Stereotypes Of African Americans In Advertising

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Advertising is a billion dollar industry in the United States of America and companies put a great deal of effort into creating their ads. It is therefore logical to assume that the finished advertisement portrays exactly what the advertiser intends to portray. This indicates that the stereotypes that portray various ethnic and minority groups are not accidental. Advertisers not only use spoken and written language to portray various stereotypical roles, but they also use semiotics to communicate and convey meaning within their advertisements. They manipulate images and settings to evoke specific interpretations from consumers that causes them to connect meaning to their products and attach feelings and sentiment to their brands.
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Annotated Bibliography
Curry, G. E. (2007). African-American Stereotypes in Advertising and its Effects on Society. Savannah State University. This paper focuses on the views of African Americans towards stereotypical portrayals of people of color in advertisements and the possible adverse effects that can be created by this stereotyping in African American communities. The paper states that low status roles and other negative portrayals of African Americans in advertising is damaging because it shapes the perceptions of others and the self-perceptions of young African Americans. Further, the author argues that positive stereotypes of African Americans in media are just as damaging as the negative stereotypes. The paper suggests that African Americans need to be portrayed in advertisements in successful roles such as managers, bank tellers, and CEOs as opposed to just being successful in sports or music. The author states that these stereotypes may have negative influences on young people. Italian American Stereotypes in U.S. Advertising. (2003). Retrieved
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All of the articles discuss in detail how the stereotypes create inaccurate perceptions from members outside of their groups. For African Americans and Native Americans, these stereotypes originated in eras where White Americans typically had dominate social status. Debra Merskin (Merskin, 2001) used examples of African American stereotyping to help support her explanations of stereotyping of Native Americans. Although the stereotypes themselves are completely different, they both reflect long held beliefs from the past that are perpetuated in present day advertisements and reinforce the portrayal of White Americans as being of a higher social status. Additionally, The Order Sons of Italy (Italian American Stereotypes in U.S. Advertising, 2003) cite a recent Zogby poll that concludes 78% of American teenagers relate Italian Americans to crime and blue-collar work. They also cite a Princeton-based poll that indicates 74% of adult Americans believe that the majority of Italian Americans are involved in organized crime. The authors assert that these perceptions are the result of the portrayal of Italian Americans in movies and advertisements and provide additional facts to prove that these stereotypical portrayals are not representational of reality. Further, there is a commonality between all the groups as to
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