Posted by: chrisforde915 | April 12, 2015

Representation Matters

Chapter 11 – Qualitative Quality Exercise 11.1

This week’s required reading provided a much needed introduction to brainstorming research topics for my final project. Although I have not yet solidified what my topic will be, I have identified areas of interest that spark my curiosity. For the sake of this post I will gauge the worth and rigor of the following research question: How are young girls influenced by positive imagery of black characters in film and television. With the evolution of the film and television industry, there has been improvements made in regards to diversity and representation, providing a multicultural perspective that was once missing.

In my opinion, this research study is extremely important and is indeed a worthy topic to shed light on. In a recent study released in 2013 by USC’s Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism, which examined 500 top grossing films (roughly 20,000 characters) released in the United States over a five year span (2007-2012), declared diversity is sorely disproportionate. It was discovered that across 100 top-grossing films of 2012, only 10.8% of speaking characters are black, 4.2% are Hispanic, 5% are Asian and 3.6% are from other ethnicities.

At one point in time or another we’ve all heard the saying, “if you can imagine it, you can achieve it; if you can dream it, you can become it.” It is a breath of fresh air for many girls to see movies such as Akeelah and the Bee (2006), Annie (2014), and most recently Home (2015).

Home Picture

All three of these movies represent black girls in a positive light, as a lead character, and provides much needed exposure and acceptance that many young girls seek as they find their way in society. There has been countless research studies focused on the impact that negative imagery has on young girls but it’ll will be interesting to focus on the effects of positive representation to provide a new perspective.

In my opinion, this research study is sufficiently rigorous. Most of the study will involve focus groups (tv/moving screenings), as well as, a well written survey instrument to gauge how young girls feel and or perceive themselves after watching a movie or television show that provides positive imagery. It would be beneficial to work with an organization, such as Girls Inc. that allocate resources and training for young girls through their media literacy program.


  1. Don’t forget Doc McStuffins! She’s a total boss.

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