Italian Americans have long been subject to negative stereotypes in media, dating back to the early days of cinema. These stereotypes, which often depict Italian Americans as mobsters, mafiosos, bimbos and buffoons, have had a damaging impact on the perception of Italian Americans and the way they are treated in society.
Research has shown that exposure to media representations can have real-world consequences – perception becomes reality!
Furthermore, these stereotypes reinforce harmful gender and racial biases. For example, Italian American women are often portrayed as passive and submissive, while Italian American men are depicted as aggressive and macho. These representations perpetuate harmful cultural norms and reinforce oppressive power structures.
Media should take steps to accurately and respectfully represent Italian Americans in their content. This includes avoiding harmful stereotypes and ensuring that Italian Americans are portrayed as fully realized human beings with diverse backgrounds, experiences, and perspectives. By doing so, media producers can help to reduce prejudice and discrimination against Italian Americans and create a more inclusive and equitable media landscape for all.
IAOVC is dedicated to opposing Italian American stereotypes in media and has a successful and long record of defending Italian American heritage and culture. Join us and help us in our mission!