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    The Issue of Stereotypes and Rebuttal in Films

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    Film is one of the significant ways we experience culture. We learn how society is supposed to work, and how it actually works via stories laid out on the silver screen. The ideas and concepted presented through plot and dialogue are the “masterpieces” created by the filmmaker. Stereotypes and misrepresentations have riddled film since the beginning, and unfortunately continue to do so.

    In the history of film, these ideas and representations have not always been accurate reflections of reality, especially in regards to minorities. African and Native American filmmakers have worked to curb this issue and provide an accurate representation of our society and culturethrough the stories and images they present in film. Stereotypes and Their Consequences

    What are Stereotypes?

    Stereotypes are generalized statements or ideas about a group of people. They may be in regard to race, gender, religion, orientation, or several other concepts. Stereotypes can refer to behavior or appearances or other factors. For example, it is a common stereotype that Asian people are bad drivers. Because stereotypes are generalizations about a whole group, they are often not accurately representative. This is due to the fact that people are diverse, even within a general group such as within a specific race.

    How Stereotypes Occur in Film

    The way a character speaks, dresses, behaves are all influenced by the desire of the filmmaker. Stereotypes are integrated into film, both purposefully and inadvertently, because the filmmaker’s vision of the character may be a generalized representation based loosely on certain aspects of culture. For example, a movie about basketball may feature several African American characters as athletics are considered a significant part of Black Because film (as well as all other media) presents ideas as common concepts

    regarding society, the effect is that representations of characters translate to being reality. Unfortunately, these ideas are frequently misrepresented as they are derived from the mind of the filmmaker. When a filmmaker envisions a character, they may inject certain traits into that character that align with their personal ideas about how that specific character should look or act. When these representations are presented to the general public via the film, they are accepted as common truths. This perpetuates stereotypes.

    Stereotypes and Native and African Americans

    Native and African American representations in film have historically been inaccurate and riddled with stereotypes. These stereotypes have contributed to generalized negative ideas about both cultures. Some common stereotypes regarding Native Americans are that they are distrusting of outsiders and that they are alcoholics. Common stereotypes regarding African American are that they are criminals, unintelligent, and possess a litany of other negative qualities.

    While these concepts are not representative of these races as a whole, they are frequently the representations presented in film with modern storylines. In mainstream Hollywood films currently, it is not uncommon for African American characters, designed to be the hero, to be nefarious and unethical.

    For example, one of the main characters of Fist Fight played by Ice Cube engages in extremely unethical behavior and excessive aggression towards everyone around him, echoing the “black Rambo” stereotype (Levy et al. & Keen, 2017). Even the representations of Native Americans in modern films such as the Twilight Saga shows Native Americans as being closed off from mainstream society and overly distrusting of outsiders. These present-day representations show the audience that “this is how this group behaves”.

    This essay was written by a fellow student. You may use it as a guide or sample for writing your own paper, but remember to cite it correctly. Don’t submit it as your own as it will be considered plagiarism.

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    The Issue of Stereotypes and Rebuttal in Films. (2022, Dec 12). Retrieved from https://artscolumbia.org/the-issue-of-stereotypes-and-rebuttal-in-films/

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