chapter  2
15 Pages

Ethnic stereotypes in the media

More than sixty years ago, Lippmann, in his book Public Opinion (1922), introduced the concept of stereotypes into the field of social science to convey his concern with the ʻquasi-environment ʼman inserts between himself and his environment. Man constructs a ʻpicture inside his head ʼto deal with a world too complex for direct comprehension, a picture that is partially culturally determined in that ʻwe pick out what our culture has already defined for us, and we tend to perceive that which we have picked out in the form stereotyped for us by our culture ʼ(Lippmann 1922: 81). To Lippmann, the undesirability of stereotypes lies in their content, in the disjuncture between stereotypes and facts and in stereotypes ʼ rigidity and resistance to change.