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Negative Portrayal of African American Men in the News Media - Essay Example

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Negative Portrayal of African American Men in the News Media

The overarching consideration in terms of the portrayal of African American males in the news media is the extent that such portrayals can be legitimately established as negative. In this context of understanding it’s understood that while significant social progress has been made there still exists considerable disparity between the depictions of majority culture and African American culture. One of the groundbreaking studies in this field was conducted by Lichter (1987) who revealed: Research on the portrayal of African-Americans in prime-time television from 1955 to 1986 found that only 6 percent of the characters were African-American, while 89 percent of the TV population was white. Among these African-American characters, 49 percent lacked a high school diploma and 47 percent were low in economic status .While this disparity has shifted slightly in recent decades, a qualitative perusal of contemporary media depictions demonstrates that significant disparity still exists. Such depictions have oftentimes been regarded by the majority public as simply indicative of legitimate disparities in demography. Still, it’s clear that such depictions do not simply demonstrates contrasting demographics, but have also taken on negative and oppressive functions. The main danger in this realm is through the politico-psychological implications of this pattern. In these regards, the negative depiction of African American males has two significant implications. The first substantial implication is in terms of personality development and the self-concept. To a large degree the news media not only relays facts and daily occurrences, but also depicts a visions of reality that has the corresponding affect of shaping reality (Goldberg 1993). African American males viewing frequent negative depictions of themselves in these contexts take on such representations as indicative of proper social functioning; a cyclical pattern of negativity then emerges where African Americans are matriculated in a cultural milieu of pervasive crime, failure, and negativity (Goldberg 1993). The second substantial consideration is the political implications of such negative portrayals ...Show more
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This essay examines how African American males are negatively portrayed by the news media.One of the prominent considerations in terms of the 20th and 21st centuries has been progressive social movements. From civil rights to gender equality, this historical time period witnessed significant shifts in terms of sociological perspectives and rights.

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