By Sarah Copeland
Now that we are at the end of the semester, I realize how much my Race, Gender, and the Media course has covered. What was so great about this class was that every class’s lesson was based on the first class.
The very first week of this semester, our class went over the basic media theories that would be addressed throughout the semester. This includes Stereotypes and Schemas, Agenda Setting, Symbolic Annihilation, Framing, Hegemony, and Semiotics. Every one of these theories was vital when analyzing topics throughout the semester. I even use these theories in my blogs to prove my points.
Here’s how each of these theories relates to a topic we have discussed:
- The representation of women and other minorities in the media: Stereotyping, Agenda Setting, Symbolic Annihilation, Framing, and Hegemony.
- Basically, any story about minorities is told in a stereotypical way that shows how the media wants the public to think about minorities. The media also symbolically annihilates some minorities by not representing them at all (Native Americans). The fact that media controls the information and represents it the way they see fit is Framing. And, since white males are in control of most media, Hegemony is shown.
- Advertising Images and other depictions:Stereotyping, Symbolic Annihilation, Framing, and Hegemony.
- Yet another way the media shows how it views the population. Advertising symbolically annihilates any minority or ethnic group they view as unimportant. Ads stereotype the role of men and women, which also shows framing and hegemony.
- The role of the LGBTQ community in the media: Symbolic Annihilation and Hegemony.
- Or the lack thereof of the LGBTQ community in the media. Here again, we see the dominance of the social group in control of the media.
- The representation of women in sports and video games: Stereotyping, Symbolic Annihilation, and Hegemony.
- Again, the role women seem to have in the media when it comes to sports shows stereotyping. Even though women have come far and are very equal to men in sports, they are still rarely shown on sports channels in comparison to men’s sports. This stereotypes women’s athletic abilities and well as symbolically annihilates them from this topic. There is also intense stereotypes in video games, especially those that depict women as damsels in distress or do not have women as strong main characters. Since men dominate sports and the video game depictions of women, it proves hegemony.
- Hispanics and Latinos in the media: Stereotyping, Symbolic Annihilation, Agenda Setting, and Hegemony.
- This was the most recent class lesson we analyzed. I never realized how incorrectly they have been represented in the media. They are just as, or perhaps more, stereotyped than women. They also have very low representation at all, showing symbolic annihilation and how the media doesn’t care for us to think of them through their agenda setting.
Here’s what I’ve noticed: Hegemony is involved in all of these topics. Why? Because there’s a point. The United States of America is made up of more minorities than Whites. However, though they are outnumbered, white males are still the dominant power that controls the media. This is why our media is flawed. Our media doesn’t show the truth of minorities or any subject the dominant group would rather ignore.
If anything, this shows that there needs to be change. I think that was the main point of this class. Not only did our professor teach us media literacy, but our professor taught us to see that change must happen. Our media so easily fails at showing true depictions of our world, and it needs to be fixed.