Annotated Bibliography

Research Questions

What are the most common stereotypes seen in comedy? What movies contain the most racially offensive stereotypes? How do these stereotypes influence the way the public sees minority groups? How do stereotypes impact minority races in how they portray them in comedy films? Are all members of minority groups negatively affected by these stereotypes?

 

Revised Question

In what ways are gender and race portrayed in the 2004 film ‘White Chicks’ and how do these portrayals reflect the way society views different races and genders? In addition, what effects come into play when stereotypes are used?

 

Overview

Overall, I was able to find extremely useful sources for this paper since there is so much information about stereotypes and gender roles. I think that writing it will not be as daunting as I thought compared to before. The sources were quite understandable and I found a good amount of quotes that will fit well into my discussion. My first source can fit somewhere in the beginning of my paper and introduce the topic of stereotypes while discussing some of the most common stereotypes in films. Then I can talk about my primary source and provide specific examples from there to further explain racial and gender stereotypes. I still need to find some sources that talk more about the effects of stereotypes. Only my first source discusses one effect, which is the stereotype threat.

When reading throughout my sources, I found myself changing up my focus frequently. Originally, I was planning on writing only about African American stereotypes but now I’ve decided on focusing also on gender stereotypes. I was able to find a primary source for my paper, which is the 2004 film ‘White Chicks’ starring Shawn and Marlon Wayans. In this film, two black males that are FBI agents disguise themselves as white females. These men put on ‘whiteface’ and perform all the stereotypes associated with blonde white women. I also noticed that there are some racist acts thrown quite often in the film, such as blacks being excluded from certain events or activities. The movie reinforces the idea that Whites are the dominant race in society and that they are more privileged than other races, especially African Americans. I feel that this movie satirizes how white women and African American males are viewed. There’s a lot of ridiculous and over-exaggerated representations of those two groups that it makes the movie funny but at the same time it shows some truth in the way race and gender are constructed in society.

 

Key Words

Comedy and minorities, common stereotypes, African American stereotypes, stereotypes of women, impact of stereotypes, Hollywood and minorities, portrayals of minorities

 

Sources

Khan, S.R., Benda, T., & Stagnaro, M.N. “Stereotyping From the Perspective of Perceivers and Targets.” Online Readings in Psychology and Culture, 2012.

This article discusses two perspectives that stereotyping can be looked at and how those stereotypes impact stigmatized groups. The first perspective is of the perceiver who is the one that looks at the situation they are in and tend to use stereotypes to form impressions of other people. Stereotypes serve as a mental heuristic in that people focus on specific traits associated with a group and activate them when they want to form a quick judgement of an out-group member. On the other hand, these stereotypes have many effects on a stigmatized group, which is the other other perspective discussed. One main effect is called the stereotype threat, which is when people from stigmatized groups feel anxiety about performing a task since they may have negative stereotypes attached to them. The anxiety gets to them and they tend to do poorly on that task, thereby confirming the stereotypes. The last main section of the article mentioned a few ways to reduce stereotypes, which include contact and interaction with other groups and recategorizing stereotypes to change mental representations of a group.

Based on the authors of the article, it seems to be a very reliable source. The authors graduated university with psychology degrees and they come off as knowledgeable. They maintain an objective tone throughout the article and reference many other sources that will be useful for my paper. Their explanations of certain concepts are very clear, even if you do not have much knowledge in psychology. I can use some of the concepts discussed and use it as background information for my paper.

This source gave me a general idea of how I can start my paper. I am familiar with some of the concepts since my major is psychology and the article helps to clear up some things. This article does not go into depth about what kinds of stereotypes there are, so I will have to find sources for that purpose. It also only discusses one effect of stereotypes. The article just gave me a good head start and now I’ll be able to narrow down my searches.

 

Punyanunt-Carter, Narissra M. “The Perceived Realism of African American Portrayals on Television.” The Howard Journal of Communications, 2008, pp. 241-257.

This article examines specific perceptions of African American portrayals on television. Those perceptions include stereotypical occupational roles, negative personality characteristics, low achieving status, and positive stereotypes. African Americans were found to be most depicted in blue collar jobs, crooks, entertainers, athletes, or musicians. They were also portrayed as inferior, stupid, dishonest, violent, greedy, and ignorant for personality characteristics. On the other hand, some positive portrayals of African Americans have been displayed more often such as them being helpers, givers, cooperative, and virtuous. A study was conducted with college students who watch of decent amount of television to see how real they perceive these perceptions to be. The results showed that the television viewers perceive occupational roles and negative personality characteristics to be real or true to life. However, perceptions of low-achieving roles and positive stereotypes were not seen as real or true to life. The article makes a point that our perceptions of reality are cultivated by what we view on television or the media. Exposure to these outlets is somewhat linked to how African Americans are perceived.

The author of this source is very reliable because I found some information about her and she is an associate professor at Texas Tech University and has published many scholarly research articles, especially in portrayals in mass media. She references many other authors and sources who are credible. Although some of the references are on the more older side, they still are applicable for the most part. I feel that this article might work well because my topic will probably be about the different stereotypes portrayals of several groups, including African Americans. There are a couple television shows the author provided that I can analyze and see what African American stereotypes are being depicted. It helped in giving me some primary sources for my paper.

 

 

Maity, Nandini. “Damsels in Distress: A Textual Analysis of Gender roles in Disney Princess Films.” IOSR Journal Of Humanities And Social Science, vol. 19, no. 10, 2014, pp. 29-31.

This article discusses gender roles and how the princesses in Disney films are portrayed. The main argument being made is that these princesses are almost always portrayed as beautiful damsels in distress and a handsome prince comes to their rescue. They are seen as weak victims that can’t really do much for themselves and must wait for that strong Prince Charming to save them and later fall in love with them. This stereotype continues to be perpetuated through these films and further shows that males continue to dominate society while the women fall back and rely on them for help. Even in some movies, such as Mulan, there still is that idea of a happily ever after and falling in love with a man. Mulan is depicted as a strong warrior in the film and breaks all stereotypes about women, but the movie still puts in the “searching for a man” storyline. A point is made about these movies being unhealthy for young girls and children in general because they will learn that the role of a woman is to be submissive and the male is the one in charge.

The author does a good job at making their argument clear in a scholarly manner and provides evidence that supports the argument by providing examples from the primary sources, which are the movies she is analyzing. The article mainly focuses on the older Disney princesses like Snow White,  Cinderella, Aurora, Ariel who all fit into what she is trying to argue. She also talks about why this is important and shifts the perspective into young children and how these films influence them. Gender roles and stereotypes might also be included in my paper and this article gives me an idea of where I can begin to form my argument. I don’t plan on using these particular films but I will try and search for movies that portray women in this manner. I was planning on only focusing on racial portrayals but now I want to add gender to my argument. This article also made me think about how I might discuss the ways stereotypes affect viewers of media.

 

 

Blackstone, Amy M. “Gender Roles and Society.” Human Ecology: An Encyclopedia of
Children, Families, Communities, and Environments, edited by Julia R. Miller, Richard M. Lerner, and Lawrence B. Schiamberg, 2003, pp. 335-338.

This article discusses the concept and perspectives of gender roles. Gender roles are the expectations that society has on an individual based on their sex. The different perspectives of gender roles include ecological, biological, sociological, and feminist. Men and women are expected to behave in certain ways. For example, the article stated that females tend to be more nurturing than men so they are expected to stay at home and take care of children.  On the other hand, males are seen as leaders and are expected to take on the role of the breadwinner and make important decisions. The author also made a distinction between gender and sex. Gender is the meanings, values, and characteristics people ascribe to different sexes while sex is a biological concept. Gender is something that is learned so therefore it is a social construct. People learn that certain traits, values, statuses, and occupations are associated with each sex.

Overall, this source appears to be reliable because the author gives a lot of background information and clearly explains the concepts so I was able to understand it. The author is well educated in the field of sociology and the information I read is consistent with other sociological sources. This source will be helpful for my paper since I’m gradually getting a better idea of what direction I can turn my paper. Gender stereotypes will be part of my discussion and this source has basic information I can utilize to back up my reasons.

 

Wood, Julia T. “Gendered Media: The Influence of Media on Views of Gender.” Gendered Lives: Communication, Gender, and Culture. Wadsworth Publishing, 1994. 231-244. Print.

In this source, the author argues that there are themes prevalent in the media’s representation of gender. The three themes she discusses are under representation of women (women tend to be outnumbered by men), the stereotypes of males and females, and lastly, how these stereotypes reinforce gender roles. Women, compared to men, are portrayed as more dependent, incompetent, nurturing and family oriented, and victimized. On the other hand, men tend to be shown as more independent, authoritative, and leaderlike. The author also states that these fixed views on gender have consequences on viewers. The media shows these unrealistic standards that most viewers don’t live up to. Women are portrayed as thin, beautiful, and young while men are well built and tough. Because of that, some viewers with insecurities may do certain things such as plastic surgery in order to achieve these traits.

I looked up the author of this source and she does a lot of research and teaching on gender, communication, and culture. She is educated in these fields and comes off as knowledgeable. Throughout the chapter, she provides examples of films, TV shows, and ads to back up her points. She also adds her own knowledge to the discussion and expands on what she analyzed in the media. Out of the other 2 gender sources that I annotated, this one has what I’m looking for the most. I might reference a lot of material from this article since I found it very informational and interesting. It fits in with the gender part my topic.

 

White Chicks. Dir. Keenen Ivory Wayans. Perf. Shawn Wayans and Marlon Wayans. 2004. DVD.

Luders-Manuel, Shannon. “Humor and Race in “Dear White People” and “White Chicks.” JSTOR Daily. 2017

Evans, David. “The wrong examples.” Newsweek. 1993, pp. 10.

 

Further Research

For further research, I plan to search for articles that discuss whether stereotypes have changed throughout the years or remained the same. If I can find an article about this, it will be able to help me explain why stereotypes are strongly held. I believe that some negative racial and gender stereotypes have stayed the same throughout the years and that is why most stereotypes about these groups remain today. I also want to know why stereotypes are still perpetuated in films even when it becomes a problem for the groups being stereotyped. I feel that perhaps stereotypes are still used in films because it’s what the public is familiar with and films want to be more recognizable. I need to find research that backs up this up.

 

Further Questions

How do stereotypes limit interaction with certain groups? Why do TV shows and films continue to have stereotypical characters even when they don’t represent the people being stereotyped? Have stereotypes in movies changed in any way throughout the past years (if so, which ones have changed)?

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