In today’s era, media plays an important role in everyone’s life. To some extant, it gives us the opportunity to see the world with different angles and different perspectives. But a question that comes in everyones mind is, what we are seeing in the advertisements, movies ortv shows is either ethical or not? According to sociological perspective, stereotyping is a oversimplified or general idea about the people that belong to a particular group. It can be based on sexual orientation, race, gender, age or ethnicity. Stereotyping can either be positive or negative. The young audience especially from the teenage group, take a lot of ideas from the media regarding how to behave and act on a particular situation and on how to treat the people that are either associated with them or are living in their surrounding.
Stereotypes always represent a group of people that have a bit different believes from rest of the world and therefore they are also sometimes called as minorities. It is not necessary that the a stereotypical person is a either cautious or negative in nature but sometimes athey can be on the right side and can be proven right (Ward, 2004). The two most censure exposures of stereotypes are their prejudice and generality. It is usually believed that the stereotypical representation is the base for racism, homophobia, xenophobia and sexism (Taylor, 1997). It is also believed that characterizing someone with a typical group of people especially if the group with whom someone is forcefully attached, has negative prospects in the mind of general public, then it limits the accomplishments of that particular person, lowers his or her standard of life and lower the expectations.
In today’s era, media plays an important role in everyone’s life. To some extant, it gives us the opportunity to see the world with different angles and different perspectives. Television, Radio, Newspaper, Magzines are some different forums of media thorugh which companies gives their advertisement and people become aware of their different products. According to renenct study, it has been identified that every person in the UK encounters around 270 commercials per week (Vaknin, 2008).
But their rises a question when we talk about the advertisements that are been run through different forums of media. Whether the advertisement that are being made and are running through the media are ethical or not? The types of appeals that rare being used in the advertisememnts are either etical or not? Especially stereotypical representation in the advertisements are making a lot of negative impacts on the society (Bodenhausen, 2016). But again, there rises a question that hw we will come to know that the appeal that is being used in the advertisement in representing stereotypical behavior?
The term stereotype is reciprocally used in our routine life. But whenever we are using them in our daily lif conversations, it is important for us to properly define them from sociological perspective. According to sociological perspective, stereotyping is a oversimplified or general idea about the people that belong to a particular group (Solorzano, 2000). It can be based on sexual orientation, race, gender, age or ethnicity. Stereotyping can either be positive or negative. Usually it is said to be positive whenever it occurs about ones own group; for example, when women say that they are more prone towards work and donot complain about any type of pain. It can be negative as well (Roy, 2007). Most of the time it is negative, especially whenever it is related to any other group; like when a group of dominant people or a group of people who perceive themselves as a majority group, say something about a group of people that are minority (Roy, 2007).
A major question that comes into the mind is, from where does these stereotypes come from? The answer to this question is, these are rarely created, infact stereotypes are recycled from time to time and are assimilated into the society by a different group of people. For example, the stereotypes that are currently being used against the black were once used to characterize Eastern European and Irish immigrants (Solorzano, 1997).
There is a diverse and comprehensive literature available on styereotypical advertising. But the perspective of the UK’s practitioners on this issue is unkown. If there is a point of view available from the professionals of the industry on this issue, then it would be very beneficial for us to understand the role of stereotypes in the advertisements. According to a study conducted recently, which has analysed around 150 different books, articles interviews and different previous studies, it tells us that the stereotypical appeals in the advertisements are badly effecting the kids especially of the age of under 18 (Bodenhausen, 2016).
According to that study, gender seterotypes that are being shown in the TV shows, movies, cartoons and commercials are effecting the minds of the children (Bodenhausen, 2016). The impact that these studies create on the minds of the children are very hard to change or remove for the parents (Ottosson, 2012). As in the teenage, these stereotypes create a very strong impact on the minds of the children that to ounteract these imapcts, parents work harder but still most of the time, all of their effirts go in vien because at that time, the children donot come under the influence of the parents.
How can we determine that the representation is stereotypical?
The approach of an individual to the stereotyping is basically associated with social congnitive perspective. The preliminary approach to this proposition is, over the period of time, people start developing believes about the a certain group of people that is either related to their past experiences or from the knowledge that they are gaining from the environment (Smetackova, 2015). Therefore, a stereotypical approach develops in the mind of an individual according to his or her perception about the environment (Daniels, 2013). The information that is perceived from the environment in the mind of an individual is interpreted then saved in the memory of an individual and then it is retrieved for further processes (Brooks, 2006). Miantenance, changing and development of stereotypes have all been explained fron the perspective of social congnitive factor.
Cognitive schema is one of the most traditional approach for stereotyping if we limit it to individual approaches. Social information and the promotion of effective and parsimonius information are the bsics of schema (Dunlap, 2015). Group schemas while representing the different social groups provide us the beliefs and characteristics of a particular social group.
Another approach for the conceptualization of the stereotypical representation is commonsense notion. Which means that the memories of the people might get triggered whenever they encounter a person having same personality attributes that are attached to a certin group of people having the same personality characteristics (Gerbaudo, 2018). This approach for the determination of the representation of the stereoptyes is also known as examplars.
Cultural perspective is another way to determine the stereotypical representation. Through this approach, individuals can characterize the cognitive system and thus allowing them to efficiently stroing and retrieving stereotypes (Ford, 1997). In today’s era, most of the stereotypical representation is transmitted through mass media that is either television, radio, social media or other forums of media.
How gender stereotypes are are effecting our children?
A recent study shows that the gender stereotype approach used in the tv commercials, shows or movies are badly effecting our children. This stereotypical exposure is not only through cartoon, tv shows or movies but it is through the constant exposure that our children are taking throughout their life starting from the preschool and ending with the end of life (Mastro, 2008). There are many stereotypical ideas that are being used in the cartoons and the commercials that our children are watching on daily basis. For expmple, the exploitation of children by giving them some concepts that boys are more smart then the girls and giving them the falsify argument that there are certain jobs that are only fit for the boys and not for the girls (Hurwitz, 1992). If you think that you can easily leave this kind of stuff behind and easily move forward for further progress and development, you are doing a serious mistake.
While talking about the stereotypical approaches used in the advertisements, tv shows and movies, think about he preschoolers who are in the early phase of their life. The characters that they see on the tv either in the cmmercials or in th movis, most of the chracters are associated with an obvious feminine or masculine appearance (Ramasubramanian, 2007). For example, feminine appearance is associated with the long blonde hairs of a pricess whereas the masculine appearance is associated with the big muscles or a superhero flying in the air and saving people from the evils.
The young audience especially from the teenage group, take a lot of ideas from the media regarding how to behave and act on a particular situation and on how to treat the people that are either associated with them or are living in their surrounding (Ramasubramanian, 2007). These stereotypical representation of the characters in the movies, shows or advertisements can lead this young generation to the false assumptions as a result of which they can draw conclusion that could be harmful for everyone. The stereotypical use of characters in the media can lead the people to many false choices which ultimately effects their future (Ramasubramanian, 2007). A recent study shows that, watching these stereotypical characters on the tv can lead the young generation to loosing their self worth, they can wrongly choose their carrers as being negatively effected by the stereotypical characters, can negatively effect their relatonships and can effect their ability to fully accomplish their goals.
Advertising and racial stereotyping
It has been seen throughout the history of advertising that the advertisers are using different racial stereotypical approaches and oer the period of time some ads have been considered to be more racial as compared to the others (Smetackova, 2015). As stereotyping itself dosenot carry any negative or positive meaning, this approach has been using in the advertisements to give viewers a pont of view, on the basis of which they can easily assign meaning to that approach as per their ease. Because of this reason, we have seen that the this approach is producing positive outcomes in many countries because of the different demographics (Smetackova, 2015). Whereas we have also seen that in most of the countries it is also generating many negative impacts because in those countries, stereotyping is known as sserious offence.
Racial stereotyping creates a positive result in a situation where the target market is specific i.e., a specific race. If I this type of situation, they use this approach, the audience will automatically get biased towards the attributes of the product and start realizing smiliar attributes in the product that exactly what they want (Ramasubramanian, 2007). Eventhough those attributes are not present in the product.
Different countries have different cultures and have different languages. While launching a product in a different market or advertising a product in different market, the advertiser have to take under consideration the ingroup effect. The ingroup theriy says that the people show favoritism towards the people of the same nature or same identity (Ward, 2004). Therefore, if an advertising compnay is launching the campaign in China, it should use Chinese models in the ad, use Chinese character and most importantly it should use Chinese language in the ad so that the majority of the people can get affiliated with the advertisement. Targeting a specific demographics can be said as racial sterotyping as it can create a positive result for the viewer as well as for the advertiser.
Racial stereotyping can also create many negative results. It mostly happens when people start taking this approach as an offence. We have seen that most of the time many of the advertisements are misinterpreted because of which people start taking a different meaning to the approach that is been used. This misinterpretation can be caused because there are a lot of factors that are contributing as a noise during this whole communication process.
Although stereotyping approach used in the media is harmless but it can be readily turn into an offensive approach. As we have seen that people socially identify themselves and seek the qualities that the people in their surrounding have. So whenever any kind of approach that hurts the people in their social circle, they start taking that approach as an offense just because of the reason tht it has impacyted their anther member (Smetackova, 2015). Stereotyping has a significant impact on how an individual feel towards this approach because the impact on that particular individual will ultimately create an impact on the entire group in the society.
Whenever there arises a racial stereotypical approach in a negative form, it always bring two different results. One, It has effected a person and that person takes it as an offense and starts hostility for the advertiser (Ward, 2004). Second, people who get effected by the approach and have feel offensive start taking it as a self oppression. These stereotypes that are surrounding us, will effect our personality and will ultimately effect our decision making process (Ward, 2004). The outcomes as a result of racial stereotyping advertisements that have been discussed above will ultimately effect the viewer and the advertiser and thus considered as unethical advertising.
Today, media has a lot of influence in everyone’s life. We are living in an era in which we are too much prone to the media either that is electronic media, social media, print media or any other form. We are so much exposed to the media. But the thing that should be considered is, whether the type of media that are wxposed to, is either ethical or not? Whether the advertisements, movies or shows that we are seeing are hurting the self esteem of someone or not? Stereotyping is, when we characterize someone on the basis of the whole group. We associate them with the characteristics if the entire group. This approach is also used in the advertisements, movies and tv shws which can either bring porisitve or negative results. But the overall studies that have been done on this topic til now shows us that the use of stereotyping in the media is unethical.
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