Media Portrayals of Native Americans
Native Americans historically and in the present day are portrayed by media that reflects and alters social realities. Their portrayals, images, representations (misrepresentations and stereotypes) socially construct the realities of culture, collective identity, ideology, and policy. Often Native Americans are viewed as victims of these portrayals and as actors with power to alter those images and realities. Among scholars, including many who are Native Americans, the media portrayals of Native American crimes and the criminalization of Native Americans are understood within a wide social and historical context. This entry presents an overview of types of media portrayals of Native Americans in historical and contemporary contexts. News and entertainment media in today's multimedia landscape present a myriad of images in newspapers, movies, comics and cartoons, television, music, literature, and textbooks and websites. Historically, stereotypical portrayals of Native Americans have included the Indian enemy; the hostiles; the bloodthirsty savage; the noble savage; ...