Chapter 16: Gender, Race, and Media Representation
Dwight Brooks & Lisa Hébert
Gender, race, and media representation In our consumption-oriented, mediated society, much of what comes to pass as important is based often on the stories produced and disseminated by media institutions. Much of what audiences know and care about is based on the images, symbols, and narratives in radio, television, film, music, and other media. How individuals construct their social identities, how they come to understand what it means to be male, female, black, white, Asian, Latino, Native American—even rural or urban—is shaped by commodified texts produced by media for audiences that are increasingly segmented by the social constructions of race and gender. Media, in short, are central to what ultimately come to represent our social realities. While sex differences are rooted in biology, how we come to understand and perform gender is based on culture. 1 We view culture “as a process through which people circulate and struggle over selves” ...