Do The Media Continue To Perpetuate Negative Stereotypes Sociology Essay

The intent of this literature reappraisal was to analyze whether mass media linguistic communication continues to perpetuate a negative public perceptual experience of mentally sick people as being violent and unsafe, when it has been found non to be the instance.

Several surveies have examined this subject and have found that many media mercantile establishments continue to picture mental unwellness in a negative visible radiation, which includes the mode in which they frame their narratives, the usage of negative words such as ‘looney ‘ or ‘nutter ‘ and strong links have been found between media linguistic communication and public perceptual experience of mentally sick people being violent or unsafe.

This reappraisal will besides see the psychological position of how these negative images are really formed, by look intoing classical conditioning and priming.

Undertaking this survey is extremely important because it is of import that professionals can go on to do a instance for more balanced and accurate media coverage of this subject and besides that appropriate authorities policy and statute law can be addressed. Holloway ( 1996 ) More significantly, negative media portraiture has a damaging consequence on the revelation, recovery and life results for those enduring from mental unwellness as they continue to be stigmatised, harassed, victimised and ostracised from society. A study conducted by MIND in 1999 indicated that continued negative portraiture of mental illness really increased these jobs as those enduring felt socially excluded.

Furthermore, in 1992 the Glasgow University Media Group undertook a content analysis of 562 points from local and national media over the period of one month and found that of their five subjects of mass media representations of mental wellness. The most common type of coverage was of force towards others which was 62 per cent. The 2nd constituent of their survey questioned 70 members of the populace and it was found that 40 per cent believed that mentally ill were violent to others and that the media were their beginnings of this belief.

However there were some positive consequences, which came from when media journalists conducted balanced coverage of incidents, as Ward demonstrated in his survey that 20 per cent of coverage promoted that mental wellness jobs are treatable and that many sick persons can take worthwhile lives. These findings were concurred by another MIND study in 1999 from which the same proportion of respondents confirmed that local and regional media reported mental unwellness in a more positive visible radiation than national media.


In order to set about this research, a assortment of beginnings were investigated, with the purpose to roll up relevant and modern-day information which would supply both qualitative and quantitative informations. A cardinal word hunt was ab initio performed by come ining words ‘looney, nutter, unsafe and media into the hunt saloon of Google Scholar refined from 2008 onwards, from which relevant literature such as diaries and studies were identified. Besides, the University library was accessed, which found a cardinal study such as ‘Social psychological theoretical accounts of mental wellness unwellness stigma ‘ from 2005 and besides ‘media portraiture of mental unwellness and its interventions from 2006. Furthermore, as portion of cardinal findings, it was viewed necessary to include relevant psychological theoretical positions such as classical conditioning and feeling formation, which would so reenforce these findings.

Social Construction

A old survey focussed upon the continued linking of mental sick wellness and force, and besides from a societal constructionist position of the theory of societal representations, which had been used really successfully in a figure of other surveies which examined the ways in which the mass media create, influence, maintain and develop societal apprehensions. The consequences of Foster ‘s survey found that there was continued societal building of people with mental wellness issues as ‘other ‘ , who commit violent offense and are to be feared. It was besides reported that although these representations change and develop, forms of believing about mental unwellness may go on to be constrained and influenced by antediluvian and deep-rooted thoughts of lunacy, which began in the 13th century. Foster ( 2006 )

Furthermore, In a 1950 and 1996 longitudinal survey of public perceptual experience of mental unwellness, consequences were compared from a General Social Survey, which found that for those who perceived mental unwellness as psychosis, they believed mentally sick people as violent or terrorization and besides that this figure had well increased, instead than decreased during this period. ( Phelan et al. 2000 )

Media Language

In 2001, Cutcliffe and Hannigan conducted a reappraisal of theoretical and empirical literature, which reported significant grounds that mental wellness issues are represented negatively and are twinned with dangerousness, criminalism and force. Some of their cardinal findings were that about 46 per cent of all imperativeness coverage was related to condemnable offenses, making injury to others and harming themselves and that 54 per cent of the tabloid coverage was devoted to these issues. From their analysis, both circulars and yellow journalisms made clear links between mentally sick people, criminalism and force. Besides another key happening reported that 40 per cent of tabloid articles concerned with mental wellness, contained stigmatizing words, such as ‘nutter ‘ or ‘looney ‘ .

Furthermore, consequences of another survey which included 989 members of the populace, found that certain attitudes indicated that about one tierce of respondents agreed with the statement that mentally sick people are more likely to be violent. It was besides commented that the manner in which journalists reported their narrative strengthened the public position of utmost force as a merchandise of mental unwellness ‘ ( Appleby & A ; Wessely 1988, p. 294 ) .

Impression Formation

In 2003, Quinn et Al discussed stereotyping and feeling formation, which stated that from the overpowering sum of information available in this complex societal universe and In acknowledgment of this fact, more recent attacks to impression formation have been amalgamated to a set of working premises, with the most basic of which is that percipients tend to prefer simple and well- structured feelings. This coherency is achieved by the building and usage of stereotypes of a mentally sick individual in an effort to understand them, as the percipient can use the wealth of related stereotype-based stuff that is stored in the long-run memory.

In understanding with old surveies, Glasson ( 1996 ) argued that by mass media sensationalising their articles, they reinforced the populace ‘s position, which was already negative, of mentally sick people.

In decision, from thematic analysis of this article, it can be seen that the manner the media studies articles concerned with those with mental wellness issues, has a negative impact on public perceptual experience and reinforces stereotypes by associating fiction horror characters, with those perceived as mentally sick and uses linguistic communication, which reinforces them and us attitudes.

by the linking and framing parts of their articles to characters in celebrated movies, who are good known for being violent, unsafe and being mentally badly.


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