Representations of Social Groups in Media

Today, most stereotypical ideas are spread through various forms of mass media, including books, films, TV shows, newspapers, websites, emails, flyers, and bumper stickers. Thus, the consumable objects of mass media constitute an "information highway" for disseminating social preconceptions. Millions, perhaps even billions, of people across space and time share these stereotypical depictions through transactions such as buying, selling, trading, checking out, and interacting with them.

What are Representations of Social Groups in Media?

Some parts of society get a certain image from the media, which can strengthen prejudices. Let us look at how the media presents a certain group. A good example of media representation is the press's treatment of the British royal family. Because the King and his family are frequently included in media coverage of national events like sports and festivities, they build a sense of "national identity" for the country.

Liberalism in Feminism: A Definition

Liberal feminists contend that the media is too far behind the times to present a realistic picture of society and the economy. However, they agree that media representations of women have vastly improved over the previous three decades. There has been a slowdown in the number of professional women journalists, according to liberal feminists. Most media executives, newspaper editors, top journalists, producers, TV/film directors, and TV/film heads of programming are also men.

Communist and Socialist Feminism

Feminists who identify with the Marxist and socialist traditions hold that economic inequality underlies sexist media representations of men and women. They are the direct product of the profit motive of media organizations in advanced capitalist societies. Since male-dominated media needs to appeal to the widest possible audience, they emphasize gender stereotypes in comedy, game shows, and soap operas. Because feminist-approved portrayals of women (like smart, powerful professionals) do not fit cleanly into this media genre, they are frequently ignored, dismissed, or treated harshly. There has been an increase in media attention paid to women's bodies as subjects of research, which can be partially attributed to the growth of the beauty and diet industries. The diet industry in the United States generates $100 billion in revenue each year. Marxists point out that the marketing strategies of these industries prey on women's fears so that they may sell more things connected to the body.

Majority Women's Movement

Radical feminists argue that male-dominated media purposefully perpetuate traditional hegemonic ideas of femininity to keep women enslaved and confined to a small number of roles. Consequently, women internalize patriarchal values and refrain from taking opportunities, and men's hegemony remains largely uncontested. To radical feminists, this is when media products symbolically relegate women to subservient positions as sex objects or mother homemakers, even if women progress toward social, political, and professional equality.


The media shapes people's identities, claiming that today's media channels threaten traditional gender norms and are a key factor in societal change. There has been a growing critique of conventionally masculine characteristics like toughness and emotional reserve in media that targets men. The media now presents various gendered images and concepts, giving people more leeway when constructing their gender identities.

Illustrations of the Monarchy

Modern media have treated the Queen and her family like the stars of an ongoing soap opera, with more glitz and mystery surrounding them than any other media celebrity. The media's portrayal of the Queen as the ultimate symbol of the nation is another way she is used to fostering a stronger sense of national pride. The media covers royal weddings and funerals as major national news events.

Riches and the upper class in art

The Neo-Marxists argue that media depictions of social class glorify hierarchy and wealth. The monarchy, the upper class, and the very wealthy who benefit from these processes are often portrayed favorably in the media as truly deserving of their privileged positions. In the British media, the upper classes are rarely portrayed critically, and issues like income inequality and the disproportionate number of graduates from elite public schools are not given the attention they need.

The Middle Class

Four general sociological points may be made regarding how the media portrays the middle class. Television comedies and dramas feature a disproportionate number of middle-class characters. The Daily Mail is just one example of the segment of the British newspaper market that caters to the tastes and interests of the middle class. Articles published in publications like the Daily Mail reveal that journalists considered middle-class Britons proud of their national identity and worried about society's loss of moral values. The Euro, refugees, and terrorists are all examples of "foreign influences" that are thought to make their audience feel unsafe. That is why publications like the Daily Mail regularly provoke moral panics about things like "video nasties," "pedophilia," and "asylum seekers" to defend middle-class interests. Most of the media's imaginative types come from middle-class backgrounds. The middle class is overrepresented in positions of authority in the media, with the "expert" typically coming from that social group.

The Imagery of the Working Class

According to Newman, the media's focus on the working class is almost always negative, portraying them as problem groups like welfare cheats, drug addicts, and criminals. When discussing working-class groups, the media frequently sparks moral panics, often focusing on youth subcultures like mods and skinheads. Similarly, when discussing social problems like poverty, unemployment, or single-parent families, the media frequently suggests that personal inadequacy is the main cause of these problems rather than government policies or poor business practices. The Glasgow University Media Group has studied media coverage of industrial relations and found that it often portrays "unreasonable" workers as the ones causing problems for "reasonable" bosses


The media's depiction of the potential of social networks, as seen in the two newspapers reviewed, disproportionately emphasizes these tools' risks and negative applications. In order to make the most of the limited time available, television shows must immediately establish the identities of their cast members. Television writers frequently resort to using stock characters to achieve this goal. Most stereotypes adhere to a consistent, understandable pattern of appearance and conduct. As a result, assumptions are made about the individuals or communities being stereotyped. That evaluation can be good or negative.