The Media 's Influence On Society

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Mass media is perhaps the most powerful tool in the world for creating, changing or perpetuating society’s ideas about an issue or group of people. It works both blatantly and subconsciously by deciding which issues are important, how to frame those issues, who to show as affected by them, and, increasingly, providing personal commentaries on the matters at hand. Because the majority of media outlets are owned by corporations dominated by white heterosexual men, many minorities are portrayed in ways that perpetuate negative stereotypes – if they are portrayed at all. Even though men have made great strides in regards to power, but with the black male they continue to experience both misrepresentation and underrepresentation in the modern…show more content…
Films from the 1930’s to the 1960 have typically showed blacks in stereotypical ways. A good example would be the movie Hearts of Dixie (1929), starring Stepin Fetchit. Fetchit was a black actor who played various usually demeaning roles throughout his career. Although he was an amazing actor, all of the films that he stared in made African-Americans look lazy, foolish, and uneducated: it is dehumanizing. These roles were commonly given to African-American actors during the time. In today’s era the Stepin Fetchit figure is seen within the roles that African-American men play now. For example, in the movie Nothing to Lose, Martin Lawrence plays the stereotypical sidekick that acts in a foolish, idle way, just like Fetichit. In the 1980’s a new era came along which featured Blaxploitation (the exploitation of black people, especially with regard to stereotyped roles in movies.) films targeted towards blacks to fight oppression. These movies helped the Civil Rights Movement and they broke down stereotypes (Portrayal of Minorities in the Film, Media, and Entertainment Industries).
Three films in particular that expose social problems are Boyz N the Hood, Life, and Do the Right Thing. They all have elements of the seventies Blaxploitation films, which was a media form used by the Civil Rights Movement to inspire the black youth to fight oppression (Portrayal of Minorities in the Film, Media, and Entertainment Industries). John Singleton, director of Boyz N the Hood, makes a
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