Pub. date: 2009 | Online Pub. Date: June 02, 2009 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412971928 | Print ISBN: 9781412950855 | Online ISBN: 9781412971928| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Media Portrayals of African Americans
Allison M. Cotton & Rhonda Ntepp
The media have long been known to influence the public's view of crime, and the media's depictions of race and crime have interested social scientists for decades. African Americans are portrayed by the media in many diverse ways, some positive, some negative. This entry examines social scientists' and media consultants' assessment of factors that influence media portrayals of African Americans and contrasts the media's portrayal of African Americans, crime, and police for the general population with media portrayals by African Americans themselves that are aimed at promoting positive images and countering negative stereotypes. In the 1950s, television became greatly influenced by the economic class system. The media portrayal of African Americans and crime to the general public was no exception to this class system's influence. Hidden audience research, news consultant firms, and the Warner Class Model (which proposed that Americans could be divided into six classifications: upper class, upper middle ...