In fact, there is no doubt that media stereotypes and representations have wide-ranging influence, but how should we respond to these when they impact our everyday interactions as adults?
Media Smarts, Canada's Centre for Digital and Media Literacy, reports that stereotypes in video games, films, and other avenues of popular culture influence the real-life treatment of protected groups across North America, including:
- First Nations, Aboriginal, and Indigenous people,
- persons with disabilities, and
- people of varying sexual orientation and gender identification.
Moreover, in her oft-cited book English With an Accent, sociolinguist Rosina Lippi-Green, among others, has shown how media stereotypes--even those in Disney films--reflective of ideologies of language contribute to depictions of racial, ethnic, and gender groups in particular ways. These are depictions that have long been a tool of language discrimination in the U.S., as linguists John McWhorter, John Rickford, and others have explained, in separate analyses of courtroom proceedings in the wake of the 2012 Trayvon Martin shooting.
So, if media stereotypes and language ideologies impact young children, popular culture, and the everyday conduct of courtrooms, how do they impact contexts of education abroad? How might it be empowering to speak truth to disarm stereotypes?