Egle Kvieskaite, Vilnius Pedagogical University, Social by elfphabet2



Egle Kvieskaite,
Vilnius Pedagogical University,
Social Communication Institute, Social Education Department
Studentu str. 39-401
08106 Vilnius

       “The stereotypes of the social-cultural background in the media”

Nowadays the popularity of the media is growing very fast and also the information is assumed to
have the more important meaning in the society context; that is why researchers focus not only on the
subject of media’s influence, but also on the stereotypes in the media.
In Lithuania this sphere was deeply researched by doc. Elena Macevičiūtė, dr. Marija Stonkienė,
Renata Matkevičienė from Vilnius University Communication faculty. In 2002 they performed a
research about the formation of the gender social stereotypes in Lithuanian media. Researcher dr.
Dalia Navikaitė analyzed (2004) the stereotypes of the woman in the Lithuanian advertisements. The
results of these investigations have shown that Lithuanian television stations were propagating the
family models of the patriarchal society. Women are rarely playing the main roles (except the
advertisements of the cosmetics) in the advertisements, they are presented like the “decorations” or
secondary heroes. However, other stereotypes, which are being used in the media, were not
investigated. In the eyes of the world such kind of investigations is quite unusual. During late years
concept of the “stereotype” is applied actively, “Taking into account the Lithuanian social and
humanitarian academic context, just now the usage of the stereotypes is followed by the acceleration
and became diverse in forms and varieties” (Aurelijus Gieda, 2005).
Various researchers were interested in the influence of the stereotypes on a social background
(Mackie, Hamilton, Susskind, & Rosselli, 1996; Hamilton & Sherman, 1994; Brewer, 1988; Devine,
1989;). Also now the professors from the psychological since are paying much more attention to this
subject within the current context (Bartholow, Dickter and Sestir , 2006; Guimond, Chatard, Martinot,
Crisp & Redersdorff, 2006; Wegener, Petty & Clark, 2006, Wegener, Jason K. & Richard, 2006;
Reyna, Korfmacher, Tucker, 2006).
An extensive body of research has shown that the main function of the stereotypes is to preserve
cognitive resources (Wyer, Lambert & Bodenhausen, 2003; Stangor & Duan, 1991). The stereotypes
direct the interpretation of social information ( Harrison & Esqueda, 2000; Bodenhausen &
Lichtenstein, 1987; Fiske & Taylor, 1991; Gilbert & Hixon, 1991; Macrae, Milne, & Bodenhausen,

1994), they are followed by and direct the negative evaluation and discriminatory judgments towards
the social target (Devine, 1998; Bargh, Chen, & Burrows, 1996; Bargh, 1999; Fiske, 1998).

Object of the Research
   -   The stereotypes of the social-cultural background in the Lithuanian and foreign media.
It was important to disclose the connection between the formation of stereotypes and the public
norms, as well as to point out the social-cultural role of such connection. The connection of the
elements of such a system were analyzed together with its urgency and presence in the Lithuanian
law and also media. The concepts of the stereotypes, their origin, the presumptions affecting them
were presented. Besides, the relations with relevant media creators and representatives and their
activities were included, too. When analyzing the applied foreign theoretical background, there were
chosen highly developed and experienced democratic countries – Canada, the USA, Great Britain,
France, Germany, Italy and other the EU member states.

General aim of the research:
   -   to analyze the different backgrounds of the formation of the social stereotypes in Lithuanian
       and foreign media;
   -   to clarify the assumptions of the social-cultural stereotypes;
   -   to investigate the main Lithuanian laws, which are related with this issue.

Tasks of the research:
   -   to establish facts about the complexity of the social-cultural stereotypes background;
   -   to investigate its connection with society interests and its influence on the media‘s readership;
   -   to analyze the Lithuanian law related this issue.

Methods of the Research:

Several priming techniques have been utilized in the present thesis. The theoretical material is
reviewed in this thesis, which could be important to this issue, also this research is introducing the
main and basic information about the law system in Lithuania and other countries regarding this issue.
Another method was a qualitative research (using the method of the interview (Ralph LaRossa,
1985)). This procedure involves the professionals (experts) from different activities (for example:
journalist, psychologist, sociologist, officer and etc). The were directly questioned 32 experts. The

questions were open, that is why the professionals had possibilities to tell their own opinion about the
stereotypes in the media and the social-cultural background.

Concepts: sterotrypes, media, influence, society.


   1. Aurelijus Gieda (2006) Stereotipų problema istoriografijoje (Stereotipo sąvoka ir istorinis
      pažinimas). (

   2. Elena Macevičiūtė, dr. Marija Stonkienė, Renata Matkevičienė (2002). Socialinių lyčių
      stereotipų                                   formavimas                  žiniasklaidoje.

   3. Dalia Navikaitė, (2004). Kokią moterį reklamuojame (

   4. Hamilton, D. L., & Sherman, S. J. (1994). Stereotypes, Handbook of social cognition (pp. 1-

   5. Mackie, D. M., Hamilton, D. L., Susskind, J., & Rosselli, F. (1996). Social psychological
      foundations of stereotype formation, Stereotypes and stereotyping (pp. 41-78).

   6. Brewer, M. B. (1988). A dual process model of impression formation, Advances in social
      cognition (pp. 136).

   7. Devine, P. G. (1989). Stereotypes and prejudice: Their automatic and controlled components.
      Journal of Personality and Social Psychology (pp. 5-18).

   8. Robert S. Wyer, Alan J. Lambert, Galen V. Bodenhausen (2003) Foundations of Social
      Cognition: A Festschrift in Honor of Robert S. Wyer, Jr..

   9. Stangor, C., & Duan, C. (1991). Effects of multiple-task demands upon
      memory for information about social groups. Journal of Experimental
      Social Psychology (pp. 357-378).

   10. Bodenhausen, G. V., & Lichtenstein, M. (1987). Social stereotypes and
       information-processing strategies: The impact of task complexity.
       Journal of Personality and Social Psychology (pp. 871-880).

   11. Taylor, S., & Crocker, J. (1981). Schematic bases of social information
       processing. In E. T Higgins, C. P. Herman, & M. P. Zanna (Eds.),
       Social cognition: The Ontario Symposium (pp. 89-134).

   12. Gilbert, D. T., & Hixon, J. G. (1991). The trouble of thinking: Activation
       and application of stereotypic beliefs. Journal of Personality and
       Social Psychology (pp. 509-517).

13. Macrae, C. N., Milne, A. B., & Bodenhausen, G. V. (1994). Stereotypes
    as energy-saving devices: A peek inside the cognitive toolbox.
    Journal of Personality and Social Psychology (pp. 37-47).

14. Plant, E. A., & Devine, P. G. (1998). Internal and external sources of
    motivation to respond without prejudice. Journal of Personality and
    Social Psychology (pp. 811-832).

15. Bargh, J. A., Chen, M., & Burrows, L. (1996). Automaticity of social
    behavior: Direct effects of trait construct and stereotype activation on
    action. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology (pp. 230-244).

16. Bargh, J. A. (1999). The cognitive monster: The case against the controllability
    of automatic stereotype effects. In S. Chaiken & Y. Trope
    (Eds.), Dual-process theories in social psychology (pp. 361-382).

17. Fiske, S. T. (1998). Stereotyping, prejudice, and discrimination. In D. T.
    Gilbert, S. T. Fiske, & G. Lindzey (Eds.). The handbook of social
    Psychology (pp. 357-411).

18. Ralph LaRossa (1984)"On Qualitative Family Research",National Council of Family Relations

19. Reyna, Christine; Henry, P. J.; Korfmacher, William; Tucker, Amanda (2006). Examining
    the principles in principled conservatism: The role of responsibility stereotypes as cues for
    deservingness in racial policy decisions. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology (pp.

20. Wegener, Duane T.; Clark, Jason K.; Petty, Richard E. (2006). Not all stereotyping is
   created equal: Differential consequences of thoughtful versus nonthoughtful stereotyping.
   Journal of Personality and Social Psychology (pp. 42-59).

21. Bruce D. Bartholow, Cheryl L. Dickter and Marc A. Sestir (2006). Stereotype Activation and
    Control of Race Bias: Cognitive Control of Inhibition and Its Impairment by Alcohol. Journal of
    Personality and Social Psychology (pp. 272-287).

22. Serge Guimond, Armand Chatard, Delphine Martinot, Richard J. Crisp and Sandrine
    Redersdorff (2006). Social Comparison, Self-Stereotyping, and Gender Differences in Self-
    Construals. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, (pp. 221-242).

23. Duane T. Wegener, Richard E. Petty and Jason K. Clark (2006). Not All Stereotyping Is
    Created Equal: Differential Consequences of Thoughtful Versus Nonthoughtful Stereotyping.
    Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, (pp. 42-59).

24. Lisa A. Harrison, Cynthia Willis Esqueda (2000). Effects of Race and Victim Drinking on
   Domestic Violence. Sex Roles: A Journal of Research

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