The Role of the Media in Shaping the Perceptions of Minority Groups

Kyra Cooke Butler University
Faculty Sponsor(s): Gregory Shufeldt Butler University
For this year’s Undergraduate Research Conference, I examine the role of the media in shaping perceptions of minority groups, as I believe that the media exists as a leading variable in the formation of social realities. Previous work points to the media’s reliance on stereotypes and negative depictions of racial minority groups. Based on my reading of the scholarly literature, I hypothesize that when audiences are regularly exposed to stereotypical depictions of minority racial groups in the media, they will have an increased negative racial attitudes or bias. In order to test my theory, I will make use of an online survey which includes questions on media use and attitudes toward racial minorities. The concept of racial attitudes for the purposes of this project can be defined as one’s mentality, emotions and actions towards a certain race (s). The idea of negative racial attitudes will refer to the rejection or alienation of people of color by the majority and their acceptance of the idea that minorities are inferior beings in societies social and racial hierarchy, according to the interpretations derived from the media. In the closing of my study, I hope to have gathered statistically significant results that support my argument and perhaps expose some of the prejudicial racism ingrained within our media sources.


Political Science
Oral Presentation

When & Where

09:30 AM
Jordan Hall 172