Minority Women and Employment Term Paper

Pages: 9 (2525 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: ≈ 16  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Race

Minority Women and Employment

Although the media has come a long way during the past few decades, there is still inequity among television programming and ethnic stereotyping within the media in general, and many feel that ethnic women, in particular, are feeling the effects as it concerns employment and other opportunities.

According to former Discovery Networks President Johnathan Rodgers, there are 38 million African-Americans and 41 million Hispanics in the United States, and the 24-54 demographic spends about $4 billion annually on cable fees, yet there is only one Black channel, and two major Spanish-language networks from which to choose (Analysis pp). With his new network, Rodgers plans to attract African-American women, saying, "Our sweet spot is a 38-year-old African-American women" (Analysis pp). As America's population ages and the country grows more racially and ethnically diverse, minorities will be more important to media companies trying to serve such large fragmented audiences, thus the minority viewers' influence will increase exponentially (Analysis pp).

With growing input in executive suites, African-Americans, Hispanics and Asians will have as much or more impact on society and mass culture as superstar athletes, actors and entertainers (Analysis pp).Buy full Download Microsoft Word File paper
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Term Paper on Minority Women and Employment Assignment

It is predicted that by 2050, the percentage of non-Hispanic whites in the United States will decrease from the current 72% to 52.8%, while the African-American population will grow from 13% to 15-4%, Asian and Pacific Islanders will increase from 3.4% to 8.7%, and Hispanics will more than double from 11.4% to 24.5% (Analysis pp). According to the United States Census Bureau, Hispanics are now the largest minority group in the country (Analysis pp). In fact, Geoscape Intelligence System, a multicultural marketing firm, cites that Hispanic population growth accounted for half of the U.S. population growth between 2000 and 2002 (Analysis pp). Approximately 67% of U.S. Hispanics are of Mexican origin and 14.3% are Puerto Ricans (Analysis pp). All watch television, read newspapers and magazines and listen to the radio (Analysis pp). Moreover, Hispanic households are closing the income gap faster than African-Americans with median Hispanic household income around $38,000 compared to $45,600 for non-Hispanic whites (Analysis pp).

In June 2004, MTV Networks and the Black Entertainment and Sports Lawyers Association jointly hosted the second annual media and entertainment panel discussion, and among the issues highlighted were diversity and the portrayal of people of color on cable (Tavis pp). The panel attempted to understand how cable was better or less than able handling the issue of stereotypical portrayals of people of color, and how those images had an impact upon the broader society (Tavis pp). According to one panelist, "quite lately, there's been a narrow sieve through which the images of people of color have flowed, and so some of the same stereotypes that we find in other areas of society tend to show up on television there" (Tavis pp). The reasons given were, "because we don't have the people to green-light programs that are progressive...and those who have a dominant spot among African-American, especially cable presenters and content providers are the very people who may not be as responsible as we want them" (Tavis pp). However, global appeal exists, and the international market penetration of images of African-Americans through hip-hop and film show there is a global marketplace waiting to take advantage and reproduce some of these images, "which could be a negative or a positive thing, depending upon what images get out there (Tavis pp).

One study reported in a 2000 issue of Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media, examined the relationship between television news portrayals of African-Americans and subsequent behavior responses toward African-Americans (Rada pp). The portrayal of African-Americans in television drama, news and sports coverage has been analyzed by journalists and scholars, and found that African-American portrayals on television have been based on negative stereotypes that do not objectively or accurately portray reality (Rada pp). Moreover, many of the stereotypes encountered in early television, such as lazy, comical, inferior, have been replaced by new, more subtle representations, such as "pushing too hard and moving too fast" to achieve equal rights (Rada pp). Moreover, there is resentment toward what are perceived to be special favors for African-Americans, such as racial quotas in jobs or education, special treatment by government or unfair economic opportunities (Rada pp). Research concluded that the portrayal of African-Americans often exhibit characteristics congruent with those of symbolic racism (Rada pp).

Social identity theory suggests that people classify themselves and other in categories based on some salient characteristics, such as gender, race, or ethnicity, and they identify more with members who are similar to their category, or in-group, than with dissimilar out-group members (Crawford pp). Such distinctions and attachments affect their group and self-attribution, including stereotypic attribution, resulting in consequences that include in-group favoritism, negative stereotyping and subordinating of out-groups, inter-group competition, and role conflict (Crawford pp). The distinctive identity of employees in a work setting subsequently results in the exclusion of minorities from group membership and important decision-making, which in turn, jeopardizes career advancement (Crawford pp). Since white males tend to predominate in higher positions, while females and ethnic minorities ten to occupy more junior positions, differences between these groups generate negative feelings, and thus affect attitudes and behaviors in the workplace (Crawford pp).

According to a 1997 study, "whites see the advantage of blacks arising from affirmative action, and blacks see the advantage of whites deriving from dominant control of influential positions and committees" (Crawford pp). Studies indicate that women and members of racial or ethnic minority groups are exposed to discrimination and exclusion in the workplace more often than are white men (Crawford pp). Females and ethnic minorities tend to have more negative work attitudes and to be less satisfied with promotional opportunities (Crawford pp). Moreover, "Blacks perceive themselves as being less accepted, having less discretion in their jobs, and facing race-related barriers to advancement...Women report their opportunities are lower in visibility, scope, formal authority" (Crawford pp). Although there was no difference found in the number of promotions sought between males and females and among different ethnic groups, there was a significant difference in the success rate of gender and ethnic groups in their bids for promotion (Crawford pp).

According to one study published in 1999, most females are television programming are shown to be in their twenties and thirties, and some 85% were Americans of European origin, compared with 8.9% African-Americans and 3.1% of Hispanic origin (Brian pp). Only 9.9% held professional, white-collar positions, compared to 19.1% with blue-collar positions, including non-management roles and manual or assembly line roles (Brian pp). A relatively large percentage, 15.4% were employed in the entertainment business, including models, musicians and motion picture roles (Brian pp). Moreover, some 30.4% were females with an unclear occupation (Brian pp). Roughly one fifth were clearly successful in achieving their goals, 19.2% achieved mixed levels of success, and 14% were clearly unsuccessful (Brian pp).

Fifty percent of African-American females had an occupation that could not be easily identified, and 11.5% had white-collar professional positions, compared to 10.4% of European-Americans who had white-collar professional positions, and 28.5% who had no clear occupation (Brian pp).

No Hispanic-American females were portrayed in professional white-collar positions (Brian pp). Of females characters with a major role, only 3.8% were African-American, and none were of other ethnic minority groups (Brian pp). Of the African-American females portrayed, 42.9% were clearly successful, and 28.6% were not successful, the remainder had mixed levels of success (Brian pp). Of European-American females, 37.3% were clearly successful, and 35.8% had mixed levels of success (Brian pp). None of the results noted for ethnicity were statistically significant, and ethnicity was not found to be a significant factor in occupational grouping, whether a character had a major or minor role, levels of success attained, or whether or not they were romantically involved (Brain pp). However, most major female roles, 32.7%, were played by women who were apparently not married, and 30.8% by women who had formerly been married (Brian pp). Three quarters, 75.9% of females in professional white-collar positions had minor roles, and of the major roles held by females, 13.5% were in professional white- collar positions (Brian pp). Some 9.6% of major roles were in entertainment, compared to 38.5% of women with major roles who were portrayed as not have any job (Brian pp).

Researcher Shane Halasz says that, "What we're seeing ia a very superficial level of inclusion...These characters aren't too central to the story line... And the workplace seems to be a convenient place to include a person of color for cosmetic purposes without being obliged to look at their culture or what happens in their homes" (Ethnic pp). According to Canadian actor Dhirendra, the problem of treating minorities like props is rooted in the producers' discomfort, behind-the-scenes, with challenging the status quo, nor do writers like to write about things they don't understand (Ethnic pp).

Although television has established a learning curve with respect to fair minority portrayals, the video games industry apparently has not received the message (Ethnic… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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