Diversity in the Media ( 2833823)
How are different social groups portrayed in the mass media in contemporary society? How far have we come in terms of reducing or eliminating stereotypical images and portrayals of minority groups? To answer these questions, we need to place them in the context of the economic, technological, and social changes that have shaped postindustrial U.S. society and affected relationships between diverse groups in our society. For example, watching TV sitcoms and dramas today we see not only much greater diversity in cast members but also minority group members playing leading roles, something that was much less common just a few decades ago.
As you prepare to complete this assessment, you may want to think about other related issues to deepen your understanding or broaden your viewpoint. You are encouraged to consider the questions below and discuss them with a fellow learner, a work associate, an interested friend, or a member of your professional community. Note that these questions are for your own development and exploration and do not need to be completed or submitted as part of your assessment.
• Some sociologists who study the media argue that the media is a reflection of what is already happening in society, while others contend that the media manipulates its audience by portraying events or issues with a particular slant or goal in mind. What do you think? Does the media reflect what is already going on in society, or does it manipulate viewers to draw conclusions about what is going on? Perhaps a bit of both? Consider the implications in terms of how the media portrays diversity-related issues like racism and sexism.
• Can our interaction with media—movies, TV shows, news and radio programs, and so on—have any influence on our understanding of race, ethnicity, social class, gender, age, religion, et cetera?
• To what extent does the news media create and perpetuate stereotypes about particular groups of people?
In this assessment, you will have the opportunity to take a deeper look at the connection between the media and the cultural diversity of U.S. society. You will discuss how a current program or article in current news media approaches diversity-related issues and explain how we can use the sociological perspective to better understand both the portrayal of diversity-related issues and the media’s broader role in U.S. society. Effectively evaluating the accuracy of the information provided in your chosen media piece will require some additional research and fact checking, something that sociologists do as well when they are weighing the validity of opposing arguments.
To prepare for this assessment, choose one media program or article that deals with an issue related to one or more forms of diversity, such as race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, religion, age, disability, or social class. Examples of acceptable media include a newspaper article, a radio program, a television show, or a movie. Find these via the Capella library or online. Feel free to choose a topic or media source that is either domestic or global in content.
For this assessment:
Summarize briefly, in one or two paragraphs, the main events or issues presented in your media program or article and describe how they relate to cultural diversity studies.
Discuss how minority and dominant groups are portrayed in your media selection in relation to the influence of power.
Consider the relative power of each group portrayed in your selection in society.
Consider how individuals in power influence decisions regarding how issues are portrayed. This can include corporate executives, lobbyists, special interest groups, or those who own a particular newspaper, channel, or media conglomerate.
Explain how two or more sociological theories apply to or can be used to provide insight about your media program or article. Examples of theories include:
Merton’s typology of prejudice and discrimination.
Gordon’s theory of assimilation.
Human capital theory.
Theories of inequality (such as Marx’s or Weber’s theories of inequality).
Collins’ theory of intersectionality.
Park’s race relations cycle.
Analyze data that are appropriate for supporting or refuting the central tenets of your media program or article.
If data (statistical information) is cited in your media selection, you may go to that source and analyze it yourself; then consult an additional source that supports or refutes the data presented.
Your assessment should meet the following requirements:
Written communication: Written communication is free of errors that detract from the overall message, with a clear introduction and conclusion.
Length: 3–5 pages, not including title and references pages.
Format: Include a title page and reference page, and format the paper and your citations according to current APA style and formatting guidelines.
Sources: Cite the chosen article or program and at least two additional credible, scholarly sources.
Font and font size: Times New Roman, 12 point.
PLEASE SEE ATTACHED FILE FOR ARTICLE SOURCES