Stereotype and Prejudice as Barriers by yaohongm

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									Stereotype Prejudice and Racism
           as Barriers

   Definition
   Negative Effects on Communication
   Case Study: Asian-Americans
   Definition
   Case Studies Japan and Korea U.S. Media
    Portrayal of Minorities
   Definition
   The two balls actually have the same
   size.
   What we see is what we expect to see.
What You Can Learn From This

   How stereotyping and prejudice impede /to
    make difficult/ communication
   The effect of media stereotyping and
    prejudice on face-to-face communication
   How communication can deal with
    stereotyping and prejudice
   A stumbling block to communication is
    stereotyping and prejudice. The term
    stereotype is the broader term commonly
    used to refer to negative or positive
    judgments made about individuals based on
    any observable or believed group
   Prejudice, on the other hand, refers to the
    irrational suspicion or hatred of a particular
    group, race, religion, or sexual orientation.
    The terms are related in that they both refer
    to making judgments about individuals based
    on group membership.

   The word "stereotyping" was first used by
    journalist Walter Lippman in 1922 to describe
    judgments made about others on the basis of
    their ethnic group membership. Today the
    term is more broadly used to refer to
    judgments made on the basis of any group
Who stereotypes? And who is the
target of stereotyping?

   The answer to both questions is that anyone
    can stereotype and anyone can be the target
    of stereotyping. Anyone can stereotype
    groups that they themselves do not identify
   Stereotypes are used by all groups. Until
    recently, the sign for "Japanese" in American
    Sign Language was a twist of the little finger
    at the corner of the eye to denote a slanted
    eye. The new sign taken from Japanese Sign
    Language is a hand signal to show the shape
    of the Japanese islands.
   Although you may think of stereotypes as
    being negative judg-ments, they can also be
    positive. Some people hold positive
    stereotypes of other individuals based on
    their professional group membership. For
    example, some people assume all doctors
    are intelligent and wise.

   Stereotypes are harmful because they impede
    communication in at least three ways. They cause us
    to assume that a widely held belief is true when it
    may not be. Research conducted by Gordon Allport
    (1954) showed, for example, that the prevalent
    stereotype of Armenians as dishonest was proved
    false when a credit-reporting association gave them
    credit ratings as good as those given others.
   Continued use of the stereotype reinforces
    the belief. Stereotypes of women as
    ornaments or of people of color as stupid or
    licentious /sexually immoral/ or of gay men
    as only interested in sex reinforce a belief
    that places individual women, African-
    Americans, and gay men at risk.
   Popular television may reinforce those
    stereotypes. Shaheen (1984), for example,
    has cited the four Western myths about
    Arabs as shown on television:
   they are wealthy,
    they are barbaric,
   they are sex maniacs, and
    they are terrorist-minded.
   When stereotypes lead us to interpret an
    individual's behavior from the perceptual
    screen of the stereotype they impede
    communication. For example, were you to
    believe that Armenians are dishonest, when
    you see a person you know to be Armenian
    taking a package from a car you would be
    more likely to assume he was stealing it.

   Asian-American groups in the United States have
    experienced stereotyping, which although positive
    has impeded communication. The term Asian-
    American was created to refer to all people of Asian
    descent in the belief that they shared a common
    history and struggle in the United States. And up to
    the 1970s, Asian-Americans were largely born in the
    United States.
   The Immigration and Nationality Act
    amendments of 1965 abandoned the old
    policy of immigration quotas for each country
    and established a new system giving
    preference to relatives of U.S. residents. That
    change resulted in large numbers of Asian
    immigrants, and from 1981 to 1989,
   Asians began migrating to the United States
    in large numbers. Although these immigrants
    came from many Asian countries, such as
    China, the Philippines, Japan, India, Korea,
    and Vietnam, the continued use of the term
    Asian-American contributes to a stereotype
    of some 8 million people of Asian ancestry as
    a single community.
   During the civil rights era of the 1960s,
    "Asian-American" became associated with
    the stereotype of the "model minority" who
    achieved success through hard work,
    perseverance, silent stoicism, strong family
    ties, and strong support for education.
   This stereotype seemed to continue the
    belief that any group can achieve the
    American Dream if its members "just work
    hard enough." And this stereotype continues
    in the media.
   Asian-Americans of all groups are most often
    portrayed in the press as industrious and
    intelligent, enterprising and polite, with strong
    values, and successful in schools and
    business and in science and engineering.
   The stereotype is reinforced in news reports
    that Asian-American students score much
    higher on math exams than their White
    counterparts and that the percentage of U.S.
    scientists who are Asian-American is two to
    three times the percentage of Asian-
    Americans in the total population.
   Asian-American high school students of all
    backgrounds complain that teachers often
    counsel them to go into math and sciences.
    Some teachers respond that they do this so
    that immigrants will not have to contend with
    language problems. Asian-Americans argue
    that some teachers continue to do this even
    to those who are fluent in English and
   that the reason why teachers do this is that
    they perceive Asians as not being free
    thinking or extroverted/active, friendly and
    lively/. The "model minority" stereotype is too
    narrow and confining/limited/. A smaller
    percentage of Asian-American students are
    encouraged to enter the creative fields of art
    and theater or the management field.

   Whereas stereotypes can be positive or
    negative, prejudice refers to the irrational
    dislike, suspicion, or hatred of a particular
    group, race, religion, or sexual orientation
    (Rothenberg, 1992). Persons within the
    group are viewed not in terms of their
    individual merit but according to the
    superficial characteristics that make them
    part of the group.
   Like stereotyping, anyone can be prejudiced
    and anyone can experience prejudice.
    Prejudice exists in cultures around the world.
CASE STUDIES:   Japan and Korea

   Relationships between the Japanese and the
    Koreans reflect long-standing prejudice. In
    1923, following the great Kanto earthquake
    in Japan, it was rumored that Koreans were
    poisoning water supplies.
   Mob violence left 6,000 Koreans dead. In
    1991, the Japanese govern-ment did grant
    the right to first-generation Koreans to live
    permanently in Japan under Korean
    citizenship. However, unlike U.S. policy,
    chil-dren born in Japan are not automatically
    citizens unless they have a Japanese parent.
   Koreans in Japan today say they are victims
    of social, economic, and political prejudice.
   Likewise, South Korea experienced 35 years
    of Japan's repressive colonial rule. There
    remains a sense oihan, or bitter resentment,
    that many Koreans feel toward the
    Japanese. South Korea bans Japanese
    movies, music, videos, and other forms of
    popular culture.
U.S. Media Portrayal of Minorities

   To see the extent to which prejudice exist
    todays in the United States, let's look at
    survey data and at the portrayal of minorities
    in the media.
   Surveys continue to show that prejudiced
    attitudes exist in the United States (Crosby,
    Bromley, & Saxe, 1980), that prejudice exists
    not only between Whites and minority groups
    but between minority groups as well.
   These attitudes are reflected in
    communication media. Writer Langston
    Hughes created the character Jesse B.
    Semple, known as "Simple" to his friends in
    Harlem. Semple once observed, "The only
    time colored folks is front-page news is when
    there's been a race riot or a lynching or a
    whole lot of us have been butchered up or
    arrested" (Hughes, 1961, p. 230).
   To some extent, Hughes's statement is true for
    everyone. News is about the unusual; it's about the
    extremes of life—not about normal, everyday life.
    Yet the press seems to cover a much broader range
    of "White life" than of "minority life." Engagement
    notices, obituaries, and stories about young, middle-
    class couples struggling to buy their first home are
    more likely to be stories about Whites.
   Only 15% of the poor in the United States are
    African-American. Most of the violent criminals, drug
    users, prostitutes, drunks, illiter-ates, high school
    dropouts, juvenile delinquents, jobless, and poor in
    the United States are neither African-American nor
    Hispanic but White. The majority of African-
    Americans and Hispanics are none of the above, yet
    the press, they contend, gives them preponderantly
    negative coverage.
A 1993 study by the Annenberg School of Communication com-missioned by
the Screen Actors Guild and the American Federation of Television and Radio
Artists found the following:

   Women portray only one of every three
    roles in prime time and only one of four in
    children's television programming.
   Elderly people are "vanishing" on
    television even as their numbers in the
    population increase.
   Native Americans and Asian-Americans
    are "conspicuous /could be easily noticed
    / by their absence."
   Hispanics get less than 1% of prime-time
    roles although they constitute 9% of the
   Only 1.3% of major characters on
    television are poverty-stricken, yet 13% of
    the U.S. population is poor.
   Physical disability is visible in only 1.5%
    of shows,- however, 43 million people in
    the United States have disabilities.
   Every communication industry could receive the
    same scrutiny. For example, how does advertising
    present minorities? By 1990, mi-norities made up
    about 25% of the United States population. The
    Screen Actors Guild survey of female roles in
    television commercials in 1989 showed that Asians
    had 1.4% of the female roles, Hispanics had 5.3%,
    African-Americans had 7.9%, and Whites had
    85.3%. Thus advertising does not accurately reflect
    the presence of minorities.

   By the year 2000 there may be 6 billion
    people on earth—no two alike. People
    come in all sizes and shapes and in many
    colors. We wear different clothes and
    have different standards of beauty. Many
    of us believe in one God, others believe in
    many, and still others believe in none.
    Some are rich and powerful, most are not,
    and many more are desperately poor.

   You can easily see that people from various
    cultures differ from one another, but how did
    differences become the basis of prejudice?
    Racism is any policy, practice, belief, or attitude
    that attributes characteristics or status to
    individuals based upon their race. Racism
    involves not only prejudice but the exercise of
    power over individuals based on their race.
    Racism can be either conscious or unconscious,
    intentional or unin-tentional

   European views on racism or racial
    superiority are most often associated with
    the 19th-century French writer Count
    Joseph Arthur de Gobineau. Although
    racism existed before Gobineau, his well-
    known articulation of White racial
    superiority, Essai surl'ineqalite des races
    humaines, established his position as the
    "father of racism").
   Gobineau used three discursive
    strategies: categorizing all people into
    clearly defined groups—the White, the
    Black, and the Yellow,- using appearance
    for evidence saying one could "see" that
    Whites were the most beautiful,- and
    arguing for drawing boundaries based
    only on race and not on other factors
    such as national lines.
   Gobineau's reflection can be seen today
    in the neo-Nazi skinheads who profess to
    want to awaken Whites to recognize that
    they are a dying race. Skinheads got their
    name from some members shaving their
    heads. The Anti-Defamation League of
    B'nai B'rith estimates that in the United
    States in 1992 some 3,500 neo-Nazi
    skinheads were active in 40 states.
   Even the most severe critics of the nation's news
    media concede that there is now much greater
    sensitivity in the portrayal of minorities.
   But ethnic stereotypes continue to appear.
   A Times fashion layout showed a Latino model,
    wearing a Latino designer's clothes—walking
    alongside a graffiti-scarred wall.
   "Do all Latinos live surrounded by graffiti?" asks Alan
    Acosta, assistant hiring editor at The Times.
   Racially insensitive and offensive language
    contributing to harmful stereotypes also remains
   The New York Times, Washington Post, Chicago
    Tribune, Time and Newsweek—among others—
    have used the words "invade" or "invasion"
    when speaking of the influx of Asian-American
    immigrants or Asian-American business
    acquisitions in this country; Asian-Americans
    say this invokes damaging images and memories
    of World War II.
   The Las Angeles Times, Boston Globe,
    Washington Post, Philadelphia Inquirer
    and Chicago Tribune, among others, have
    used the word "aliens" to describe
    immigrants who are here illegally; Latinos
    say this word makes them seem
    inhuman— strange outcasts from another
    world. They would rather be called "illegal
    immigrants" or "undocumented workers."
   Television sports commentators, in particular,
    speak of white athletes as being "smart" or
    "brainy" or as having worked hard; black
    athletes are often described as "natural" or
    "pure" athletes, "gifted" with great speed or
    strength or jumping ability. These formulations
    ignore the "natural" physical abilities of many
    white athletes and the demonstrated intelligence
    of many black athletes— as well as the hours
    and years of practice many black athletes put in
    developing their skills.
   The July/August 1993 issue of Jack and fill, a nationally distributed
    children's magazine, contained a story with this exchange:
   The tiny, ancient master stroked the hair on his chin.
   "Not end of world, young Freddie. Master Hojo teach you seclet
   "A secret weapon, Master Hojo?"
   "Wong Fong. Ancient Oriental art of tickring?
   "What exacdy is 'tickring' Master?"
   "Everybody tickrish some prace or other. Watch carefurry. Wong
    Fong will show you how to find most tickrish spot on whole human
   The publication's editor explained it as a mistake—an oversight—and
    that they did not realize the language would be offensive.

   When studying stereotypes, prejudice, and
    racism, you may be struck with the role that
    communication can play in either spreading
    the beliefs or stopping their spread. Prejudice
    and racism are commonly viewed as being
    rooted in the child's early socialization and
    fostered in communication with other people
    who are prejudiced or racist.
   Just overhearing racist comments has been
    shown to negatively effect the listener's
    evaluation of the person being spoken about.
    Research studies have demonstrated this
    effect. In the study conducted in 1985,
    groups of White college students observed a
    debate between a White and an African-
    American student and were asked to
    evaluate the skill of the debaters.
   The debates were staged so that half the
    time the African-American debater won and
    half lost. Immediately after the debate and
    before the evaluations, a confederate either
    made a derogatory ethnic slur against the
    African-American debater, criticized the
    African-American debater in a nonracist
    manner, or made no comment.
   Ethnic slurs did cue prejudiced behavior. Their
    results showed that the ratings of the African-
    American debater who lost was rated significantly
    lower when the audience overheard the derogatory
    ethnic slur but not for the winning African-American
    debater. The researchers comment that evaluations
    of individual minority group members can be biased
    by overheard derogatory ethnic labels when the
    person's behavior is less than perfect.

   Out of such realizations that speech can cue
    prejudiced behavior in others, some have
    attempted to restrict that type of speech often
    referred to as hate speech. Hate speech
    includes threats or verbal slurs directed
    against specific groups or physical acts such
    as burning crosses or spray-painting
    swastikas on public or private property.
   Some cities and colleges have adopted policies
    attempting to ban hate speech. Strong arguments
    have been raised that such prohibitions are in
    violation of First Amendment rights. Others counter
    that hate speech is less like political speech and
    more like an action, such as a slap in the face, and
    that such regulations are necessary to protect
    equality. The United States does prohibit
    defamation, false advertising, and obscenity.
   Internationally, the trend since World War II
    has been to protect individuals and groups
    from expressions of hatred, hostility,
    discrimination, and violence. In fact,
    Australia, Austria, Britain, Canada, France,
    Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, New
    Zealand, Norway, and Sweden all have
    statutes or constitutional provisions
    prohibiting forms of hate speech.
   The International Covenant of Civil and Political
    Rights in Article 20(2) expressly provides that "any
    advocacy of national, racial, or religious hatred that
    constitutes incitement to discrimination, hostility or
    violence shall be prohibited by law." In 1992 when
    the U.S. Senate ratified this treaty it stipulated that
    the United States would not be bound by this
    provision but would adhere to its own constitution.
First Amendment Rights

   Are expressions of racial or ethnic superiority then
    protected by the First Amendment? In 1991, a
    federal district judge voided a University of
    Wisconsin rule against hate speech saying it was
    unconstitutionally broad. The University's rule barred
    speech that was intended to create a hostile learning
    environment through the demeaning of a person's
    race, sex, religion, color, creed, disability, sexual
    orientation, or ancestry.
   In 1992, in St. Paul, Minn, the Supreme Court held
    unanimously that cross burning is protected by the
    First Amendment. The case involved a Minnesota
    teenage skinhead who burned a cross on the front
    lawn of the only African-American family in a
    working-class neighborhood of St. Paul. The
    teenager was charged under a city ordinance that
    banned any action that one knows arouses anger in
    others on the basis of race, color, creed, religion, or
   The Court used as precedent its earlier ruling
    striking down laws against flag burning. The
    Court's ruling made it clear that speech
    cannot be limited on the basis of its content.
Cable television programming

   One from of the electronic media has been
    accused of inadvertently disseminating hate:
    Cable television starting in 1940s as a way of
    extending the reach of television signals into
    areas out of range of the broadcast signal,
    such as mountain areas. Later, cable
    systems moved into other areas and offered
    signals from distant stations.
   Most often, local governments award a
    franchise to a single cable company that
    allows it to dig up city streets and use utility
    poles for its cable. In exchange, the cable
    operator pays a percentage of its receipts to
    the city and sets aside channels for use by
    the public, educational institutions, or the
   The Cable Communications Policy Act of
    1984 became the first cable law adopted by
    Congress. In this act, Congress made cable
    television the only mass medium required to
    provide access to its facilities by any member
    of the public. The act allows cities to require
    that channels be set aside for public,
    educational, or governmental use.
   Local governments can control the content of
    government use, such as city council
    meetings, but they have no control over the
    public use. Even the cable operators
    themselves have no editorial control except
    to censor obscene programming. However,
    the new cable law passed in 1992 did place
    limits on indecent and obscene programming
    on public access channels.
   In 1991, an Anti-Defamation League survey labeled
    57 programs as preaching racial and religious hatred
    on public access channels. These were being shown
    in 24 of the top 100 markets. Admittedly, public
    access programming has very few viewers, but this
    raises the question of First Amendment rights and
    racism. Should individuals guaranteed access to
    cable television mass media have no restrictions on
    their message content other than obscenity?
Relation to Hate Crimes

   It is argued that such attitudes can erupt into
    hate crimes. Hate crimes grow out of a fear
    of differences and result in hostility toward
    those who are perceived as different
    because of their race, religion, gender, or
    sexual orientation. Incidents of hate crime
    range from spray-painted graffiti slurs to
    cross burnings to assaults to murders.
   Attacks on Jews, gays, and African-
    Americans, such as the Howard Beach
    incident in 1986 in which a gang of youths
    chased and beat an African-American to
    death in a White Queens, New York,
    neighborhood, were the catalyst for hate
    crime legislation.
   Now nearly every state has some hate crime
    law. There is some evidence to suggest that
    over 50% of hate crimes are committed by
    people under the age of 21. A 1993 FBI
    report showed that race was involved in 6 of
    10 reported hate crime offenses, religion in 2
    of 10, and ethnic or sexual orientation in 1 of
    10 each.
   Supreme Court decisions on hate speech
    leave unresolved whether states can impose
    extra jail terms on those who intentionally
    select their victims because of race, religion,
    or sexual orientation in the same way that
    existing laws provide for higher penalties for
    those who murder the President or a police
Stereotypes and Prejudice as Barriers

   One recent research project, for example,
    has demonstrated that hearing other people
    express strongly antiracist opinions
    influences both public and private
    expressions of racist opinions. In their study,
    Blanchard et al. interviewed students as they
    walked to class.
   In each interview, three people were
    involved: the White interviewer, a White
    confederate, and a naive White subject. The
    interviewer asked the confederate and
    subject questions about how their college
    should respond to anonymous racist notes.
   The confederate always answered first. The
    study compared how the subjects answered
    the questions when the confederate
    answered with the most antiractist
    statements to how they answered when the
    confederate answered with the least
    antiracist statements.
   The results showed that hearing the
    confederate express strongly antiracist
    opinions produced dramatically stronger
    antiracist opinions than hearing opinions
    more accepting of racism. In a second study,
    they showed the same results when the
    subjects expressed their answers privately
    on paper. On the basis of this research, it
    can be argued that
   cultural norms can minimize the public
    expression of discriminatory or otherwise
    interracially insensitive behavior. Yum and
    Park (1990), however, argue that for well-
    established stereotypes to change, more
    frequent information and stronger content is
    needed. What each of us says about racial
    discrimination really does matter. Your vocal
    opinions affect what others think and say.

   Disney films have been altered over time to
    remove their original stereotypes: The 1933
    version of the "Three Little Pigs" had the Big
    Bad Wolf disguising himself as a peddler with
    a heavy Jewish accent. That was changed
    and reissued using a falsetto voice. The
    "Pastorale Symphony" section of Fantasia
    was reedited in 1991 to remove Sun-flower,
    a Black
   centaurette/shoeshine girl who buffed the
    other characters' hoofs. The lyrics to the
    opening song in Aladdin were changed after
    objections from the American-Arab Anti-
    Discrimination Committee; yet no comment
    was made on the fact that the Arabian
    Jasmine and her father speak unaccented,
    standard American English and the "bad
    guys" speak with foreign accents.
USA Today

   Another more positive approach to prejudice
    and racism is to present a more balanced
    picture of minority life in the media. A number
    of newspapers have made serious efforts to
    do just that, but none has been more diligent
    in its efforts than USA Today. Almost every
    day it publishes four photographs on the top
    half of the front page.
   In keeping with the original edict of its founder, Al
    Neuharth, at least one of those photos shows a
    member of an ethnic minority and at least one of the
    other photos shows a woman.
   The paper's efforts go beyond the design of its front
    page. A determined effort is made to include
    minorities in every section and element of the
    newspaper, in stories of fashion and business, and
    in drawings and charts.

   Social pressures seem to relate to
    stereotypes and prejudice. Since 1980,
    compared to Whites' rate of increase, the
    percentage of African-Americans doubled,
    that of Hispanics almost six times, and that of
    Asian-Americans more than 10 times.
   By the end of this century, 87% of the
    nation's population growth will be among
    minorities. Minorities are already the majority
    in such major cities as New York, Chicago,
    Washington, Detroit, Cleveland, Miami,
    San Francisco, and Los Angeles. As the
    percentage of minorities in the population
    increases, does racism necessarily increase
   You might wonder about the relationship
    between a country's prosperity and racism. In
    difficult economic times, does prejudice
    become more pronounced? Targets for hate
    crimes have changed with the times. During
    the Gulf War, anti-Arab sentiments
    increased, and during trade tensions with
    Japan, Japanese-Americans became

   Stereotyping is making positive or negative
    judgments about individuals based on group
    membership. Stereotyping impedes
    communication when it leads us to assume
    the stereotype is true of the group and of the
    individual and to explain an individual's
    behavior on the basis of the stereotype.
   Stereotypes, prejudice, and racism are
    learned in communication with others who
    are prejudiced. Stereotyping, prejudice, and
    racism are also communicated in
    newspapers, books, and electronic media.
   Hate crimes grow out of a fear of differences
    and result in hostility toward those who are
    perceived as different on the basis of race,
    religion, gender, or sexual orientation.

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