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Black and white, male and female: Racial and Gender Differences in Adolescents' TV Diets
Unformatted Document Text:  Black and White 16 (Ward, 2002), and some will critique and resist potentially harmful stereotypes (Brown, White & Nikopoulou, 1993). Previous studies of the effects of television portrayals of minorities have found that programs such as The Cosby Show that attracted both White and Black audiences increased racial understanding and enhanced Black viewers’ self-esteem, but the show may also have contributed to the perpetuation of the stereotype that Black people who are not successful have only themselves to blame (Inniss & Feagin, 2002). It will be worth considering what it means to have our young people growing up in an increasingly segregated television world while the world in which they are living is increasingly diverse. Since the civil rights era and the feminist movement of the 1960s and ‘70s, we have been concerned about the lack of minority representation and racial and gender stereotyping on television (Signorielli, 2001). The television world today in some ways is much different than it was then, but it is not clear that as a culture we are in any better shape if our children can now choose a television diet that features only people who look and act just like they do.

Authors: Brown, Jane. and Pardun, Carol J.
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Black and White
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(Ward, 2002), and some will critique and resist potentially harmful stereotypes (Brown, White &
Nikopoulou, 1993). Previous studies of the effects of television portrayals of minorities have found
that programs such as The Cosby Show that attracted both White and Black audiences increased
racial understanding and enhanced Black viewers’ self-esteem, but the show may also have
contributed to the perpetuation of the stereotype that Black people who are not successful have
only themselves to blame (Inniss & Feagin, 2002).
It will be worth considering what it means to have our young people growing up in an
increasingly segregated television world while the world in which they are living is increasingly
diverse. Since the civil rights era and the feminist movement of the 1960s and ‘70s, we have been
concerned about the lack of minority representation and racial and gender stereotyping on
television (Signorielli, 2001). The television world today in some ways is much different than it was
then, but it is not clear that as a culture we are in any better shape if our children can now choose a
television diet that features only people who look and act just like they do.


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