Ramasubramanian(1)

Ramasubramanian(1) - MEDIA-BASED STRATEGIES TO REDUCE...

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249 M EDIA - BASED S TRATEGIES TO R EDUCE R ACIAL S TEREOTYPES A CTIVATED BY N EWS S TORIES Descriptive studies provide overwhelming evidence that a few long-standing stereotypes portray racial minorities in the media. 1 Research of depictions of African Americans in the media reveals that portrayals of this group as criminal , aggressive , and unintelligent help reinforce and maintain hostile anti-black prejudice. 2 Asian Americans in the news and entertainment media have depictions of seemingly pos- itive stereotypes of “model minorities” who are non-controversial , polite , hard-working people who do not raise their voices against the existing system. 3 Similar observable biases in the Western media portray third- world peoples as naïve , inferior , traditional , and uncivilized , thus rational- izing perpetuation of benevolent, paternalistic prejudice toward these ethnic groups. 4 Because racial stereotypes in the media serve to justify, reinforce, and perpetuate hostile and benevolent racism, focused research effort on strategies to undermine and eventually eliminate stereotypes is impor- tant. Stereotypes are created and altered based on first-hand experiences with members of stigmatized groups and second-hand information from sources such as mass media, friends, and family. 5 Although both direct and indirect sources of stereotype reduction are acknowledged, the bulk This study focuses on the role of media in facilitating and inhibiting the accessibility of stereotypes primed by race-related news stories. Specifically, it examines experimentally the effects of two strategies for reducing stereotype accessibility: an audience-centered approach that explicitly instructs audiences to be critical media consumers, a goal of media literacy training; and a message-centered approach using stereo- type-disconfirming, counter-stereotypical news stories. Participants viewed either a literacy or control video before reading stereotypical or counter-stereotypical news stories about African Americans or Asian Indians. Implicit stereotypes were measured using response latencies to hostile and benevolent stereotypical words in a lexical decision task. Results suggest that a combination of audience-centered and message- centered approaches may reduce racial stereotypes activated by news sto- ries. Q Vol. 84, No. 2 Summer 2007 249-264 ©2007 AEJMC Srividya Ramasubramanian is an assistant professor in the Department of Commu- M EDIA-BASED STRATEGIES TO REDUCE RACIAL STEREOTYPES ACTIVATED BY NEWS STORIES By Srividya Ramasubramanian
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of the scholarship on inter-group relations has focused on direct observations of stereotyping behaviors in interpersonal settings. However, considering people form stereotypes even with minimal or no
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Ramasubramanian(1) - MEDIA-BASED STRATEGIES TO REDUCE...

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