons HUGH KLEIN Kensington Research Institute, Silver Spring, Maryland, USA KENNETH S. SHIFFMAN Cable News Network, Atlanta, Georgia, USA Relying upon a content analysis of 1 specific type of medium to which young people are exposed beginning at an early age, on a regular basis, and for many years (i.e., animated cartoons), the present study examines what types of messages are provided about being members of different racial groups. This research examines the following issues: (a) How prevalent are race-related content and overt acts of racism in animated cartoons? (b) Has this preva- lence changed over time? (c) What ‘‘types’’ of characteristics tend to be associated with being Caucasian, African American, Latino, Native American, and Asian? Results indicate that the prevalence of racial minority groups has been low over the years, with gradual decreases in representation during recent years, when the Ameri- can population of racial minorities has grown. As time has gone on, the presence of overt racism has decreased greatly, demonstrat- ing particularly sharp declines in the years since the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s. On most dimensions studied, members of different races were portrayed similarly. KEYTERMS animated cartoons, media content, race, racism, portrayals, messages This research was supported by a grant by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (R03-AA09885). We wish to acknowledge, with gratitude, Denise Welka Lewis, Scott Desmond, Lisa Gervase, and Thomas Lambing for their contributions to this study’s data collection efforts. Address correspondence to Dr. Hugh Klein, Kensington Research Institute, 401 Schuyler Road, Silver Spring, MD 20910. E-mail: [email protected] The Howard Journal of Communications , 17:163 À 182, 2006 Copyright # ISSN: 1064-6175 print/1096-4649 online DOI: 10.1080/10646170600829493 163
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For more than five decades, media content has been a ‘‘hot button’’ social issue, with many critics contending that exposure to the media leads to a var- and attitudes (Donlon, Ashman, & Levy, 2005; Lavin & Cash, 2001; Ward, 2002), and the development of eating disorders (Stice, 1998, 2002; Thomsen, has received periodic attention over the years is how the media portray members of different racial groups. Generally speaking, studies focusing on race-related content in the media have concluded that racial minority Long, 2002; Glascock & Preston-Schreck, 2004; Larson, 2002), regardless of whether these persons = 1991), Latino (Harwood & Anderson, 2002; Stern, 1995), Asian (Greenberg, Mastro, & Brand, 2002; Li-Vollmer, 2002;
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This note was uploaded on 07/14/2011 for the course JOU 455 taught by Professor Cotton during the Spring '11 term at Kentucky.

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Klein& - The Howard Journal of Communications 17:163182 2006 Copyright Taylor Francis Group LLC ISSN 1064-6175 print/1096-4649 online DOI

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