Images That Injure

Pictorial Stereotypes in the Media, 3rd Edition

by Susan Dente Ross and Paul Martin Lester, Editors


We are all aware of problematic stereotypes and prejudices regarding ethnicity, race, or gender; indeed, there are many laws to discourage such discriminatory behavior. The reality is that detrimental stereotypes in the media are so numerous and pervasive that they negatively affect the entire American population—not just a minority of citizens.

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Cover image for Images That Injure

April 2011


Pages 460
Volumes 1
Size 6 1/8x9 1/4
Topics Psychology/Social

This expanded collection of new and fully revised explorations of media content identifies the ways we all have been negatively stereotyped and demonstrates how careful analysis of media portrayals can create more beneficial alternatives.

Not all damaging stereotypes are obvious. In fact, the pictorial stereotypes in the media that we don't notice could be the most harmful because we aren't even aware of the negative, false ideas they perpetrate.

This book presents a series of original research essays on media images of groups including African Americans, Latinos, women, the elderly, the physically disabled, gays and lesbians, and Jewish Americans, just to mention a few. Specific examples of these images are derived from a variety of sources, such as advertising, fine art, film, television shows, cartoons, the Internet, and other media, providing a wealth of material for students and professionals in almost any field. Images That Injure: Pictorial Stereotypes in the Media, Third Edition not only accurately describes and analyzes the media's harmful depictions of cultural groups, but also offers creative ideas on alternative representations of these individuals. These discussions illuminate how each of us is responsible for contributing to a sea of meaning within our mass culture.


  • 33 distinguished authors as well as new voices in the field combine their extensive and varied expertise to explain the social effects of media stereotyping.
  • Includes historical and contemporary illustrations that range from editorial cartoons to the sinking of the Titanic
  • Richly illustrated with historical and up-to-date photographic illustrations
  • Every chapter's content is meticulously supported with numerous sources cited
  • A glossary defines key words mentioned in the chapters


  • This newly revised edition provides updated chapters along with new information and stereotypes, such as breast cancer survivors and Second Life avatars
  • Presents topics of use for educators of students in mass communications programs including advertising, entertainment studies, journalism, public relations, and visual reporting
  • Provides valuable insights into the fields of ethics, race and gender studies, psychology, rhetoric, social change, visual communication, and more
Author Info

Susan Dente Ross is professor in the Department of English at Washington State University, Pullman, WA; a Fulbright Fellow; and the founding director of PAXIM, a media research organization. Her published works include numerous journal articles and two books on media law in additional to her contributions to and editing of Peace Journalism in Times of War.

Paul Martin Lester is professor of communications at California State University, Fullerton, CA. His published works include On Floods and Photo Ops: How Herbert Hoover and George W. Bush Exploited Catastrophes; Photojournalism: An Ethical Approach; and Visual Communication Images with Messages, Fifth Edition.



"Written in an accessible style, the essays examine numerous cultures and groupings--ethnic, ability, gender--along with international representations, animated images, and news representations. The diversity of the contributors makes for a balance in terms of insider/outside perspective. . . . Each chapter is of reasonable length for underclassmen, but content will also draw more experienced readers interested in theoretical perspectives. Summing Up: Recommended."—Choice

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