Sample College Application Essay on Media Stereotypes
Instructions:I'm a senior and am applying to a College. I need an application essay from 300 to 400 words long.
The topic is: Choose an issue of importance to you - the issue could be personal, school related, local, political, or international and scope - and write an essay in which you explain the significance of that issue to your self, your family, your community, or your generation. I was thinking something political, maybe referring to the economy/stock market.
Different media have projected various issues about our lives in various ways. It is no doubt that the opinion and the views of the public can easily be swayed (or controlled) by manipulating the content on the various media artifacts. People's opinions can be shaped by what their views are on a certain issue. Since there are many different kinds of media in the world and since different people prefer different media as their source of information, the choice of media and the way the issue of information security is presented in each media is very important in making decisions as well as shaping people's ideas and attitudes. For example, if the media constantly keeps condemning the people in Iraq and we keep seeing the same images, views, and ideas, it is very likely that we will start accepting and believing these ideas too, even though they might not be true. Similarly, media can work to create many stereotypes (e.g. African Americans being good at sports, or women being bad drivers) and these become ingrained in our minds because we are seeing them everywhere. Thus, the media causes people to form certain ideas, notions, attitudes, and stereotypes towards the people and events around them by presenting what its controllers want us to see and what might not necessarily be the truth.
One of the things that the media causes us to do is to formulate stereotypes for people around us who are from various different social and cultural backgrounds. Media artifacts such as radio, television, film, the Internet and other products of media culture provide materials out of which we form our very identities. These have created our sense of what our selves mean to ourselves; how we feel about being a male or a female; which class, ethnicity and race, of nationality we belong to, and of our sexuality; and of "us" and "them." Perhaps the most important misconception that one can derive from the media is that of the other cultures, and thus makes us form some misinterpreted and false assumptions about people who are from a different culture. It is by observing the media that we learn how to behave, and how to think, what to feel, believe and fear of people from other cultures.
We learn how to react to members of different social groups by learning from the media and its artifacts. For example, the media has popularized on many occasions that African Americans are always good at sports. This is why, whenever we see people playing, say, basketball, we automatically assume that the black athlete would be better than the white one. Similarly, media has portrayed the Mexicans to be a lazy race in many different television shows, movies, cartoons, and comics. This has affected our perception of the Mexicans and we tend to think that all Mexicans are in fact lazy. Thus, it becomes very important how a certain group of people is portrayed by the media. This becomes their identity in the eyes of the society.
We know that various media and its artifacts can have various effects on us, our lives, and our society. We must understand that much of what we see on television, hear on the radio, or see in the print (e.g. advertisements) are there in order for us to change our minds about certain views or opinions. What is this but social control? In the current era of globalization, we must all be aware of the different factor that go into the production of media artifacts and their implications on the different cultures and sections of the society. The media culture of today does tend to support many capitalist values, by undermining the minority interests, and shows a strong effort that exists between different races, classes, gender, and social groups. We must fully understand and comprehend the nature and effects of the production techniques of the media artifacts and its effects on the certain group of people. We must look deeper into the lines and understand the media culture as to its working, and how it works to change our attitudes, preferences, and views, leading to a social control at the hand of the media.
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