How The Media Has Helped Ethnic Groups to Promote Themselves Essay Example


Chapter 1: Introduction

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The media is an institution that has been around for centuries. It plays a significant role in our society, providing information and entertainment. Globally, the media is critical for every society, as it helps shape public opinion and can be used to promote or discourage certain behaviors (Strömbäck et al., 2020). Over the years, the media has evolved and changed, with new technologies making it more accessible than ever before. In the past, the media was primarily controlled by large corporations and governments, which limited the ability of ethnic groups to tell their stories and promote themselves. 

However, with the advent of social media, people from all over the world now have a voice and can use it to share their experiences and challenge negative stereotypes (Mastro, 2015). As a result, the media landscape has changed significantly, and ethnic groups are now better equipped to promote themselves. The media has been increasingly used to promote ethnic groups (Mastro, 2015). For example, the media can be used to raise awareness of the unique culture and history of an ethnic group and promote their positive image to the wider community. 

The representations of race and ethnicity by the media are often controversial. How the media portrays ethnic groups can 

have a significant impact on public opinion and, ultimately, on how these groups are treated in society. In most cases, stereotypes represent ethnic groups, with negative or offensive representations often dominating the media (Mastro, 2015). However, over time there has been a shift toward more positive representations of ethnic groups in the media, which has helped these groups to promote themselves and dispel some of the stereotypes that have long been associated with them. While there are still many challenges that ethnic groups face in the media, the increasing use of social media platforms such as YouTube and Instagram has helped these groups reach wider audiences and promote their positive image. In particular, platforms like YouTube have proven to be a powerful tool for ethnic groups to tell their stories and share their own experiences with the world. Through this process, they can challenge negative stereotypes about their groups and promote a more accurate and positive representation of their culture. 

There are several ways in which the media can help ethnic groups to promote themselves. For example, the media can showcase the talents of these groups, raise awareness about their struggles and challenges, and provide a more accurate portrayal of their culture. Overall, the media has the power to play a crucial role in promoting ethnic groups and helping them to achieve greater inclusion and equality within our society. Today, the media is an important tool that can raise awareness of the unique culture and history of an ethnic group and promote their positive image to the wider community (Mastro, 2015). In some cases, stereotypes are still used to represent ethnic groups, with negative or offensive representations often dominating the media. However, we are now seeing a shift towards more positive and inclusive representations of ethnic groups in the media, which has helped them to promote themselves and dispel some of the stereotypes that have long been associated with them.

Research Problem

To effectively promote ethnic groups in the media and help them achieve greater inclusion and equality, the media must take a balanced and inclusive approach to represent different ethnic groups. It should avoid reinforcing negative stereotypes or contributing to discrimination while giving these groups a voice and ensuring that they are fairly represented (Dixon et al., 2019). With the right tools and platforms, the media has the power to play a crucial role in promoting ethnic groups and helping them to achieve greater inclusion and equality within our society.

Despite the challenges that still exist, the media has come a long way in representing different ethnic groups. In recent years, we have seen a shift towards more positive and inclusive representations of these groups, which has helped them to promote themselves and dispel some of the stereotypes that have long been associated with them. As we continue to develop and evolve our understanding of ethnic groups, it is clear that the media has an important part to play in helping us to overcome these challenges and promote greater inclusion and equality for all (Dixon et al., 2019). Despite the advances that have been made, there are still many challenges faced by ethnic groups in the media. For example, some groups may not have the necessary resources or platform to promote themselves effectively, making it difficult to engage with wider audiences. In addition, there is a risk that positive representations of these groups can still reinforce negative stereotypes or that they are perceived as “too political” (Mastro, 2015).

In this dissertation, we explored how the media has helped ethnic groups to promote themselves. We will be looking at how the media has helped raise awareness of different cultures and traditions and helped promote businesses that cater to specific ethnic groups. We will also be looking at how the media can continue to help ethnic groups to promote themselves in the future.

Purpose of the Study

The purpose of this study is to explore how the media has helped ethnic groups to promote themselves. We looked at how the media has helped raise awareness of different cultures and traditions and how it has helped promote businesses that cater to specific ethnic groups. We also are looking at how the media can continue to help ethnic groups to promote themselves in the future. Ethnic groups and businesses can use this study’s findings to understand better how they can use the media to promote themselves and their products or services. Also, policymakers and other stakeholders can use the findings of this study to develop more effective strategies for promoting diversity and inclusion in the media.

The Rationale of the Study

Ethnic minorities have long faced discrimination and marginalization in the media. However, there have been some important developments in recent years in representing and promoting ethnic groups. This study is important because it will help us understand how the media has helped ethnic groups promote themselves. This understanding is important because it can help us ensure that the media plays a positive role in promoting diversity and inclusion. It can also help us identify areas where the media could be doing more to support ethnic groups. This study is also important because it will help us understand how businesses that cater to specific ethnic groups use the media to promote themselves. This understanding is important because it can help us ensure that these businesses can reach a wider audience and compete effectively in the marketplace.

Research Questions

RQ1. How has the media helped ethnic groups?

RQ2. How has the media hindered the progress of ethnic groups?

RQ3. How many ethnic businesses have successfully grown with the help of the media?

Objectives

  1. To find out how many people from the ethnic groups have turned to the media. 
  2. To encourage young entrepreneurs from ethnic groups to create an online platform.
  3. To explore how ethnic groups deal with discrimination in the real world.

Chapter 2: Literature Review

This literature review section looks at how the media has helped ethnic groups to promote themselves effectively. It describes a theoretical framework that explains how the media has helped ethnic groups promote themselves, looking at how different media types can be used. It also looks at some research that has been conducted on this topic to provide evidence for the claims made in the literature review. The evolution of ethnicity theory is also discussed, as how it has contributed to the understanding of how media representations can help ethnic groups promote themselves. The review concludes by describing some of the harms that may be caused due to this promotion and why it is important that these potential harms are taken into consideration when using the media to help ethnic groups promote themselves. Finally, the review explored the discrimination faced by ethnic minorities in online and media spaces.

Theoretical Framework

The evolution of ethnicity theory, which social scientists in the 1960s first proposed, has contributed greatly to our understanding of how ethnic minorities can use the media to promote themselves effectively. This theory suggests that ethnicity can change over time and is not a fixed category based solely on race or culture (Adlparvar & Tadros, 2016). Instead, it is dynamic and shaped by social, political, and economic factors. This means that media representations of ethnic minorities can help shape public perceptions of these groups and can therefore be used to promote positive images of ethnic minorities (Budarick, 2019). 

The study of ethnicity is based on four major theoretical approaches, which include primordialism, instrumentalism, materialism, and constructionism are the four foundations. The ideas of the theories are intimately linked to the development of sociological theories that back them, including cultural evolutionism, structural functionalism, conflict theory, and postmodernism (Adlparvar & Tadros, 2016). The four parts of the literature are divided into several critical debates. They include, among other issues, how to incorporate the social and psychological dimensions of ethnicity, the significance attached to cultural ‘content’ in ethnic identification, and the connection between state and ethnicity.

Primordial Approach to Ethnicity

The primordialist approach emphasizes the importance of race and culture in shaping ethnic identity. This approach suggests that ethnicity is a natural and fixed phenomenon based on shared physical characteristics and cultural heritage. It posits that ethnic groups are formed due to common ancestry and that these groups are then solidified by shared cultural traditions and values (Adlparvar & Tadros, 2016). Primordial theories, in general, consider ethnic identity to be natural, unchanging, and permanent. They affirm that each person is born into an ethnocultural group or “tribe,” which they perceive as a culturally defined unit. This resulted in tribes and later ethnic groups being classified according to their material culture alongside biological and territorial factors. Primordial arguments claim that ethnic identification fulfills a basic human need for belonging and significance (Yeshivas, 2018). The primordial approach also states that the fundamental cultural distinctions and divergent values between ethnic communities inevitably lead to a ‘clash of civilizations,’ which implies that violence would arise due to these differences (Resminingayu, 2020).

Instrumentalist Approach to Ethnicity

On the other hand, the Instrumentalist approach emphasizes the importance of self-interest and self-preservation in shaping ethnic identity. This approach suggests that ethnicity is a social construct individuals or groups use to further their interests. It posits that ethnic groups are formed due to political or economic conditions and that shared interests and goals then solidify these groups. Instrumentalist theories, in general, consider ethnic identity to be fluid, changeable, and temporary (Adlparvar & Tadros, 2016). They maintain that individuals can choose to identify with different ethnic groups, depending on the situation. 

This focused on how state policies and economic conditions shape ethnic identification. Instrumentalist arguments claim that individuals use ethnic identification to justify their political or economic needs (Resminingayu, 2020; Yeshivas, 2018). The instrumental approach also states that the fundamental cultural variations and divergent values between different communities are not necessarily incompatible, implying that conflict would not arise due to these differences. Politicians use ethnicity to define voting blocs and gain allegiance to their followers. Business people also use it to target marketing and sell products (Resminingayu, 2020). The media use the ethnic allegiance of the masses to sell ad space and create narratives and politicians to gain power.

Materialist Approach to Ethnicity

Like the Instrumentalist approach, the Materialist approach emphasizes the importance of self-interest and self-preservation in shaping ethnic identity. However, Instrumentalists focus on the role of political and economic conditions, Materialists focus on physical and material conditions in shaping ethnic identity (Resminingayu, 2020). This approach suggests that ethnicity is a made-up concept created to justify the exploitation of certain groups by others. It posits that ethnic groups are formed due to economic, political, or other conditions and that these groups are then solidified by social factors such as education, religion, or language (Adlparvar & Tadros, 2016). Materialist theories, in general, consider ethnic identity to be fluid, changeable, and temporary. They maintain that individuals can choose to identify with different ethnic groups, depending on the situation. 

This has resulted in a focus on how social factors such as education, religion, or language shape ethnic identification (Mastro, 2015). Materialist arguments claim that ethnic groups are created due to economic, political, or other conditions and then become solidified through social factors such as education, religion, or language (Resminingayu, 2020). Although the Materialist approach dates back to classic theorists like Marx and Weber, it aligns more with the critical race theory (CRT). CRT suggests that different racial groups have been treated differently, creating a hierarchy in which some groups do not get the same treatment or opportunities as others. CRT argues that race is socially constructed, meaning that it has social rather than biological origins. 

Constructionist Approach to Ethnicity

Constructionist theories, in general, consider ethnic identity to be dependent on social factors such as education, religion, or language. These theories arose from scholars like Cohen and Banton to address shortcomings within earlier theories that did not adequately explain why some groups were more prone to violence than others (Adlparvar & Tadros, 2016). One potential explanation for this is that education, religion, and language act as symbols that give meaning to ethnic identity and help to solidify group boundaries. As a result, violence may be more likely to occur within groups that have fewer social ties and less education, religion, or language. These theories suggest that ethnic solidarity is more likely to occur in groups with a common language, religion, or education (Resminingayu, 2020). 

The Constructionist approach also suggests that racial and ethnic groups may be more likely to fight for their own interests if they believe violence will be effective. Another explanation is that these social factors provide opportunities for different groups to interact with each other, leading to conflict. The social interaction resulting from shared religion, language, or education allows people to compare their ethnic group with others and become more aware of their differences. This can lead to a feeling of competition or resentment, eventually leading to violence. The constructionist approach has been criticized for its lack of focus on material conditions and its failure to adequately explain ethnic violence and genocide cases. For example, scholars have criticized the constructionist approach for not accounting for why some ethnic groups are treated worse than others or how economic prosperity may lead to conflict, such as in Israel/Palestine. 

Media Depictions of Racial/Ethnic Groups

The media plays a vital role in shaping how racial and ethnic groups are portrayed to the public. These depictions can have significant impacts on how members of these groups view themselves and on broader perceptions of these groups among the general population. For example, research has shown that minority individuals exposed to more positive media representations of their group are more likely to have higher self-esteem and a stronger sense of identity. Additionally, positive media portrayals can help to reduce prejudice and stereotypes among the general population (Yuen, 2019). However, it is important to note that the media is not a monolithic entity and that different media outlets may present different perspectives on racial and ethnic groups. It is important to consider the source of any media portrayal when evaluating its impact.

The way in which racial and ethnic groups are portrayed in the media can have several different consequences.

 For example, negative portrayals can lead to increased anxiety and self-doubt among members of minority groups. Additionally, they can reinforce harmful stereotypes circulating within society and may even lead to hate crimes (Yuen, 2019). Conversely, positive portrayals can help improve the self-esteem and sense of identity among minority individuals and foster more tolerant attitudes toward these groups among the general population (Tukachinsky et al., 2015).

Despite these potential harms, there are also many ways racial and ethnic groups can actively use the media to promote themselves. One common strategy is to create media outlets, such as minority-focused newspapers and websites. Another strategy is to pursue positive media coverage by collaborating with journalists who share their perspectives on racial and ethnic issues. Additionally, many groups have begun to use social media platforms to promote their causes, visibility, and public image (Tukachinsky et al., 2015). The media plays a crucial role in helping ethnic groups promote themselves, particularly through advertising, documentaries, films, television shows, and other types of media content that highlight important aspects of minority cultures, traditions, and histories. These depictions help raise awareness about important issues affecting ethnic groups, such as the social and political inequalities they face (Mastro, 2015). Additionally, media representations can significantly impact how ethnic groups are perceived by others, which can help shape public attitudes toward these groups.

The media can be a powerful tool for promoting minority groups. It can help raise awareness of their culture and traditions and give them a voice in the mainstream. In recent years, there have been several high-profile media campaigns that have helped to promote ethnic groups. There is no denying that the media has played a significant role in promoting different ethnic groups. From movies and TV shows to news and current affairs, the media has helped raise awareness of the unique culture and traditions of many different ethnic groups. In recent years, we have seen many businesses catering to specific ethnic groups (Tukachinsky et al., 2015). This is thanks partly to the media’s ability to reach a wide audience and promote these businesses to a wider audience. However, there is still a long way to go to achieve equal representation and inclusion for ethnic groups.

Harms from Portrayals of Racial and Ethnic Minorities in the Media

The media disseminates information that reaches a large audience and, as such, has the potential to shape public perceptions of racial and ethnic groups. Unfortunately, the reality is that minority groups are often underrepresented or misrepresented in the media. The underrepresentation is demonstrated through the lack of minority characters in media content, while misrepresentation is demonstrated through the use of harmful stereotypes (Yuen, 2019). There are different ways racial and ethnic groups can be portrayed in the media. 

One common way racial and ethnic groups are misrepresented in the media is through harmful stereotypes. Stereotypes are oversimplified depictions of a particular group that reinforce harmful assumptions about those individuals’ capabilities, traits, and behaviors. 

For example, minorities are often portrayed as lazy, stupid, or violent. These negative characterizations can have many harmful consequences for members of minority groups. For example, they can increase anxiety and self-doubt among individuals who internalize these stereotypes (Yuen, 2019).

Additionally, they can reinforce harmful stereotypes circulating within society and may even lead to hate crimes. The perpetuation of harmful stereotypes may lead to discrimination against minority groups in employment, housing, education, and other key aspects of society. Additionally, negative portrayals and images may contribute to low self-esteem among members of these groups and even lead to hate crimes or other forms of violence (Yuen, 2019).

Another way minorities are commonly misrepresented in the media is through tokenism. Tokenism occurs when a minority group is included in media content, but only in a very limited way (Dixon et al., 2019). For example, a television show may feature a black character, but this character is typically portrayed as subordinate to the white characters. This limited portrayal reinforces the notion that minorities are not equal to those in the majority group and can further harm the self-esteem of minority individuals. Tokenism is the over-representation of a minority group in the media to make it seem more diverse. Tokenism can further perpetuate stereotypes, as minorities are often portrayed as simple and one-dimensional (Yuen, 2019).

Additionally, the media may portray racial and ethnic groups in a completely absent way of any diversity, which can make these groups seem invisible. The invisibility of some racial and ethnic minority groups can be due to representation that is limited to only a few individuals from the group or portrayals that fail to represent the diverse experiences, perspectives, and identities of minority individuals. This lack of visibility can negatively affect these groups, as they may be seen as less important or legitimate than other groups within society.

Prevalence Of Online and Media Discrimination

Discrimination of ethnic minority groups is apparent in traditional media and newer forms of media such as social media and online news sources. Social media platforms have been found to contain a great deal of hate speech targeted at minority groups. In addition, fake news stories that target minority groups are often circulated on social media, leading to the reinforcement of harmful stereotypes (Yuen, 2019). Additionally, studies have found that social media platforms are often biased against minority groups and their interests. For example, public political conversations on Twitter are more likely to involve white users than users from other racial/ethnic backgrounds (Leopold & Bell, 2017). This can lead to the underrepresentation of issues that may be important for minorities.

Despite these negative portrayals of minorities in the media, there has been some progress in recent years. For example, the number of minority characters on television has increased in recent years, leading to greater visibility and representation of minority groups. Additionally, many individuals and organizations have begun working to create more diverse portrayals of minorities in media (Belair-Gagnon et al., 2019). Some studies have found that online news sources are becoming more diverse and inclusive because of the efforts of journalists and media organizations. 

Additionally, social media platforms are beginning to take steps to reduce hate speech and fake news stories. While there is still much work to be done regarding the representation and portrayal of minority groups, there are signs that progress is being made (Leopold & Bell, 2017). These changes are encouraging. There is still much room for improvement in depicting racial and ethnic minorities in the media. In order to reduce the harm caused by negative portrayals and images of minorities, there must be a positive representation and fair coverage of these groups that more accurately reflect their experiences, perspectives, and identities. Additionally, social media platforms must ensure that hate speech and fake news are not circulated online (Belair-Gagnon et al., 2019). With increased awareness of the issue, and a commitment to change, the media can play a role in promoting equality and understanding among different racial and ethnic groups.

Research Gap

There has been limited research on the portrayal of minority groups in the media and how this impacts society. In particular, there is a need for more research on how media platforms can be used to promote equality and understanding among different racial and ethnic groups. Additionally, more research is needed on how to best reduce the harm caused by negative portrayals of minorities in the media. Racial and ethnic minorities are often underrepresented in research, and this lack of data can make it difficult to understand the experiences of these groups. There is a need for more research that specifically focuses on minority groups. This research is essential to understand better how the media impacts society and how to best reduce the harms caused by negative portrayals of minorities.

Chapter 3: Methodology

Introduction

The qualitative phenomenology methodology was used in this study. This research design is appropriate for this study as it aims to understand the experiences of ethnic minorities and the way that they use the media to promote their ethnic identity. This research aims to explore how ethnic minority groups have utilized the media to promote themselves and how the media has helped them do this. Phenomenology is a qualitative research paradigm concerned with understanding the meaning of experiences (Englander, 2016). This research design will allow for an in-depth exploration of the experiences of ethnic minority groups in the media. The rationale for using this methodology is that it allows for an understanding of how ethnic minority groups view the media and how they use it to promote their interests.

Sampling and Sample size

The purposeful sampling approach was used to recruit participants for this study. This methodology allowed the researcher to carefully identify the people who would be most suitable for participation in this study based on their experiences with ethnic minorities and the media. The advantages of using purposeful sampling are that it allows the researcher to select participants who are representative of a larger population and allows for a more in-depth exploration of the experiences (Palinkas et al., 2013). backgrounds in terms of both race and ethnicity. The non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that work with ethnic minority groups were the main source of participants for this study. 

A total of 20 participants were recruited, 10 of whom were black, 5 of whom were Asian, and 5 of whom were Hispanic. The majority of participants were female (14), and the age range was between 20 and 40. The sample size for this study was 20 people. The sample size was justified based on the study’s aims and the need for a large enough sample size to allow for effective data analysis. Furthermore, this approach also allowed for an adequate representation of ethnic minority groups. Research shows that a sample of 20 to 25 interviews is adequate to allow for effective analysis in a qualitative study.

Data Collection 

The data was collected through interviews. In-depth semi-structured interviews were conducted with the participants. This method of data collection was used to allow for an exploration of the participants’ experiences in a detailed and meaningful way. In-depth interviews are often used in phenomenological research, as they allow for a deeper understanding of the experiences (Peters & Halcomb, 2015). The interviews consisted of an initial interview which lasted approximately 30 minutes. These interviews took place over Skype and were audio-recorded with the participant’s permission. 

The rationale for using Skype is that it allows for effective communication and means that the participants can remain anonymous and comfortable, as they do not have to reveal their identity to the researcher. The first five minutes were used to build rapport with the participants and introduce the study’s purpose. After this, a series of open-ended questions was used to understand the participants’ experiences with ethnicity and media. A semi-structured interview schedule was used for all interviews. The participants were notified that they were at liberty to decline to answer any too personal or inappropriate questions. 

The following research protocol was used during the interviews:

  1. How often do you consume mainstream or social media?
  2. What ethnic group do you identify with?
  3. Is it important for you to see members of your ethnic group in the media? If so, why?
  4. Have you ever seen a negative portrayal of your ethnic group in the media? How did this make you feel?
  5. Have you ever seen a positive portrayal of your ethnic group in the media? How did this make you feel?
  6. How have the media affected businesses in your ethnic community?
  7. What are some of the challenges that ethnic groups face in promoting themselves through the media?
  8. Do you think the way members of your ethnic group are represented in the media has changed over time? If so, how do you think this has affected their position in society?
  9. How had the media helped ethnic businesses and organizations to promote themselves?
  10. What role do you think the media can empower ethnic groups to strengthen their position in society?
  11. Do you have any other thoughts or comments on the media and its role in promoting ethnic groups?

Data Analysis 

The data were analyzed using a thematic analysis approach. This data analysis method was used to identify the main themes and patterns in the data. Thematic analysis is an inductive approach, meaning that the themes are generated from the data rather than imposed on it (Javadi & Zarea, 2016). This approach was used to ensure that the findings of this study were grounded in the participants’ experiences.

The thematic analysis involves six main steps: generating initial codes, searching for themes, reviewing themes, defining and naming themes, producing a report, and verifying the findings (Javadi & Zarea, 2016). In the first step of the process, the data was coded. This involved reading through the transcripts of the interviews and highlighting any important points. The second step involved searching for themes in the data. This was done by looking for patterns and connections between the codes. In the third step, the themes that were identified were reviewed. This was done by re-reading the transcripts of the interviews and identifying any new codes or themes which emerged from this process. The fourth stage involved defining and naming themes. This involved categorizing and labeling each theme according to its key characteristics. The fifth step of this approach involved producing a report. This involved writing an analysis of the themes based on the findings from the data analysis. The final step in this process was to verify the findings by examining whether or not they were consistent and plausible (Javadi & Zarea, 2016). The rationale for using thematic analysis is that it allows for a thorough analysis of qualitative data (Javadi & Zarea, 2016). It also enables the researcher to ensure that their findings are grounded in the experiences and understandings of the participants.

Ethical Considerations 

The research was conducted in accordance with the requirements of the Belmont Report. The report outlines the main ethical principles which should be considered in relation to research involving human participants. These include respect for persons, beneficence, and justice. Respect for persons means that research participants must be treated with dignity and respect. Beneficence is about ensuring the well-being of research participants and minimizing any risks involved in the study. Finally, justice is concerned with ensuring fair treatment for all research participants and equal access to participation in research (Pritchard, 2021). In order to adhere to these principles, a number of ethical considerations were taken into account during the research process. 

These included ensuring that participants gave their informed consent, protecting their privacy and confidentiality, and minimizing any risks involved in the study. In order to ensure that this research project was conducted in an ethical manner, several key considerations were taken into account. Firstly, the participants were informed of their right to withdraw from the study without having to provide a reason for doing so. Next, they were made aware of the voluntary nature of their participation and that they could decline to answer any questions with which they felt uncomfortable. Finally, the participants were assured of confidentiality and anonymity (Pritchard, 2021). All interviews were conducted over Skype, and all recordings were kept in a secure location.

Chapter 4: Results

This study explores how the media has helped ethnic groups promote themselves socially and economically. The aim was addressed through interviews that focused on answering three major research questions, which included:

RQ1. How has the media helped ethnic groups?

RQ2. How has the media hindered the progress of ethnic groups?

RQ3. How many ethnic businesses have successfully grown with the help of the media?

Participant Demographics

Overall, 20 participants were involved in the interviews. Table 1 below shows the participant demographics in terms of age, ethnicity, and gender. 

ParticipantAgeEthnicityGender
Participant 132BlackFemale
Participant 231BlackMale
Participant 324BlackFemale
Participant 430BlackFemale
Participant 525BlackMale
Participant 626BlackFemale
Participant 725BlackFemale
Participant 839BlackFemale
Participant 927BlackMale
Participant 1023BlackFemale
Participant 1125AsianMale
Participant 1235AsianFemale
Participant 1338AsianFemale
Participant 1434AsianFemale
Participant 1523AsianFemale
Participant 1629HispanicFemale
Participant 1725HispanicMale
Participant 1822HispanicMale
Participant 1934HispanicFemale
Participant 2029HispanicFemale

A total of 6 themes emerged from the analysis of the interviews, which included:

Theme 1. Mainstream media and social media.

Theme 2: Portrayals of ethnicity in the media

Theme 3: Impact of the Media on ethnic business

Theme 4: Barriers to the promotion of ethnic groups

Theme 5: The role of the media

Theme 5: Evolution of media representation

Research Question 1

The first research question states: “How has the media helped ethnic groups?” The question focused on identifying the mechanisms through which the media has contributed to shaping public opinion about people from various ethnic communities and also on looking at the impact of this representation. Two themes emerged from the interviews: 1) mainstream media and social media, and 2) portrayals of ethnicity in the media.

Theme 1. Mainstream media and social media. All 20 participants responded to the first interview question in the interview protocol, which stated: “How often do you consume mainstream or social media?” All the respondents agreed to use social media and mainstream media for various reasons, such as keeping updated with news and entertainment and promoting their ethnic groups. The participants shared their thoughts about how media has helped shape public opinion about her community and how it has been a way for her to keep in touch with other community members. For example, Participant 3 stated: 

I consume mainstream media on a daily basis, either through television, newspapers or online. I also frequently consume social media such as Facebook and Twitter to stay up-to-date on news and trends in my industry and as a source of entertainment.

Theme 2: Portrayals of ethnicity in the media. A total of 16 participants responded to the third question in the interview protocol, which stated: “Is it important for you to see members of your ethnic group in the media? if so, why?” The study aimed to investigate how the participants perceived media outlets with reporters of people from their ethnic groups. While some participants stated that it is important for them to see members of their ethnic group in the media, others feel that it doesn’t matter whether they are represented in the media or not. The main reason given by participants who said that it is important was that they feel that it is a way of promoting their group, as they feel that it is beneficial to see members of their ethnic group in the media. For example, Participant 13 stated: 

Yes, it is important for me to see members of my ethnic group in the media because it helps me feel represented and connected to my culture. It also allows me to see people who look like me succeeding in various fields and industries, which can be inspiring.

An example of a participant who found that representation in the media was not necessary was Participant 9, who stated: 

No, it isn’t particularly important for me to see members of my ethnic group in the media. I don’t feel that it is necessary for me to see people who look like me in order to feel represented or connected to my culture. However, I do recognize that many other people may feel differently and may find it helpful to see members of their ethnic group in the media.

The participants also responded to questions 4 and 5 in the interview protocol. Question 4 stated: “Have you ever seen a negative portrayal of your ethnic group in the media? How did this make you feel?” For instance, participant 19 states:

Yes, I have seen a negative portrayal of my ethnic group in the media. As a Hispanic woman, I feel that the media often portrays us as dirty, poor, and uneducated. I think that this is because the media is trying to appeal to a mainstream audience, which tends to have negative stereotypes about minority groups. Additionally, I feel that the media often sensationalizes stories involving members of my ethnic group, which can contribute to negative portrayals. Despite these challenges, I believe that there are also many positive depictions of people from my ethnic group in the media, which helps to counter some of these negative stereotypes.”

Further, Participant 20 mentioned that: 

Yes, I have seen a negative portrayal of my ethnic group in the media. As an Asian American, I feel that the media often portrays us as nerdy, weak, and submissive. I think that this is because the media is trying to appeal to a mainstream audience, which tends to have negative stereotypes about minority groups. Additionally, I feel that the media often sensationalizes stories involving members of my ethnic group, which can contribute to negative portrayals. Despite these challenges, I believe that there are also many positive depictions of people from my ethnic group in the media, which helps to counter some of these negative stereotypes.

A total of 14 participants also responded to question 5 in the interview protocol, which stated: “Have you ever seen a positive portrayal of your ethnic group in the media? How did this make you feel?” The question prompted the respondents to comment on the positive perceptions that those respondents derived from the media. For instance, participant 15 stated:

Yes, I have seen many positive portrayals of my ethnic group in the media over the years. These often make me feel proud, inspired and validated. I also appreciate the fact that these portrayals help to combat negative stereotypes about my community and show people the full breadth of our talents and achievements.

A second example is participant 26, who stated: 

Yes, I have seen many positive portrayals of my ethnic group in the media. However, I feel that there is a lot of biasness in the media, which often prevents us from receiving the fair and accurate coverage that we deserve. Despite this, I do feel proud and validated when I see my culture being positively represented in the media.

Research Question 2

The second research question states: “How has the media hindered the progress of ethnic groups?” The question aimed to investigate the barriers, challenges, and contributions of the media toward the progression of ethnic groups in their businesses and social lives. The question was addressed by the responses from questions 6, 7, 9, and 10 of the research protocol. Three themes emerged from the interviews: 1) the Impact of the Media on ethnic business and 2) Barriers to the promotion of ethnic groups.

Theme 3: Impact of the Media on ethnic business. Overall, nine participants responded to the sixth question in the interview protocol, which stated: “How have the media affected businesses in your ethnic community?” The focus of the question was to prompt the participants to express their views on the role of the media in their businesses. Most of the respondents confirmed that the media was beneficial in the awareness creation and promotion of their businesses. For example, Participant 5 stated:

The media has played a key role in helping businesses in my ethnic community to promote themselves and reach new audiences. It has also been helpful in raising awareness about the products and services that these businesses offer. In some cases, the media has even helped to drive customer traffic and sales for these businesses. Overall, the media has had a positive impact on businesses in my ethnic community.” 

Other respondents have a mixed reactions toward the role of the media in businesses. Negative impacts of the media that arose included perpetuating stereotypes and prejudice on the grounds of ethnicity. An example is Participant 1, who explained: 

The media has had both positive and negative effects on businesses in my ethnic community. On the one hand, the media has helped to raise awareness about these businesses and promote their products and services to a wider audience. On the other hand, the media has also perpetuated negative stereotypes about my community and put additional pressure on businesses to succeed. Despite these challenges, I feel that the benefits of media exposure far outweigh the negatives and that it has generally been positive for businesses in my ethnic community.

Theme 4: Barriers to the promotion of ethnic groups. There are several barriers to promoting ethnic minorities through the Media, as demonstrated by the responses to questions 7 and 9 in the research protocol. Question 7 stated: “What are some of the challenges that ethnic groups face in trying to promote themselves through the media?”. The question requested the partitionist explain the hindrances they experienced or observed trying to promote their content. The challenges that emerged included underrepresentation and misrepresentation in the mainstream media, discrimination, and exploitation for commercial interests. For example, Participant 3 stated: 

One of the main challenges that ethnic groups face in promoting themselves through the media is a lack of representation and diversity in the media landscape. Many ethnic groups are underrepresented or misrepresented in mainstream media, which makes it difficult for them to tell their own stories and get their voices heard. Additionally, many ethnic groups face discrimination and bias in the media, with stories about them often being sensationalized or misconstrued. As a result, it can be difficult for ethnic groups to get accurate and fair coverage in the media. Another challenge is that media outlets are often driven by commercial interests and may seek to exploit or misrepresent certain ethnic groups in order to boost ratings or sell products.

Other challenges include limited knowledge of navigating the media landscape and a lack of adequate funding and resources. For example, Participant 11 stated:

Other challenges that ethnic groups face in trying to promote themselves through the media include lack of access to resources, such as funding and platforms, limited understanding of how to navigate the media landscape, and negative stereotypes and perceptions. These challenges can make it difficult for ethnic groups to get their voices heard and their stories told in an accurate and positive way. Despite these challenges, many ethnic groups have found creative and effective ways to promote themselves through the media, using a variety of channels and platforms. Ultimately, the goal is to create a more diverse and inclusive media landscape that accurately represents the rich tapestry of our communities.

All the participants also responded to question 9 in the interview protocol, which stated: “How had media helped ethnic businesses and organizations to promote themselves?” The question prompted the participant to reflect on using the media to promote their social and business initiatives. All the participants agreed that the media was instrumental in their personal, social, and economic development. For example, Participant 14 stated: 

One way that the media has helped ethnic businesses and organizations to promote themselves is by giving them greater exposure and visibility. Through various channels and platforms, the media can help to reach a wider audience and promote the work that these businesses and organizations are doing. Additionally, the media can also help to elevate and amplify the voices of ethnic groups, which can be especially important for marginalized communities that may not have broad representation in other arenas. Overall, the media can play a powerful role in promoting ethnic businesses and organizations and helping them to achieve their goals.

Participant 16 added, 

The media can help ethnic businesses and organizations to promote themselves in a number of ways. For one, the media can help to raise awareness about the work that these businesses and organizations are doing, which can lead to increased support and customers. Additionally, the media can also provide a platform for businesses and organizations to share their stories and connect with potential customers and partners. Ultimately, the media can be a valuable tool for promoting ethnic businesses and organizations and helping them to achieve their goals.

Research Question 3

The third research question states: “. How many ethnic businesses have successfully grown with the help of the media?” The question aimed to investigate how the media has helped promote ethnic communities in terms of business and other aspects of life. The participants provided insights to address this research question by responding to questions 8 and 9 in the interview protocol. Two themes emerged from the interviews: 1) The role of the Media and 2) the evolution of media representation.

Theme 5: The role of the Media. In total, 18 participants responded to the tenth question in the interview protocol, which stated: “What role do you think the media can play in empowering ethnic groups to strengthen their position in society?” The question aimed to explore the role of the media as an empowerment tool for ethnic minorities. The main role mentioned was that the media empowers and provides a voice and a platform for ethnic minorities with their worldviews and stories. For example, Participant 3 stated, 

The media can play a key role in empowering ethnic groups to strengthen their position in society by giving them a voice and platform to share their stories and perspectives. Through media platforms like TV, radio, newspapers, and social media, ethnic groups can reach a wider audience and share their experiences in a way that can help to challenge negative stereotypes and misconceptions. Additionally, the media can also help to elevate the voices of marginalized communities and give them a platform to speak out against discrimination and injustice. Ultimately, the media can be a powerful tool for empowering ethnic groups to create change and achieve greater equality in society.

Participant 9 said, 

I think the media can play a vital role in empowering ethnic groups to strengthen their position in society. The media can help to raise awareness about the issues and challenges that these groups face, as well as provide a platform for them to speak out and advocate for change. Additionally, the media can also help to elevate the voices of minority groups and give them a platform to share their stories and experiences with a wider audience. Ultimately, the media can be a powerful tool for empowering ethnic groups to create positive change in society.

Theme 6: Evolution of media representation. All the participants responded to question 8 in the interview protocol, which stated: “Do you think the way members of your ethnic group are represented in the media has changed over time? If so, how do you think this has affected their position in society?” Most respondents felt a significant improvement in how the media represents ethnic minorities. For example, Participant 14 stated: 

I think the way members of my ethnic group are represented in the media has changed for the better over time. I think this is due to a greater understanding and acceptance of diversity in society, as well as a shift in the media landscape towards more inclusion and representation. As a result, ethnic groups have become more empowered and able to promote themselves and their stories in the media. In turn, this has helped them to gain a stronger position in society and break down negative stereotypes about their communities. At the same time, however, we still have a long way to go in terms of achieving accurate and fair representation of all ethnic groups in the media.

Similarly, Participant 16 said,

The way members of my ethnic group are represented in the media has definitely changed over time, and I think this has had a positive impact on their position in society. In the past, members of my community were often misrepresented or stereotyped in the media, which contributed to negative attitudes and discrimination. However, over time, there has been a shift towards more nuanced and accurate portrayals of ethnic groups in the media, as well as increased representation on various platforms. As a result, members of my community have been able to challenge negative stereotypes and misconceptions and gain a stronger foothold in society. There is still room for improvement, but I think the overall trend is positive.” 

Chapter 5: Discussions, Conclusions, and Recommendations

This study aimed to explore how people from diverse ethnic minority backgrounds perceive the role of the media in promoting their community. The specific focus was on Asians, Hispanics, and Blacks. The data analysis was achieved through qualitative interviews conducted with participants from various backgrounds and walks of life. 

Interpretation of Findings

The study’s findings revealed that most participants saw the media as a powerful tool for promoting ethnic minorities and giving them a voice in society. They also felt that there had been a significant shift towards more inclusion and representation in the media landscape, which had given ethnic groups a greater sense of empowerment. However, there was still some disagreement about the extent to which the media represented ethnic minorities fairly and accurately. 

In general, participants believed that it was important for the media to provide nuanced and positive portrayals of ethnic communities in order to break down negative stereotypes and misconceptions. The findings align with the concepts of the evolution of ethnicity theory, which suggests that ethnic groups are constantly evolving and undergoing change over time. The study highlights the role of the media in promoting these changes and the importance of accurate and fair representation in the media.

Mainstream media and social media. Mainstream media and social media have emerged as powerful tools for promoting ethnic minority groups and giving them a voice in society. This can be seen in the increased representation of minorities on various platforms and their increased visibility in mainstream media narratives. At the same time, social media has also become a powerful tool for promoting ethnic communities. It provides a platform for marginalized groups to share their stories and connect with a wider audience. Both platforms have contributed to the positive change in how ethnic groups are represented in the media and have given minority communities a greater sense of empowerment. 

Portrayals of ethnicity in the media. The media has a significant impact on how ethnic groups are portrayed. In the past, members of minority communities were often misrepresented or stereotyped in the media, leading to negative attitudes and discrimination. However, there has been a shift towards more nuanced and accurate portrayals of minorities in the media. This is due to a combination of factors, including increased representation and inclusion in mainstream media narratives and the emergence of social media platforms that have allowed marginalized groups to tell their own stories. Overall, it can be argued that the media has played an important role in promoting ethnic minorities and breaking down negative stereotypes and misconceptions.

Impact of the Media on ethnic business. The media has had a positive impact on ethnic businesses, as it has helped promote them and increase their visibility. In the past, members of minority communities were often excluded from mainstream narratives, making it difficult for them to promote their businesses. However, the increased representation of minorities in the media has led to more opportunities for ethnic businesses to be featured in the mainstream media. This, in turn, has helped to increase their customer base and expand their reach. In addition, social media platforms have also played an important role in supporting ethnic businesses by creating communities of consumers and providing a platform for businesses to connect with potential customers. Overall, it can be argued that the media has had a positive impact on ethnic businesses and has contributed to their growth and success.

Barriers to the promotion of ethnic groups in the media. While there are many positive portrayals of ethnic communities in the media, some barriers prevent these groups from getting the representation and visibility they deserve. These barriers include racism, discrimination, and lack of access to resources such as funding and platforms for sharing their stories. In addition, there are also systemic barriers that prevent ethnic groups from having a fair and equal voice in society, such as the lack of diversity among media decision-makers. While these barriers exist, it is important to note that there has been progressing in recent years. The media is slowly becoming more inclusive, equitable, and representative of diverse groups. Ultimately, it will be critical to continue working towards overcoming these barriers to promote ethnic minorities in the media.

The role of the Media. The media plays an important role in promoting ethnic groups, as it helps to increase their visibility and representation. In the past, members of minority communities were often excluded from mainstream narratives, making it difficult for them to promote their communities or businesses. However, with the emergence of social media platforms and increased representation in the mainstream media, ethnic groups have more opportunities to be featured in the media. This has helped break down negative stereotypes and misconceptions surrounding these communities and promote their cultures and traditions. Overall, it can be argued that the media has played an important role in promoting ethnic minorities, both at a local and global level.

Evolution of media representation of ethnic groups. The media representation of ethnic groups has undergone a significant evolution over time. In the past, minorities were often excluded from mainstream narratives and had limited opportunities to be represented and included in the media. However, with the rise of social media platforms and increased representation in mainstream media, there has been a shift towards more inclusive and equitable representations of ethnic groups. This has contributed to the growth of minority businesses and increased visibility and understanding of these communities. Ultimately, it can be argued that the media has played a positive role in promoting ethnic minorities and has helped to break down the barriers and stereotypes that have previously stood in the way of their success.

Conclusion

The media has played an important role in promoting ethnic minorities, both locally and globally. In the past, members of minority communities were often excluded from mainstream media narratives, which made it difficult for them to gain recognition and visibility. However, with the rise of social media platforms and increased representation in the mainstream media, ethnic groups are now able to promote themselves and connect with potential customers. While some barriers prevent these groups from achieving equity and representation in the media, there has been significant progress in recent years. Overall, it is clear that the media has played an important role in promoting ethnic minorities and will continue to do so as we move forward. There are challenges that need to be addressed to ensure that all ethnic groups are accurately represented in the media, but with continued effort, it is possible to overcome these barriers and promote diversity in the media landscape.

Limitations of the Study

While the role of the media in promoting ethnic minorities has been widely acknowledged, there are some limitations to this research that need to be considered. First, the data used in this study is primarily based on media representation of minority groups in the United States. It is possible that the findings of this study may not be generalizable to other countries or regions. Additionally, this study only examined the role of the media in promoting ethnic minorities. Other factors, such as government policies or community initiatives, may also promote these groups. Other factors that were not considered in this study include the socioeconomic status of minority groups and the level of discrimination that they face. Future research should consider these factors to provide a more comprehensive understanding of the role of the media in promoting ethnic minorities. Additionally, future research should also focus on other countries in order to determine if the findings of this study are generalizable to a global context.

Implications For Practice

The findings of this study have several implications for practice. First, media organizations need to be aware of their role in promoting ethnic minorities, both local and global. This includes diversifying the media landscape by including more diverse voices and narratives and adopting fair and inclusive policies. It is also important for minority groups to be proactive in promoting themselves through media channels, such as social media and traditional media outlets. In addition to these efforts, governments and other stakeholders need to invest in initiatives that support ethnic minorities and help them achieve equity, representation, and equality in the media landscape. Overall, it is clear that the role of the media in promoting ethnic minorities should be taken seriously and that there are a number of steps that can be taken to address the challenges that still exist.

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