African american women relationships

Added: Sebastian Levy - Date: 04.12.2021 06:37 - Views: 37164 - Clicks: 1462

Employing a content analysis, interpersonal expressions were measured between characters in this television show that reinforce positive or negative relationship behavior. The media has the power to create depictions of people and situations that are interpretations of the real-world. Consequently, some groups are given unfair representations.

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In particular, the quality of African American imagery has not improved since their introduction to television Punynanunt-Carter, More importantly, these images could have repercussions for how blacks view themselves. In African american women relationships study, three questions will be evaluated: How much television do African-Americans consume relative to other racial groups; what types of images are being shown of African Americans on television; and can these images have an effect on African American African american women relationships relationships? Television can serve as a communicator between people and the real world.

In fact, most people believe that the media does not have an effect on them at all Dill, In other words, disregarding how powerful the media is can be dangerous within itself. More importantly, it is those who continue to consume large doses of media who are more susceptible to its influence. There are several theories that say that television consumption plays a key role in shaping how people see the world.

One of those theories is Cultivation Theory. In this theory, Gerbner hypothesizes two outcomes for consumption of television content. First, he asserts that individuals who spend more time watching television are more likely to see the world in terms of how television portrays it. In effect, those individuals will begin to respond to their environment based on construction of social reality Defleur, p.

In other words, viewers may blur the line which separates media content and life itself. Gerbner believed this could have serious implications about the direction in which society was headed. According to Nielson ratingsAfrican Americans consume more amounts of television than any other group; in fact, their consumption is forty percent more than the rest of the population. Furthermore, content selection can also play a role in understanding how media impacts its viewers. Research shows that African Americans have a preference for programming that features Black characters and casts Mastro,p.

Poindexter and Stroman found that Black audiences reported greater belief in television when they identified with the characters as cited in Mastro,p. In addition, they watch premium cable channel programming, drama, reality television programs and sporting events Neilson ratings, Therefore, this information warrants an examination of how television frames the identity of African-Americans.

Although the media can serve the purpose of entertaining, it carries messages in African american women relationships that should not be ignored. It is through media content that individuals are given a narrow lens to understand culture. Using this lens as a guide, viewers may begin to perceive others and themselves as characterized by the larger world. That is, whatever images are present in the media may become sources of identity for its African American viewers.

Presently, pop culture presents young African American men with various images of themselves. These images are enacted through individuals who reinforce the status quo. When discussing who these people are, the conversation usually centers around actors, athletes and musicians. Holding great influence in the Black community, their presence on television and other various forms of media has the ability to cultivate and ingrain codes of masculinity into youth that are misguided.

In African american women relationships, sports figures and musicians are symbols of manliness in the African American community. However, some critics think that their leadership positions within the community have drastically changed over time. Once viewed as humble heroes who challenged the dominant culture, some of these individuals have succumbed to the pressures of materialism and stardom by flaunting their accomplishments around on television.

Lewis argues that the men who fulfill these roles are acting out this aggressive bravado to compensate for their African american women relationships impotency. He writes:. Therefore, the continual perpetuation of these images can teach behavior that is counterproductive.

Furthermore, constant exposure to these images could place a cap on self-perception. Afraid to veer from the social formula, Black males may feel pressured by society to fulfill their media-scripted roles. Young African-American men may be engaging in what Robert K. Merton coined as the self-fulfilling prophecy. In other words, Black males may begin to behave in accordance with expectations that society has for them. Some historical stereotypes of Black females that still exist but have taken on a modern form are the Matriarch, the Jezebel, and the Sapphire.

All three portray African American women in an unflattering way. Matriarchs, also known as Mammies, are usually very unattractive caregivers with a hostile attitude Larson, The character Madea, who is played by Tyler Perry, is the overt manifestation of this stereotype. She is the aggressive, pistol wielding grandmother who maintains her home through fear and intimidation Fontaine,p. However, the Matriarch is also representative of single mothers; she is very protective of her children and distrustful of anyone who tries to infiltrate her family circle. Due to her assertiveness and unwillingness to bend to Black masculinity, she is seen as an undesirable companion.

Another example is the Jezebel. The Jezebel is a female who uses her body to seduce men and get what she wants. In popular culture, she would be recognized as a video vixen, someone who dances in music videos and flaunts her body as a sex object as a means of gaining financial favors Valentino, The implication behind this stereotype is that Black women are hyper-sexual in nature and use their sexuality as means of manipulating their male counterparts.

It also carries the message that Black women are scavengers who will use their bodies as a means of gaining success and dominating Black men. Such images may subject the sexuality of African American women to masculine approval and satisfaction. Lastly, there is the Sapphire. She is similar to the matriarch in that she is also aggressive, especially towards men.

She is also portrayed as having many children and being lazy because she relies on free services to take care of her Valentino, Contrary to the above depictions, some images of Black women diverge from the traditional stereotypes.

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Take for example the Superwoman stereotype. However, the difference is that the Superwoman is not angry as much as she is defensive. Moreover, she represents Black women who struggle to find mate compatibility. Although negative stereotypes of African Americans are prevalent in the media, there are positive images as well.

However, some argued that the show was not realistic of a typical African American couple during that time. Innis and Feagin conducted an experiment to test middle-class African Americans about their attitude toward the Cosby Show as cited in Chikowore,p. From this statement, one can get an understanding of the ambiguous feelings African-Americans have towards picture-perfect relationships. On one hand, the Cosby show salvaged the possibility of a healthy symbiosis between Black men, women and their families.

In a focus group study, participants were asked to give their opinion on how the media covered the picturesque relationship and what they thought about it. Furthermore, the feelings of suspicion towards working relationships, and Black media images in general, could have real-life repercussion on the formation Black heterosexual relationships. Following this line of reasoning, the next question to ask is rather belief in negative stereotypes can have an impact on how black men and women interact on an interpersonal level.

In a study conducted by Gilumshe sought to find out what views African American men African american women relationships about stereotypes of women as cited in Scott,p. Specifically, she wanted to find out rather endorsing the Jezebel or Matriarch stereotypes induced domestic violence Gilum, The yielded that seventy-one percent of men endorsed the Matriarch stereotype and half endorsed the Jezebel stereotypes, which positively correlates with domestic violence Scott,pg.

Gilum believes that such images alter the dynamics of the black relationships in order to fit the societal views of how women are perceived. In other words, African American men use these stereotypes African american women relationships a green light to sexually exploit black women. In a focus group put together by Stephens and Fewthey used stereotypes of women found in Hip-Hop to measure the influence that endorsing these images had on adolescent sexual behavior.

They interviewed fifteen teenage males and females about their views certain stereotypes. They found that the stereotypes did have an influence on attitudes towards sexual behavior and beliefs in the African American community.

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Particularly, they noticed that the male participants placed a great deal of emphasis on female attractiveness; if the girl did not have a certain hair texture or body structure, then she would not be considered a suitable mate. In other words, they admitted that they would adopt some of the qualities from the images they saw to make themselves more appealing. Kelly and Floyd explored negative stereotypes among mature black couples.

Specifically, they looked at how Afrocentric and negative stereotypes influenced African American relationships Chikowore,p. The data above indicates that some connection exists between how African Americans perceive what they see on television and their behavior in real-life relationships. To what degree that relationship exists is a question that has no linear answer. However, before sticking to any conclusion, I first African american women relationships to understand what viewers were watching before analyzing the correlation any further. In the next section, I discuss how I did this.

In order to get a better picture of how heterosexual African Americans in relationships are portrayed on television, I analyzed a BET sitcom series called The Game. This show was chosen for two reasons. First, the show is centered around three relationships —Melanie and Derwin, who are the primary couple; Jason and Kelly, who are in a interracial marriage; and Tosha and Malik, who are mother and son.

For the purpose of this study, I focused on Melanie and Derwin since they are the primary couple and the series focuses on their lives. My second reason for choosing this show is because it is the most popular show on BET, which was largely created for a black audience.

Based on a collection of television reviews, viewers of the show say it represents a more positive portrayal of professional African American characters who have different relationship dynamics, and more importantly, have greater African american women relationships in their personalities.

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However, some viewers stated their concerns about the show falling back on cheap tricks and stereotypes. Despite the mix reviews, the show still managed to be successful. While viewing the show, I looked for positive and negative relationship characteristics that the primary couple expressed toward each other. There were originally twelve, but only eight were used. I did this because some of the definitions overlapped while others were difficult to measure. On the other hand, the negative expressions were categorized as just the opposite.

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These characteristics are based on a chart created by Dr. John Cloud to asses healthy romantic relationships. I did this for six episodes. I will discuss what I found in my. In the six episodes that were watched, there were more positive than negative expressions; overall, the ratio was African american women relationships Intimacy, as defined by Dr. However, on several occasions the primary male character emotionally pressured the female character in several conversations they had. Thus, I marked it as being negative.

As for the negative expression in general, there was a different outcome. After analyzing the data, I found that there were more positive than negative expressions of romantic behavior in the show. Surprisingly, the characters relationship was portrayed as being realistic. Meaning they did have problems, but they worked through them. Looking at it another way, the show took a more balanced approach of accentuating both good and bad relationship behavior.

African american women relationships

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