Paper Example: Latino Media

Published: 2023-04-19
Paper Example: Latino Media
Type of paper:  Thesis
Categories:  Media Multiculturalism Stereotypes Community
Pages: 7
Wordcount: 1758 words
15 min read

In a world full of mixed cultures, how people are portrayed in the media can influence perceptions in negative ways more than it can, in positive ways. Shows are often the primary source of stereotypes. In the media, Latino portrayals have had massive adverse effects on the Latino community. The roles being offered to Latino actors are wildly stereotyped. What are some of the stereotypes of Latinos in the media? What are the effects of the Latino Stereotype in the Latino Community? What are the measures put in place to curb the stereotypes of Latinos in the Media? While the media presents different personalities of characters, there exist stereotypes that tend to affect the real life of Latinos.

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What are the stereotypes of Latinos in the media? In the entertainment media, Latinos are virtually absent and are neither characters, correspondents nor anchors in the news media. Latinos have, for a long time, been excluded and ignored in most American Media. Not all Latino roles that are based on stereotypes are created equal. As the Latinos continue to increase in number, the media portrays Latinos as illegal immigrants, criminals, and violent people, thereby perpetuating stereotypes and discrimination of Latinos. Negative attitudes towards Latinos have, therefore, risen through the media.

The negative news media concerning Latinos affect the Latino community. The media portrays undocumented immigrants, the costs of illegal immigration and crime have resulted from the increase of Latinos. Latinos up to date are considered illegal immigrants and are people who can be violent criminals. Stereotypes can be believed and can lead to actions, some of which are the most savage and reprehensible kind (Berg, 21). News media has enhanced the negative stereotypes of Latinos and have, therefore, generated various opinions in society.

A consistent type of Latinos is portrayed when they appear in media platforms. It is usually a person who has an accent, darker features or tanner skin. The stereotype of Latinos in the media overlooks the diversity that is present in the Latino community. There exists an assumption that Latinos are homogeneous, which leads people to believe that there is no diversity among Latinos. It is perceived that among Latinos, there are no different traditions, cultures, beliefs, or languages. Latino individuals are thought to be of the same ethnic background. The homogeneity tends to affect real life as the politicians treat the Latinos as a culturally unified region. The lack of diversity among the Latinos extends to the economic, social, health and educational needs.

It is also perceived that Latinos share the same values and love each other. It becomes difficult for Latinos to fight the false accusations that are against them. Several Latinos are also considered to be immigrants while in the media. Non-Latinos perceive that Latinos are illegal immigrants and undocumented. This is not true as many Latinos are beyond Americans and can exercise their full rights. How Latino immigrants are viewed in the media paints a picture in some viewers who may consider it as a fact. The characteristics of the Latinos, mainly immigrants, are strongly linked to the impact of immigration on issues such as crime and unemployment.

Latinos in the media when it comes to stereotyping tend, to translate almost everything negatively. Appropriate and comfortable sexuality is labelled as prostitution. Having many children is considered assertive and is associated with being impoverished. Latino women in the media have been portrayed as temptresses and are referred to as 'Senoritas'. The role makes the Latino women look dependent, unintelligent, feeble and being passive. Latino characters are found to be less articulate, dress less professionally, and talk more about crime and violence than any other ethnic group in the media (Rivadeneyra, 394). Thus, most Latinos are not portrayed in favorable ways in television programs.

Latino Women are viewed as tempestuous, hot-tempered and promiscuous. The women in films have demonstrated and created a stereotype that Latino women can be used to persuade men to buy products due to their tempting nature. The reason for the sexualization stereotype for Latino women is due to the mental picture of large Latino Families that have multiple children. The stereotype is also due to the Latino's sexualized nature.

Most Latino males in the media are perceived to have evolved from a negative attitude to a great lover. A notable stereotype of the Latino male is that of being a gang member, a criminal or a street thug. The role is also associated with the Latinos living in dangerous neighborhoods and being of a lower class. The male Latino actors mostly play the role of a manual labor worker or an unemployed citizen as this is what is perceived of them. It is contrary to what is right as Latino males may have equal skill levels and are educated.

Latino men in the media are also considered to be violent and dangerous, particularly when they get angry. They enhance the character of being fearless, confident, and being capable of making decisions. Latino men are considered to dominate their wives, as seen in films. The Latino men are often drug dealers or are dance floor kings. Only a few people can recall seeing Latinos take up prestigious professions such as doctors, nurses or lawyers.

A research article by Reny, Tyler & Manzano (200) reveals that the top responses for the media perceptions of the Latinos were criminal gang members, gardeners, and maids. Female characters are either spicy Latinas or cleaning ladies. This stereotype of Latinos working in farms as manual laborers is linked to believing that most Latinos are not in the country legally. Latinos are also pictured as being lazy and not being able to work hard as the ordinary American.

Individuals who consume and trust the conservative media agree to negative stereotypes of the Latinos and hold less favorable views about Latinos. In contrast, those who believe liberal media are slightly more likely to reject the negative stereotypes and hold more favorable opinions of Latinos and immigrants (Reny, Tyler & Manzano, 209). The different forms of media can either increase or decrease the agreement of both the positive and negative stereotypes associated with the Latinos. Authoritative sources such as television have the highest effect of presenting stereotypes about Latinos.

Latinos are seen as part of a larger population and are not considered thoroughly American. The mentality creates an illegal stereotype of the concept of job-stealing. Latinos are thus considered immigrants even though they have full American citizenship and are considered to be grabbing opportunities and using resources that belong to the real Americans. They are deemed to have negatively impacted the economy of a nation. Not many job opportunities are given to the Latinos as they are considered to be fewer and of the minority group.

Non-Latinos view Latinos as having a character of changing behaviors in the presence of Non-Latinas. However, Latinas who are not closely attached to the Latina heritage, do not believe that they need to change behaviors when interacting with non-Latinos. The media images for Latinos affects the college experience of the highly identified Latino students, while it may not affect the knowledge of the lowly identified Latino students.

The media also portrays that the Latinos are the only Spanish speakers. However, not all Latinos can speak only Spanish. There exist some Latinos who do not speak any Spanish at all. Latino characters can be portrayed as those living in poverty or without any connections to prosperous Latino communities. The dehumanization on the screens can lead to aggression, particularly towards Latinos. Erasure is also a critical issue among Latinos since many films do not feature a single Latino character. The lack of representation of the Latinos shows the American views of the news outlets.

What are the effects of the Latino Stereotype in the Latino Community? Ethnic minority groups are not only portrayed in negative ways through the media but are often not featured at all, thereby leaving the impression that these communities are not relevant in society (Rivadeneyra, 393). Adolescents and children who view media platforms learn how various groups are portrayed in the media. Latino children through the stereotype presented by the media learn that most Latinos are lawbreakers which is not correct. In addition to this, the mention of Latinos in the media is likely to result in social problems such as being associated with crime and the negative effect of immigration.

A relationship may exist between television use and the holding of more traditional gender role attitudes among the Latinas (Rivadeneyra, 395). The stereotype presented affects the self-esteem of the Latino communities. Students are more likely to have poor academic performance upon watching the stereotypical instances in the media.

What measures can be taken? Changes that are made behind the cameras can shift the stereotypes associated with Latinos that have for long dominated the media and instead present a multifaced and vibrant community. The Latinos in films can be given characters such as working in government offices, finance offices and having the skills and education. This initiative would reveal that the Latinos also have the opportunities that other groups have.

The effect of the negative portrayals in the media to the typical negative aspects of functioning among the Latinos remains a significant concern in society today. The Latinos are less visible in the media compared to other characters. Latinos have been underrepresented in the news media and have been viewed as a burden in American society. The stereotype problems that are associated with Latinos can be solved by having a more extensive global and national community. The stereotypes have an impact on Latinos because of the widely held bias against them. The problem is not the Latinos but rather what the society's expectations and perceptions for the Latinos. Although there may be some truth in stereotypes, they represent a vast number of injustice and inequities. Eliminating the invisibility of Latinos is vital, and therefore, Latino characters should be added into films to present a new norm, a proper and different representation would be achieved. Media platforms should step up and end the erasure, marginalization and stereotyping.

Works Cited

Berg, Charles Ramirez. Latino images in film: Stereotypes, subversion, and resistance. The University of Texas Press, 2002.

Reny, Tyler, and Sylvia Manzano. "The negative effects of mass media stereotypes of Latinos and immigrants." Media and Minorities 4 (2016): 195-212.

Rivadeneyra, Rocio. "Do you see what I see? Latino adolescents' perceptions of the images on television." Journal of Adolescent Research 21.4 (2006): 393-414.

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