Exactly what do people learn?
1) They learn how the group and its members are expected to act
How are gays supposed to act? What do they like? What do they dislike? Millions of viewers of the program "Will and Grace" thought they knew.
2) They learn the specific roles of the members of the group
Who are the people shown in rap videos? You have the "players", the "homies", the "bitches and hos". They all have specific roles, and if we watch enough videos, we learn what those roles are. Aren't all urban youth like this?
3) They learn the ranking within the group
Cheerleaders are a group often portrayed in the media. One of the girls is the leader. Others are followers, but still part of the clique. Non clique members are scorned by the cheerleaders. Cheerleades are vain, petty, more concerned with popularity than sincerity, and not too smart. From watching their portrayal in the media, I've learned how they act, what their roles are, what their ranking is. I've a wealth of knowledge about cheerleaders gained from the media. You mean cheerleaders aren't like that?
4) They learn how the group enforces behavior
In rap videos, you "bust a cap in his ass." In cheerleader films, you shun them at best or publicly humiliate them at worst.
"As boys pass from childhood to manhood, they develop their moral and ethical code.
They learn to handle emerging sexuality. They clarify conceptions of gender roles.
And they prepare for their future careers. While young people have traditionally been
guided in these paths by familiar sources - family, friends, religion - today's boys are
increasingly influenced by an ever-expanding and pervasive media."
Click here to read Boys to Men, Entertainment Media - Messages About Masculinity.
"Watch hip-hop videos today and you'll probably be blown away by the amount of skin on display. Breasts bursting out of bikini tops. Bottoms "covered" by thongs.
Maybe it's caused by the success of crunk, the hard-core hip-hop sound from the South that's dominating the charts. Or could it be the effect of hip-hop's enduring obsession with pimp and stripper culture? Whatever the reason, the objectification of black women - both visually and lyrically - is all the rage."
Click here to read "Blacks debating negative images of hip-hop."