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The Impacts Of Mass Media In Racism

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Racism is that the prejudice, discrimination, or antagonism directed toward individual races supported by the perception that the other person’s race is more superior. The concept of racism has likely been around for all of time, and it takes a special dimension today because the media and social norms also are considered mutual agents perpetuating racism.

The impacts of mass media are profound, particularly with the advances in technology. Ergo, the media has been found to impact people’s beliefs, presumptions, principles, and confrontations. Most of the documented racism seen in recent years has been shown towards African-Americans, although other races have also faced discrimination. As a result of these factors, in order to understand the sources, it is crucial to analyze the impacts of media and society on racism.

The media plays a critical role informing societal behaviors. As stated by Day (2009), racism is prejudice with power against the people of color who during this case comprise African-Americans, Hispanic, Asian Americans, and Native Americans. Day (2009) went further to notice that racism isn't always a conscious effort or activity. Society holds an important influence in our daily lives and it invades our recognition and understanding with on-going messages that influence our beliefs and morals. Thus, “racial inequality is so deeply ingrained in American society that they're nearly invisible and White Americans are unaware of the benefits that they enjoy within the society and the way their attitudes and actions unintentionally discriminate against persons of color” (Kulaszewicz 2015, p.6)

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The media, both directly and indirectly, blatantly and subliminally, propagates racism through its messages to the general public as demonstrated by the Windrush scandal within the UK. Portrayal of people of color by the press and broadcasting services have escalated their criticism in respect to “a white, classed, and gendered British norm” (Edwards 2018). With the Windrush scandal, the United Kingdom government had been accused of institutional racism which may even be said of the media. Institutional racism is the collective failure of the 'institution'--be it governmental, educational, or social-- to supply an acceptable and specialized service to people due to their color, culture, or ethnic origin. The professional world of mainstream communications industries propagate racism since they often feel the need to remain ‘white’. Racism within these professions is manifested as lived experiences of being ‘othered’ repeatedly, in varying situations, to an extent that an individual can never be sure of complete acceptance. Microaggressions like being ignored on arrival for a gathering are common (Edwards 2018). However, institutional racism within the media doesn't necessarily imply that communications professions proactively exclude people of color or white practitioners are guilty of being racist. As such, institutional racism is often perceived as a process of structured events that over time highlight a system within which various groups of individuals or individuals are discriminated against.

Social norms also are crucial aspects of racism. In the U.S., racial minority children grow up facing a dilemma-- on one hand, race is key to their identities, while on the other, it's often a source of psychological trauma because it is the lens through which others perceive them. Ethnic and racial membership is an important factor in one's identity (Pauker, Apfelbaum, & Spitzer 2015). Social norms increasingly affect group behavior and explicit attitudes of youngsters. These processes are known to assist children in formulating strong group identities and develop various intergroup and intragroup behaviors. The processes operate in unison with respect to white children. For example, colorblind norms are known to be inconsistent with a healthy racial identity development, which actually depends on active racial discussions.

As racism is not the “same” as it has been in the past, it has evolved as technology has evolved in a way. however, the world has also taken a step back as technology has advanced because individuals can hide behind screens. Things are improving through activism, and people are evolving and learning to accept, or at least they're more accepting than they were fifty years ago. There will always be the people who will never change their views simply because they were raised to think they are superior.

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The Impacts Of Mass Media In Racism. (2021, July 18). Edubirdie. Retrieved February 26, 2024, from
“The Impacts Of Mass Media In Racism.” Edubirdie, 18 Jul. 2021,
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The Impacts Of Mass Media In Racism [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2021 Jul 18 [cited 2024 Feb 26]. Available from:
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