A textbook to which Dr. Srividya Ramasubramanian and two members of her team contributed won the 2021 Broadcast Education Association Textbook of the Year Award.
You can purchase the textbook in physical or e-form through the Peter Lang Publishing site here.
The textbook is called “Media Stereotypes: From Ageism to Xenophobia.” The book tackles how the media puts 'pictures in our heads' and synthesizes what we know from stereotyping research. The textbook is marketed towards scholars and activists who aspire to advance media stereotyping research in the future.
Dr. Srivi’s chapter, available to read here, is about positive stereotypes, counter-stereotypes and prejudice reduction. After the negative stereotypes mentioned in the preceding chapters of this book, a look at "positive" stereotypes seems important to encompass the full picture of media stereotyping.
In this chapter, the three contributors argue for increased media literacy and discussions about distinctions between stereotypes and demographics. Dr. Srivi's research team underscores that while stereotypes can be seen as "positive," the stereotypes can still produce negative repercussions for various people groups.
As we navigate a global COVID-19 pandemic, discrimination and stigma continue to be important to examine and challenge. Yet, the chapter also explores new ways of coalition-building, solidarity and positive intergroup relations during crises.
Dr. Srivi, Emily Riewestahl and Asha Winfield worked together to provide a chapter of research for the book. Riewestahl is a doctoral student who works as a graduate student teaching assistant and research assistant in the Communication department at Texas A&M. Riewestahl’s work focuses on media, culture and identity. Another contributor at Texas A&M, Winfield is an instructor, Ph.D. student and recipient of The Buck Weirus Award, which honors highly involved Texas A&M students who enhance the Aggie Spirit. Winfield will graduate with her Ph.D. in communication and media studies in August 2021 and move to Louisiana State University for her new job as a tenure-track assistant professor.
“This chapter is meaningful to me because it covers an often overlooked form of stereotyping- positive stereotypes,” said Riewestahl. “Positive stereotypes are pervasive because they are often written off as compliments, despite the fact that they can be just as damaging as negative ones.”
Winfield said she appreciates the textbook’s collaborative nature toward a common goal of education about stereotypes related to identity.
“It means so much to be a part of a now award-winning textbook and to know that my knowledge can be shared more broadly with not only our student populations, but our family and friends who may not always have access to our professional text yet our work (at times) directly impacts their well-being and livelihood,” Winfield said. “I hope to continue these efforts toward more public scholarship like book chapters, visual arts and documentaries to reach our communities and to make sure they are well represented in our curriculum."
The textbook was edited by Dr. Andrew Billings, who is the director of the University of Alabama sports communication program and Ronald Reagan Chair of Broadcasting. Also at the University of Alabama is the textbook's other editor, Dr. Scott Parrott, who is an associate professor of journalism and creative media.
“This [award] is in large part due to the excellent chapter contributions each of you made, so thanks again for your terrific work,” Dr. Billings said.
The award-giving organization, the Broadcast Education Association (BEA), is an academic association with a mission to prepare students interested in telecommunications. BEA focuses on research for educating tomorrow’s media.
Readers can purchase the textbook here.
Anyone interested in reading a copy of the chapter may write an email request to Dr. Srivi at email@example.com.