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Lecture 7

Lecture Seventeen: Representation and Inequality in Mass

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David Young

Representation and Inequality in Mass Media: The Representation of Minorities in Media Content November 11, 2013 – November 21, 2013 Under-Representation of Minorities • Canada is a multicultural country – far more multicultural than other Western societies • Despite the multiculturalism, we don’t see that reflected in our main stream media • Invisibility of Visible Minorities • News Media – Minorities represented within the News Media o John Miller (1994), “How Canada’s Daily Newspapers Shut Out Minorities”  Study was over a two month period  Looked at the representation of visible minorities and Aboriginal peoples in the news content of six major Canadian newspapers  Two of those newspapers were The Toronto Star and The Vancouver Sun o Only 14% of stories discussed visible minorities or Aboriginal peoples to at least some degree o Even fewer stories devoted significant attention to visible minorities or Aboriginal peoples o Only 11% of stories in The Vancouver Sun were about minorities, but non-whites accounted for 27% of the population in Vancouver at the time  Saw this across the various cities  Minorities congregate in major cities • Entertainment Media o Catherine Murray (2002), “Silent on the Set: Cultural Diversity and Race in English Canadian TV Drama”  Looking at English Canadian Dramas that had been produced from 1999 up until 2002 o 12% of the characters in English Canadian television dramas were visible minorities – this was comparable to the number of visible minorities in the Canadian population at the time (13%, according to the 2001 Canadian consensus)  We can conclude that there is no significant under-representation in terms of the total number of visible minorities based on this finding o Less than 1% of the characters were Aboriginals (where as Aboriginal peoples constituted 3% of the population, according to the 2001 Canadian consensus) o Out of the 12% of the visible minorities, were blacks and there were far fewer Asian characters  We see the exact opposite in the Canadian population  In the actual Canadian population, there are far more Asian people than black people  That is not represented in entertainment media Mis-Representation of Minorities • Stereotyping Minorities o Aboriginals are usually portrayed as villains or savages o Blacks have often been represented as buffoons or comical characters and if they are not represented as comical characters, they are represented as criminals of some type o Muslims have experienced major problems in relation to stereotyping in the mass media  Muslim men get represented a particular way – stereotyped as being dangerous or warring in  This is problematic because it sets up a troubling association between religion
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