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The International Encyclopedia of Media Studies, 7 Volume Set by Fabienne Darling-Wolf, Radhika Parameswaran, Erica Scharrer, Vicki Mayer, Sharon Mazzarella, Kelly Gates, John Nerone, Angharad N. Valdivia

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13

The Influence of Media Exposure on the Formation, Activation, and Application of Racial/Ethnic Stereotypes

Dana Mastro and Riva Tukachinsky

ABSTRACT

Although exposure to mass media content represents only one of a number of factors associated with the construction and application of racial/ethnic stereotypes, its influence should not be trivialized. Both theory and empirical research on media and stereotyping indicate that stereotypes arise from and are maintained via interaction with the messages offered in mass media fare – including exposure to both thematic messages as well as more uncommon messages stemming from idiosyncratic media use. Accordingly, to understand the role of the media in issues pertaining to stereotyping it is essential to consider: (a) how diverse groups are represented across the media landscape; (b) the manner in which exposure to these characterizations influences stereotype-based processes; and (c) the features of consumers and media messages themselves that may moderate stereotype-related outcomes. The present chapter highlights the existing research in each of these areas and offers suggestions for further study.

Media and Stereotypes

Exposure to mass media has long been identified as a factor contributing to the construction of social reality, including stereotypic views about the qualities seen as characteristic of different racial/ethnic groups (Gerbner, Gross, Morgan, Signorielli, & Shanahan, 2002; Mackie, Hamilton, Susskind, & Rosselli, 1996; ...

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