Stereotyping of Women of Color Term Paper

Pages: 9 (2438 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: ≈ 32  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Business - Advertising

This has been changing recently however, as networks, consumers and advertisers are beginning to take note that minority women are capable of many things and should be properly portrayed.

While little has been studied about minority women in advertisements on television, minority women and women on prime time has been studied. The studies are solid indicators about how commercials have portrayed minority women as well.

McNeil (1975) analyzed a prime time TV sample from 1973. He found that women comprised 32% of all characters and that 44% of the women depicted were working. It is not clear that this finding supports Tedesco's report (1974) that 66% of women were unemployed, as McNeil did not use the term "unemployed." McNeil also found that only 21% of married women were working, and that the majority of these women were in comic roles. In contrast with Seggar and Wheeler's study (1973), McNeil found that women had a greater variety of occupations than did men. However, their positions were of lower authoritative power than those of men. "

While this study was about prime time television roles it can be extrapolated into commercials as well. Women of color are often portrayed in lower positions than men. This lends itself to the psychological support that minority women are not as good as white women or any men.

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Seggar's (1975) study presents a number of findings consistent with earlier investigations. Fifteen percent of women in both daytime and prime time television were from ethnic minorities. Only 12% of minority women had speaking roles. Only 7% of minority women had major roles. A greater proportion of women shown were married, and women were less likely to have a professional position if employed."

There has been a shift in the portrayal of women of color in ads, because the women of color are getting the jobs that used to only be filled by white women. Part of this may be explained by society's changing attitudes. As society lets go of former stereotypes and feelings of racism, the media marketing departments are taking note and using minority women to sell products to the consumers.

Term Paper on Stereotyping of Women of Color Assignment

Women of color are still stereotyped because they are usually used for low end products or services. Women of color are usually portrayed as mothers or wives, but rarely as business leaders or community leaders. Commercials that feature women of color are usually featuring the women as married to the "smart" man or the business man.

Societal attitudes will have to change for the marketing departments and casting personnel to begin to change. Examples and literature indicate it is happening but that it is a slow process that must be carefully monitored to continue its path.


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