Media Portrayal Of Religious Minorities Cultural Studies Essay

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In this modern society, media can be seen in every corner of the world. At the same time, its influence is also touching on everything and every people of the world; no matter it is the majority or minorities. Comparing with the majority, minorities are disadvantage group. What is the media's portrayal on religious minorities? Some people often stated that media just provide an overall negative portrayal of religious minorities. Is it true? This is also the main topic of this essay.

For illustrating this topic clearly, first part of this paper will state about the concept of religious minorities through explaining the words of religious and minorities. Following it, it is a part about the media's main features in the minorities' area. With so many different cases and comparative analysis ways, this part will found that in the minorities' area, the media's language, content, mainstream value and channel all are different from the media's transmitting in the majority area. Next part of this essay is the main topic of this paper, which will give the general portrayal of media on the religious minorities through quantitative approach and cases analysis. With all the above analysis in detail, the last part of this paper will tell about the conclusion of this topic. Through the different cases and quantitative approach, the author of this paper thought that although in the history of human being, media did not give enough attention on the religious minorities; while along with the time going, more and more people began concerning about this topic. What is more, media is also not just providing the negative portrayal to the religious minorities; it also brings the positive description to the religious minorities.

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As a small essay, this paper mainly uses the case approach and quantitative approach, these two main methods to analyze the relative topics. Besides with these two methods, comparative analysis is another method which has been used in the whole paper's editing and writing process.

Although this paper has been finished smoothly, there are still some limitations of this paper. Such as the studying areas are limited, just about the minorities in China and USA; the studying scope is not very comprehensive, just focus on religious theories transmitting and religious ceremonies' hosting; while the minorities' religious feeling as a hard topic to analyze with little data to reason or with little case to argue, this paper neglects it.

Even with these limitations, this paper still has some advantages to be read. For the following researchers, it will be a good reference in the cases and quantitative area to reason about the media's influence on the religious minorities.

2.0 Discussion

2.1 Concept of religious minorities

For discussing about the media's portrayal on religious minorities, the religious minorities should be explained first. It can be seen as the basement to understand the topic of this paper.

Religious is a part of culture phenomenon. It can be seen as a kind of society ideology. In most of the time, religion is seen as a kind of faith that people worship the God who exists supernaturally and has the supernatural power to control this world. Besides with this type of definition toward the religion, some other people believes that religion also can be seen as a type of ceremony to worship some human being, who might exist in the history of human being. Comparing with the first God Religion, this can be called as Human Religion and the human religion is more rational. In this paper, the religion is defined as the God religion (Michael J. Breen, 2001).

Toward the God religion, there are more than ten types of religions in the whole world. The religion minorities refer to the religion those minorities' trusting or believing.

No doubt it, minorities is a word comparing to the majorities. It is smaller than the majorities in the quantity. For example, in China, Han nationality is the majority, while Hui, Miao, Zang, Zhuang and so many other nationalities are the minorities toward Han (Yang Fuquan, 2003). In USA, White American is the majorities; Black, Asian and Hispanics are the minorities.

2.2 Definition of Media

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After stating about the religion and minorities, this part will tell some basic contents of the media. Media is a carrier or a tooling of the information's transmitting and spreading. It includes so many different types, such as newspaper, television, cinema, broadcasting, magazine, internet, books, advertisement etc. (Manoucheka Celeste, 2005).

No matter for human being's living or for the society's development, media does play great role and affect the outside heavily. Through different program or different articles, it changes human beings' living gradually. No doubt it, the mighty nationalities will play greater roles in the media area. This is decided by their positions in the media industry and their stronger cultures. Comparing with the mighty nationalities, minorities will sit in the poor situation. Their cultures cannot be described and reflected like the majorities in the media. Some people even said that media provides the negative portrayal on the minorities' culture. Whether is it true? Following part will reason it through different cases and data

2.3 Media's main features in the minorities' area

Media widely exits in this world, not only in the majorities' area but also in the minorities' area. For illustrating the topic of this paper, over here, this paper will give some information about the media's features in the minorities' area.

Considering about profit and audience's acceptance, media always put the majorities feeling in the first position. Most of time, media use the majorities' language as the transmitting tooling. So many times, they did not consider about the minorities' language. For example, in China, there are 16 channels. 14 channels of 16 are broadcasted with Chinese; 1 channel is broadcasted with English; another 1 is broadcasted with Spanish and French. There is even no channel broadcasted with the minorities' language, even there are 55 other minorities in China. There even is not any channel broadcasted with their language of CCTV (Li Qin, 2005). Even like this, in the minorities' living area, such as Tibet Autonomous State, the media are transmitted with both languages, one is the Tibetan language and the other one is Chinese.

Besides with the language, most of media put their main attention on the relative living, news or other cultures related with the majorities', rarely mentioning the minorities, just like the past researchers said that even minorities are mentioned, they are represented as "others". In the minorities' area, although some of minorities' living will be reported, most of times, the majorities living and culture is the main content. According to Bradley S. Greenberg & Jeffrey E. Brand's study in 1998, even in 6 cities of Southwest USA, Hispanic Americas takes up 20-65% population; there are only 10% local news related to the Hispanic Americas.

If the contents are rarely related with the minorities, let alone the minorities' living values or religions. Sometimes even the religions are described; they are portrayed in a negative way, such as the outdated, benighted, savage or uncivilized etc. What is more, because of media's widely reported about the majorities' living, values and other cultures' aspect, as one special civilization and culture in the world, the cultures of minorities are suffered widely and seriously assaulting. With this situation, so many minorities civilization died away. Some minorities' language even disappears in this diversity world.