Bane or a Device? Use of Stereotypic Content as a Method to Increase the Power of Mediated Communication
Stereotypic content in the media has been regarded as a bane in a large variety of studies in communication, and its troublesome effects on the audience have been researched extensively. However, the utility of its deployment has not been given a full explanation. Serving as a key concept throughout, “the culture peg,” a conceptual approximation of the national stereotype, was investigated empirically and theoretically to identify how stereotypes are enacted in major international newspapers. This study then investigated why they are so persistently used by tapping into cultural studies and related fields as theoretical resources. It finds through conceptual and textual analyses that the stereotype functions like culture does generally, according to cultural theorists. Stereotypes in the media attract the audience because they likely resonate through the discursive framework commonly shared by journalists and the audiences, both of whom possess similar cultural frames.