Stereotyped identification: How identifying with fictional Latina characters increases acceptance and stereotyping

Report Author: 
Bryan McLaughlin, Nathian S. Rodriguez, Joshua A. Dunn & Jobi Martinez
Original Date of Publication: 
2018 Apr

Film and media are powerful tools of influence. Although the messages can positively influence greater acceptance of certain groups, they can also intentionally or unintentionally create and uphold stereotypes of immigrants. A study by Mclaughlin, Rodriguez, Dunn, & Martinez (2018) demonstrates how television portrayals of Latina women allow viewers to cognitively and emotionally identify with the characters. This resonating identification in media increases viewers' empathy towards and acceptance of actual Latina women and immigrants on a large scale. However, the researchers also found that increased acceptance begot increased stereotypical perceptions of Latina women. This article supports the use of film and media featuring immigrants to create shared values and bridge social acceptance towards immigrant groups. However, it also cautions social workers and organizations to be thoughtful and intentional about the message and image projected about immigrants. (Immigrant Integration Lab)

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McLaughlin, B., Rodriguez, N. S., Dunn, J. A., & Martinez, J. (2018). Stereotyped Identification: How Identifying with Fictional Latina Characters Increases Acceptance and Stereotyping. Mass Communication and Society, 1–21.

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