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Defining the other and its representation in media and stereotyping

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Paula G.
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  1. Introduction
  2. About communication
  3. The other group
  4. Media and stereotyping
  5. Defining the other and its representation in media and stereotyping- analysis
  6. Conclusion

The Other. The two words alone sound like some sort of 1980s cult classic horror-thriller film. However, let us not get too caught up with it, or go off on a wild tangent for that matter. The Other is a somewhat vague/under-explained theory laced throughout the last chapter of John Durham Peters' Speaking Into Air. ?In what follows, I sketch some of the extremities of communication theory in the mid- to late twentieth century: machines, animals, and extraterrestrials? (Peters, 230). I wanted to originally write this final paper analyzing cartoon characters that resembled machines, animals and extraterrestrials and relate them to Peters' theory defining The Other. However, after trying to analyze these characters, I found them hard to relate to relate to this theory of The Other because these characters are fictional and do not ?exist? in our world.

The reality of these cartoon characters, I felt, would be more confusing to try to relate to the theory presented in Speaking Into Air because the reality of cartoons have a different makeup than that of real life. I then decided to tweak the focus of my paper: I would still focus on the theory of The Other as well as its representation. However, I would be now studying The Other as seen in the media as well as in relation to stereotyping?tying each and making connections to Peters' theory of The Other.

[...] It is the process of differentiating the self from other people by relying on a dualism that defines the self as superior and others as inferior. That means marginalization or ?Othering' is a way of defining and securing one's own positive identity through the stigmatization of an ?other'? (Bin Asad). ?Othering? is socially constructed and is a continued practice because it is so often found in media. The human race is built upon constant stereotyping and ostracizing and the media teaches us to seek out these stereotypes, focus on these differences and continue to those who do not fit in. [...]


[...] "Machines, Animals, and Aliens: Horizons of Incommunicability." Speaking Into The Air: A History of The Idea of Communication. Chicago: University of Chicago 227-61. Print. [...]


[...] This could be due to lack of representation in the media. Now, when I mean representation in the media, I am not talking about how many groups are represented in television shows, movies or Hollywood. I want to see how representation in television and news media affects stereotyping and if it perpetuates my interpretation of the theory. I want to focus on representation in the actual media workplace, and not on the as a set of characters in a television show. [...]

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