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Exercise 2:

Get into groups of four. Each person has to choose one of the 4 points under the stereotyping heading and explain it in their own words. Help each other to try and think of an example for the point you have chosen to write about.

Class discussion: Once you have finished writing about your point, copy the answers from your friends for the other 3 points. We will then discuss how your answers relate to the quote by Branston at the top of the page, i.e. "Some media re-present certain events, stories, etc....."

Exercise 2 print version


Please watch this movie before reading the information about stereotypes (QuickTime file can by downloaded from here or shockwave file):

Movie: Bad Mouth. Saatchi & Saatchi

Branston (2002) said the following about representation and stereotyping in the media:

Some media re-present certain events, stories, etc. over and over again, and tend marginalise or even exclude others, and thereby make them unfamiliar or even threatening (p90).

Stereotypes have the following characteristics (p91):

1. They involve both a categorising and an evaluation of the group being stereotyped.

2. They usually emphasise some easily grasped feature(s) of the group in question and suggest that these are the cause of the group's (usually negative) position.

3. Relatedly, the evaluation carried by a stereotype is often, though not always, a negative one.

4. Stereotypes often try to insist on absolute differences where in fact the idea of a spectrum of difference is more appropriate, whether about the skin colours of human beings or about degrees of 'masculine' and 'feminine' attributes across the sexes.


Narrative: a written or spoken part of connect events; a story.


Conduct your own random survey across one to three hours of television ads. Take a category such as age, ethnicity or gender and try to discover how that group or identity is now represented according to (Branston 2002, p94):

- the numbers of characters in ads who visibly belong to the group.

- how they are represented: as narrative heroes? As consumers or as experts? With or without dialogue? In what kinds of genres: comic? Serious? For cheap or expensive products?

- whether the voice overs seem to belong to the group being represented

- wheterh they are repeatedly shown in some situations but not others, e.g. at work or in the home; as people preoccupied with their appearance.

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