Tuesday, 27 September 2016

Perkins & Festinger - Hotel Babylon

Tessa Perkins' 5 stereotype assumptions - Hotel Babylon

They're not always negative - The woman of Asian ethnicity is presented to be have the stereotype of being intelligent and interested in technology; this is a good personality trait to have as it allows her to be better at her work, therefore complimenting people of Asian ethnicity.

They're not always about minority groups - A stereotype for a non-minority group is created when the white British people in this TV drama are presented to be powerful and demanding. This shows how all ethnic groups have stereotypes created around them.

They can be held about one's own group - Due to this TV drama containing many stereotypes for essentially every character, the director and screenwriters will have acknowledged the stereotypes about their own ethnicities to present them in Hotel Babylon. As these stereotypes clearly make the characters' personalities understandable when their actions are seen, the audience also creates assumptions about different ethnicities.

They're not rigid or unchanging - Stereotypes that are assigned to people of different ethnicities are constantly changing to keep up with popular opinion and modern society to ensure that they retain truthfulness or hilarity, this can be seen many times throughout Hotel Babylon. One example is where the characters that are presented to be African are shown to be hard working and good at their jobs; this coincides with the traditional stereotype of black African people being lazy and refusing to work.

They're not always false - However comical and unbelievable these ethnical stereotypes are, they are mostly found to be accurate and truthful. This can be seen in the TV Drama Hotel Babylon through the white British immigration officers as they are presented to be more powerful than and in conflict with the people of other ethnicities. This is seen in real life all of the time and in most countries as abuse or even wars occur based on the racist stereotypical beliefs that many white people have.

How Festinger's theory explains TV Drama popularity

Leon Festinger's theory of 'cognitive dissonance' can be used to explain why TV dramas, such as Hotel Babylon, are so popular as it argues that people will search for overwhelming evidence that will give them confirmation of their thoughts and beliefs on subjects such as stereotypes based on ethnicity. Because of this, people will look to the media to find popular beliefs on these stereotypes so that they can be sure of what they believe. This will cause a lot of people to watch TV dramas due to the mass use of ethnical stereotypes they use in a realistic and believable way.

As Hotel Babylon is so popular, it proves that Festinger's theory of 'cognitive dissonance' is true. This is because this TV drama contains stereotypes for almost every ethnical group throughout, therefore supplying the audience with plenty of evidence that confirms their beliefs and stereotypical views on ethnicities.