Television and film producers have editorial control over their media products; they control all aspects of the TV program and/or movie with the intent to impart a specific set of values to the viewing audience. This is especially true for character development. Certain characters are made to look attractive, smart, kind, generous, and altogether likeable. Others, less so. The characters, likeable or not, are automatically associated with their lifestyle choices and, importantly, the outcomes those choices produce. People tend to like the characters whose decisions lead to desirable outcomes. TV and film producers can develop characters whose appearance and lifestyle choices reinforce familiar stereotypes (e.g., the careerist female who, having forsaken marriage and children, seems destined to live a lonely life). In this way, TV and film producers convey messages about what kind of people we should aspire to be and what sort of lives we should aspire to live.
For this Assignment, you will closely examine stereotypical portrayals in TV or film.
- Review the Learning Resources for this week and think about how TV and film can function as a vehicle for delivering stereotypical messages (e.g., powerful women who sacrificed family for career and lamented their unmarried, childless status).
- Reflect on television shows or films you have seen that employ stereotypical portrayals used by producers to condemn or endorse specific lifestyle choices.
Submit 3–5 pages, not including title page or reference page:
Your task is to choose a current (e.g., in the last 12 months) television program or a film and conduct a content analysis that identifies the stereotypical portrayals used by the producers to condemn or endorse specific lifestyle choices.
- Choose one of the major characters in the movie or TV program you’ve selected.
- Describe their physical appearance; are they made to look attractive?
- What role does this person play in the story? Is it stereotypical? Are they effective in that role?
- What is this person’s job? Is it stereotypical? Are they successful in their job?
- Describe two or three specific actions taken by this person.
- What was the outcome of each action? Was it positive or negative?
- Do the actions/outcomes reinforce a stereotype?
- Is the stereotype positive or negative?
- How likeable and/or intelligent is this person?
- How desirable is this person’s lifestyle?
- What are ways to mitigate the stereotyping portrayal you identified in your content analysis?
Be sure your analysis is informed by social psychology theory and research.
In addition to the Learning Resources, search the Walden Library and/or Internet for peer-reviewed articles to support your Assignment. Use proper APA format and citations, including those in the Learning Resources.