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Sexual and Racial Stereotypes in the Media

Distributed by Films Media Group, PO Box 2053, Princeton, New Jersey 08543-2053; 800-257-5126
Produced by Chris Scherer, Jerry Baber, and Films for the Humanities & Sciences
Directed by Rhonda Fabian
DVD, color, 2 discs, 38-42 min. each
Sr. High - Adult
Communication, Journalism, Media Studies, Multicultural Studies, Psychology, Sociology

Reviewed by Margaret M. Reed, Riley-Hickingbotham Library, Ouachita Baptist University, Arkadelphia, AR

Highly Recommended  Highly Recommended   
Date Entered: 6/3/2008

Do the media create and perpetuate stereotypes or do they merely promote identity based on consumer demand? The two-part series Sexual and Racial Stereotypes in the Media takes a candid look at this dilemma. Part 1 explores cultural, economic, psychological, and social factors that influence the media’s portrayal of the genders, while part 2 examines the relationship between the media and ethnicity.

The series assembles a wealth of familiar images from the past and present that clearly illustrate the media’s role in stereotyping. From conventional forms (e.g., print and broadcast advertising, films, and sitcoms) to specialized conduits (e.g., the Internet and video games), each episode bears witness to the media’s pervasiveness and perception-shaping power. One of the more salient moments is a demonstration of how images are sometimes “doctored” to produce a so-called ideal look.

Support for the ideas presented in Sexual and Racial Stereotypes in the Media is both authoritative and convincing. Expert commentary makes important connections between stereotypes and theoretical frameworks such as agenda-setting, consensus reality, and Jungian personality archetypes. The film also cites scientific evidence from noted media studies to illustrate racial bias in the news media.

Highly recommended for school and university libraries, Sexual and Racial Stereotypes in the Media is an excellent resource for communication, journalism, psychology, and sociology curricula.