Facing Difference: Race, Gender and Mass Media

Article excerpt

Biagi, Shirley and Marilyn KernFoxworth(1997). Facing Difference: Race, Gender and Mass Media. California: Pine Forge Press. 285 pp. Paperback.

From African-Americans, Latinos, Asians, and Native Americans in the media to sex on the soaps and sexual harassment, it's all here. At last a mass media reader that addresses the issues of diversity. Shirley Biagi and Marilyn KernFoxworth have created a text that can be used in mass media, journalism, women's studies, multi cultural studies, and communication courses to create meaningful dialogue of these important issues.

The authors have compiled an excellent assortment of readings and organized them into six sections. Each section includes from six to 10 articles from an impressive list of contributors to give students a clear perspective on the issues.

Section one, titled "Facing Ourselves," looks at how the media reflect who we are: issues from sexuality to beauty. An article by The National Council of La Raza explains how Latino images have increased in recent years with fewer stereotypes, while an article by Jessica Hagendorn, titled "Asian Women in Film: No Luck No Joy," suggests most depictions of Asian women are brutalized or eroticized.

Section two, titled "Facing the Language," examines the media's use of language with regard to women and minorities and includes an article on freedom of expression in cyberspace by Jeffrey Rosen. Subtitled "Words as Weapons," this section suggests the media reinforce negative stereotypes through language use, including pornography.

Section three, titled "Facing the News," looks at the content of news coverage and stereotyping in journalism. …