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Learning about Race

Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UFE0044484/00001

Material Information

Title: Learning about Race an Exploratory Study of Media Consumption and Racial Attitudes toward Blacks among Chinese Immigrant Students at the University of Florida
Physical Description: 1 online resource (122 p.)
Language: english
Creator: Gho, Jeonghui
Publisher: University of Florida
Place of Publication: Gainesville, Fla.
Publication Date: 2012

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords: assimilation -- chinese -- cognitive -- immigrant -- media -- social
Journalism and Communications -- Dissertations, Academic -- UF
Genre: Mass Communication thesis, M.A.M.C.
bibliography   ( marcgt )
theses   ( marcgt )
government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
born-digital   ( sobekcm )
Electronic Thesis or Dissertation

Notes

Abstract: This pilot study seeks to distinguish the media’s impact on Chinese immigrant students’ racial attitudes. It compares the students’ media usage with their racial attitudes toward other racial groups in the United States, especially Blacks. Media stories of racial groups encourage foreign viewers without direct contact with those groups to build up knowledge structures which contain biased opinions about those groups. With little direct experience and knowledge about their new culture and its peoples, new immigrants are likely to form their opinions and attitudes about racial groups based on the way the media represent those groups. In order to observe the students’ attitudes and opinions about race, I employed a mixed method approach, which included a survey and in-depth interviews, complimenting my understanding of the subject of interest derived from one method with results from the other method. The survey results show that UF Chinese immigrant students think the media portray U.S. ethnic groups unequally. The respondents said Whites are most positively portrayed in the media and s Blacks are most negatively portrayed in American media. When it comes to racial attitudes toward Blacks, the results were paradoxical. While most of the students reported that they do not hold negative racial attitudes or prejudice against Blacks, they explicitly described Blacks in negative and stereotypical ways, and those with more media exposure were generally more negative in their opinions and descriptions.
General Note: In the series University of Florida Digital Collections.
General Note: Includes vita.
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references.
Source of Description: Description based on online resource; title from PDF title page.
Source of Description: This bibliographic record is available under the Creative Commons CC0 public domain dedication. The University of Florida Libraries, as creator of this bibliographic record, has waived all rights to it worldwide under copyright law, including all related and neighboring rights, to the extent allowed by law.
Statement of Responsibility: by Jeonghui Gho.
Thesis: Thesis (M.A.M.C.)--University of Florida, 2012.
Local: Adviser: Leslie, Michael.

Record Information

Source Institution: UFRGP
Rights Management: Applicable rights reserved.
Classification: lcc - LD1780 2012
System ID: UFE0044484:00001

Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UFE0044484/00001

Material Information

Title: Learning about Race an Exploratory Study of Media Consumption and Racial Attitudes toward Blacks among Chinese Immigrant Students at the University of Florida
Physical Description: 1 online resource (122 p.)
Language: english
Creator: Gho, Jeonghui
Publisher: University of Florida
Place of Publication: Gainesville, Fla.
Publication Date: 2012

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords: assimilation -- chinese -- cognitive -- immigrant -- media -- social
Journalism and Communications -- Dissertations, Academic -- UF
Genre: Mass Communication thesis, M.A.M.C.
bibliography   ( marcgt )
theses   ( marcgt )
government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
born-digital   ( sobekcm )
Electronic Thesis or Dissertation

Notes

Abstract: This pilot study seeks to distinguish the media’s impact on Chinese immigrant students’ racial attitudes. It compares the students’ media usage with their racial attitudes toward other racial groups in the United States, especially Blacks. Media stories of racial groups encourage foreign viewers without direct contact with those groups to build up knowledge structures which contain biased opinions about those groups. With little direct experience and knowledge about their new culture and its peoples, new immigrants are likely to form their opinions and attitudes about racial groups based on the way the media represent those groups. In order to observe the students’ attitudes and opinions about race, I employed a mixed method approach, which included a survey and in-depth interviews, complimenting my understanding of the subject of interest derived from one method with results from the other method. The survey results show that UF Chinese immigrant students think the media portray U.S. ethnic groups unequally. The respondents said Whites are most positively portrayed in the media and s Blacks are most negatively portrayed in American media. When it comes to racial attitudes toward Blacks, the results were paradoxical. While most of the students reported that they do not hold negative racial attitudes or prejudice against Blacks, they explicitly described Blacks in negative and stereotypical ways, and those with more media exposure were generally more negative in their opinions and descriptions.
General Note: In the series University of Florida Digital Collections.
General Note: Includes vita.
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references.
Source of Description: Description based on online resource; title from PDF title page.
Source of Description: This bibliographic record is available under the Creative Commons CC0 public domain dedication. The University of Florida Libraries, as creator of this bibliographic record, has waived all rights to it worldwide under copyright law, including all related and neighboring rights, to the extent allowed by law.
Statement of Responsibility: by Jeonghui Gho.
Thesis: Thesis (M.A.M.C.)--University of Florida, 2012.
Local: Adviser: Leslie, Michael.

Record Information

Source Institution: UFRGP
Rights Management: Applicable rights reserved.
Classification: lcc - LD1780 2012
System ID: UFE0044484:00001


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1 LEARNING ABOUT RACE: AN EXPLORATORY STUDY OF MEDIA CONSUMPTION AND RACIAL ATTITUDES TOWARD BLACKS AMONG CHINESE IMMIGR ANT STUDENTS AT THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA By JEONGHUI GHO A THESIS PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS IN MASS COMMUNICATION UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA 2012

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2 2012 Jeonghui Gho

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3 To m y Mother Ghoo Yunsook

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4 ACKNOWLEDGMENTS I would like to thank my committee members Dr. Michael Leslie, Dr. Lisa Duke, and Dr. Johanna Cleary for their continuous support throughout this big project First of all, I want to express my appreciation to the committee chair Michael Leslie. Dr. Leslie has proven to be a gr eat teacher and a true mentor. His insightfulness as an intercultural communication scholar was valuable to me as he generously directed me each step of this project. His teachings on race, gender, culture, and the media gave me the background and skills t o question every day dialogue taking place both in reality and the media. Since the beginning of my graduate life, as my academic advisor, he has been always enthusiastic at listening to my problems, pushing me in the right direction, and moving me forward. Another member of my committee and a brilliant woman, Dr. Lisa Duke, has also been very supportive both academically and emotionally. She has been there for me at every turn, providing not just her wisdom and knowledge but her cheerful friendship and kind support. As a great qualitative research method teacher, Dr. Lisa Duke moved me to question my reason and my methods which resulted in better research designs I would also like to thank my other committee member, Dr. Johanna Cleary. Her knowledge of m ass communication theory gave me a significant foundation for my research. She i s a teacher that I would like to resemble if I have a chance to teach in school in the future. She is a loving person who cares about her students and never hesitates to give t hem help. I am so glad, grateful, and proud of being these wonderful teachers student. This journey would have been more difficult if I did not have some great support from amazing people. First of all, I would like to thank my dear friends, Yujeong Park

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5 and Jihyun Oh, who are doctoral students in Education. These two wonderful ladies have been always there for me whenever I needed help, advice, and emotional support when I have been through the tough times as preceding this project. I am very sure they wi ll be great teachers like my committee members. I wish them a best luck on their doctoral li fe and bright future. There are some my best friends in South Korea, Minhee Shin, Gyungae Jeon, and Hyemi Cho, who send me continuous support no matter what happens and how far away we are from each other. They have always trusted in me. I really appreciate their true friendship and love. I would also like to express a great appreciation to my dear old friend, Michael Krebs, who encouraged and helped me go to this g raduate school in Florida. I am very grateful to my dearest boyfriend Igor Vakulenko. I was able to deal with all the hardships of graduate life because of his great encouragement, support, and love. My beloved little sister, Heesook Bak, is also greatly appreciated for her cheering and concern. As my best friend and o nly family, she has been always taking care of me even though she is the younger one. I deeply thank my sister and want to express the love to her. Lastly, I would like to thank all the UF Ch inese students who were very kindly willing to help with my survey and interviews Xiexie

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6 TABLE OF CONTENTS page ACKNOWLEDGMENTS .................................................................................................. 4 LIST OF TABLES ............................................................................................................ 9 LIST OF FIGURES ........................................................................................................ 10 LIST OF ABBREVIATION S ........................................................................................... 12 ABSTRACT ................................................................................................................... 13 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION .................................................................................................... 15 2 LITERATURE REVIEW .......................................................................................... 18 Social C ognitive T heory .......................................................................................... 18 Cultural Studies and Media Representation of Race .............................................. 22 Cultural Studies ................................................................................................ 22 Encoding/Decoding: How the M edia I nscribe R acial I deas .............................. 23 Racialized Media .............................................................................................. 25 Symbolic Racism .............................................................................................. 26 Acculturation and Assimilation ................................................................................ 27 3 METHOD ................................................................................................................ 32 Survey Design ........................................................................................................ 33 Respondents .................................................................................................... 33 Convenience Sampling .................................................................................... 34 Measures .......................................................................................................... 35 V ariable measurement ............................................................................... 35 Modern racism measurement .................................................................... 36 Attitudes Towards U.S. Ethnic Groups ............................................................. 38 Data Analysis ................................................................................................... 39 In Depth Interviews ................................................................................................. 39 Selection of Participants ................................................................................... 39 Procedure ......................................................................................................... 40 Coding .............................................................................................................. 41 4 FINDINGS ............................................................................................................... 42 Result of the Survey ............................................................................................... 42 Demographics .................................................................................................. 42 Academic Level ................................................................................................ 42

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7 Length of Residence ........................................................................................ 43 Media Use and Understanding of American Culture ........................................ 44 Intensity of Media Use ...................................................................................... 45 Summary .......................................................................................................... 47 Modern Racism ................................................................................................ 48 Media Portrayals of American Ethnic G roups ................................................... 50 Results of Hypothesis Testing .......................................................................... 51 Modern Racism Indicators and Media Use ....................................................... 55 Attribute Rankings of U.S. Racial Groups by Chinese Students ....................... 58 Summary of the Quantitative R esults ............................................................... 63 Resul ts of the In Depth Interviews .......................................................................... 64 Biographical Sketches ...................................................................................... 64 Chao .......................................................................................................... 64 Dengyu ...................................................................................................... 65 Jia .............................................................................................................. 65 Zhishu ........................................................................................................ 65 Mai ............................................................................................................. 66 Binhan ........................................................................................................ 66 Interview Topics ............................................................................................... 66 American m edia u se .................................................................................. 66 Chinese media use .................................................................................... 68 Exposure to negative r epresentations of b lacks in the media .................... 68 Black criminals in t he media ....................................................................... 69 Media portrayals of Whites ......................................................................... 71 Attitudes toward Blacks .............................................................................. 72 Blacks work ethic ...................................................................................... 75 Blacks and education ................................................................................. 76 Attitude change and social relations .......................................................... 77 Summary of the Qualitative Results ................................................................. 78 5 DISCUSSION ......................................................................................................... 80 The Media and Social Learning .............................................................................. 80 Persistent Racism and Assimilation ........................................................................ 81 Racialized Media, Blacks, and Chinese Values ...................................................... 85 Reduced Prejudice and Stereotypes Through Interpersonal Contacts ................... 86 Implications ............................................................................................................. 88 Limitation ................................................................................................................ 89 APPENDIX A INFORMED CONSENT .......................................................................................... 91 B SURVEY QUESTIONNAIRE .................................................................................. 93 C INTERVIEW QUESTIONS .................................................................................... 102

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8 D INTERVIEW EX C ERPTS ...................................................................................... 105 E PARING PROCESS OF SY MBOLIC RACISM SCALE 2000 INDICATORS. ........ 113 LIST OF REFERENCES ............................................................................................. 114 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH .......................................................................................... 122

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9 LIST OF TABLES Table page 3 1 Predictor v ariables .............................................................................................. 35 3 2 Intensity of media use ......................................................................................... 35 3 3 Modern racism (MR) ........................................................................................... 37 3 4 Length of stay ..................................................................................................... 38

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10 LIST OF FIGURES Figure page 4 1 Academic level ................................................................................................... 43 4 2 Length of residence ............................................................................................ 43 4 3 My use of American media helps me to better understand American culture. .... 44 4 4 My use of American media helps me to better understand American society. ... 44 4 5 My us e of American media helps me to better understand American people. .... 45 4 6 American TV viewing .......................................................................................... 45 4 7 American movie viewing ..................................................................................... 45 4 8 American music listening .................................................................................... 46 4 9 American radio listening ..................................................................................... 46 4 10 American n ewspaper r eading ............................................................................. 47 4 11 Internet usage ..................................................................................................... 47 4 12 Indicator 1: If Blacks work harder, they can overcome prejudice. ...................... 48 4 13 Indicator 2: Discrimination keeps blacks in the lower class. ............................... 48 4 14 Indicator 3: Blacks gets economically more than they deserve. ......................... 49 4 15 Indicator 4: Blacks are responsible for creating racism. ..................................... 49 4 16 Indicator 5: Blacks are responsible for the persistence of racism. ..................... 49 4 17 Which are the ethnic groups most positively depicted in American media? ....... 50 4 18 Which are the most negatively described ethnic groups in American media? .... 50 4 19 MR score for high and low intensity media use .................................................. 51 4 20 MR score for high and low intensity TV v iewing ................................................. 52 4 21 MR score for high and low intensity m ovie v iewing ............................................ 52 4 22 MR score for high and low intensity m usic l istening ........................................... 53

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11 4 23 MR score for high and low intensity r adio l istening ............................................. 53 4 24 MR score for high and low intens ity newspaper reading .................................... 54 4 25 MR score for high and low intensity i nternet u sage ............................................ 54 4 26 Indicator 1 mean scores for high and low intensity media use ........................... 55 4 27 Indicator 2 mean scores for high and low intensity media use ........................... 56 4 28 Indicator 3 mean scores for high and low intensity media use ........................... 56 4 29 Indicator 4 mean scores for high and low intensity media use ........................... 57 4 30 Intelligent ............................................................................................................ 58 4 31 Sophisticated ...................................................................................................... 59 4 32 Efficient ............................................................................................................... 59 4 33 Honest ................................................................................................................ 60 4 34 Kind .................................................................................................................... 60 4 35 Aggressive .......................................................................................................... 61 4 36 Loud ................................................................................................................... 61 4 37 Arrogant .............................................................................................................. 62 4 38 Rude ................................................................................................................... 62 4 39 Lazy .................................................................................................................... 63

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12 LIST OF ABBREVIATIO NS MODERN RACISM Modern Racism is a measure of prejudicial attitudes toward other racial groups. The Modern Racism measure was constructed using eight items taken from the Symbolic Racism 2000 Scale created by Sears and Henry (Sears & Henry, 2002/ 2005).

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13 Abstract of Dissertation Presented to the Graduate School of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for Master of Art s in Mass Communication LEARNING ABOUT RACE: AN EXPLORATORY STUDY OF MEDIA CONSUMPTION AN D RACIAL ATTITUDES TOWARD BLACKS AMONG CHINESE IMMIGR ANT STUDENTS AT THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA By Jeonghui Gho August 2012 Chair : Michael Leslie Major: Mass Communication This pilot study seeks to distinguish the medias impact on Chinese immigrant st udents racial attitudes. It compares the students media usage with their racial attitudes toward other racial groups in the United States, especially Blacks. Media stories of racial groups encourage foreign viewers without direct contact with those groups to build up knowledge structures which contain biased opinions about those groups With little direct experience and knowledge about their new culture and its peoples, new immigrants are likely to form their opinions and attitudes about racial groups bas ed on the way the media represent those groups. In order to observe the students attitudes and opinions about race, I employed a mixed method approach, which included a survey and indepth interviews, complimenting my understanding of the subject of inter est derived from one method with results from the other method. The survey results show that UF Chinese immigrant students think the media portray U.S. ethnic groups unequally. The respondents said Whites are most positively portrayed in the media and Blac ks are most negatively

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14 portrayed in American media. When it comes to racial attitudes toward Blacks, the results were paradoxical While most of the students reported that they do not hold negative racial attitudes or prejudice against Blacks, they explici tly described Blacks in negative and stereotypical ways and those with more media exposure were generally more negative in their opinions and descriptions.

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15 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION You would never travel or drive to an unfamiliar area without a map or G PS. Similarly, when you immigrate, the mass media may be your best guide for navigating your new world. The media tell you what people in the host country value, what they think and talk about, and how they behave, through such formats as television shows, movies, cartoons, newspapers, magazines, etc. American mass media and popular entertainment are learning tools that help newcomers understand American language and culture (Dalisay, 2008). Media use to acquire cultural information, may be especially signi ficant for new immigrants in American society one of the nations with a great number of immigrants and a population that continues to increase in size. In the United States, there are 38.5 million foreign born residents, which is 12.5 % of the total po pulation as of 2009 (Grieco & Edward, U.S. Census Bureau, 2009). However, while American culture is colored with various types of people, cultures, and languages, the ostensible image of minorities in the media often are distorted. For example, studies fo und that in advertising, not only do Asian models appear to be background characters, but also their portrayals emphasize the work ethic, barely presenting other aspects of life, such as family or social relationships (Taylor and Stern, 1997; Ono & Pham, 2 008; Ramasubramanian, 2011). In addition, although blatant Black stereotypes in the media have been in decline (Madon et al., 2001), Blacks are still generally portrayed negatively across various television shows, commercials, and television news ( Greenber g 2002; Tosi, 2011). Tosi investigates the depiction of Blacks on television with respect to media literacy of teenagers. She examined the

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16 portrayals of African Americans by discussing programs like "The Chappelle Show," "The Boondocks," and "The Cosby S how" and how teenagers perceive African Americans under the influence of such popular media. Although those shows are not much appropriate for teenagers, she argues that they are often considered to promote stereotypes and prejudice. She asserts teenagers can easily accept and digest the media messages as the way they are conveyed on television because they only see the explicit messages that they are being targeted to see and are unaware of implicit messages being directed at them (Tosi, 2011 p.13). Racist ideologies are presented through various types of media content that represent, interpret, and make sense of some aspect of social existence (Hall, 1981, p.89). Such ideologies, according to Hall, do not naturally exist in us; we formulate our intenti ons and meanings within ideologies that are constructed under social influences like the media. Media stories of racial and ethnic groups encourage viewers without direct contact with those groups to build up knowledge structures which contain biased opinions about their personal habits and manners (Monahan et al., 2008). With little direct experience and knowledge about their new culture and its peoples, new immigrants are likely to form their opinions and attitudes about racial groups based on the way the media represent those groups. In short, media messages may reproduce stereotypical thinking about U.S. racial groups among these new immigrants. However, racist attitudes and opinions may lessen or disappear as immigrants spend more time in the States. According to the contact hypothesis (Martin and Nakayama, 2010), prejudice and stereotypes between majority and minority groups

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17 gradually disappear with certain interpersonal contact conditions. Such conditions include equal status, both within and outsi de the contact situation, and strong normative and institutional support for the contact, among others (Martin and Nakayama, 2010, p.149150). While a number of studies have been done focusing on the relationship between the media, and viewers perceptions, demographics, and patterns of media use, foreignborn immigrants consistency of media use for assimilation/ acculturation and the persistence of their racialized viewpoints as a result of the intensity of media consumption have rarely been studied. T his study seeks to distinguish media impact on the new immigrants racial attitudes. It compares Chinese immigrant students media usage with their racial attitudes toward U.S. racial groups. The study asks the following questions: Does media use influe nce the formation of Chinese students racial attitudes and opinions? Is there any particular medium that has more influence on the formation of Chinese students racial attitudes and opinions? What other means do Chinese students use to learn about race i n the United States? Does length of stay in the U.S. change their racial attitudes and opinions?

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18 CHAPTER 2 LITERATURE REVIEW Three bodies of literatures provide theoretical support for this study. First, social cognitive theory explains the influence the media have on human attitudes and opinions. Second, the cultural studies approach helps explain how audiences interpret media contents differently, inflected by their cultural antecedents. Since this study examines Chinese immigrants, a cultural studies perspective is useful here. Finally, the acculturation/assimilation process is explored in order to enrich our understanding of how immigrants use media to assimilate into the host culture. Social C ognitive T heory The role of the media in the process of the social construction of reality has attracted significant attention in communication research. Bandura (2001b) argues that identifying the psychosocial structures through which representative communication influences human thought and activities is of m ajor significance, considering the prominent and powerful influence the mass media have in society. His social cognitive theory presents an agentic conceptual framework through which we can observe the determinants and mechanisms of such effects. In Banduras view, an individual has personal agency when he purposely makes things occur by taking some action engaging with the social structure (2001b). Personal agency may proactively operate when new immigrants are engaged in new environments and it may driv e them to be purposely and actively involved in learning their new culture through various social networks (2001b). When people living in society form an attitude or opinion about something, they tend to conform to how the majority of people think, say, or act. This psychological

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19 mechanism, according to Bandura, has a great impact on shaping attitudes and opinions, human development, acquisition of knowledge and skills through both reality and symbolic reality (media). This implies, obviously, that people do not live their lives solely depending upon their own autonomy. Their opinions and attitudes are influenced by social ideologies that their individual psychological mechanism operates upon, and media are the vehicles that carry the dominant social ideol ogies. Bandura points out that people are capable of learning through observation so that they can speedily develop and advance their knowledge and skills through information transmitted by various means, (2001b, p.270), and media are one of those means. Miller and Dollard (1941) and Rosenthal and Zimmerman (1978) state that nearly all learning can occur indirectly by observing and/or imitating the way others think and behave. Bandura further points out that people learn how and what to think and how to act through a wide range of modeling and imitation in the symbolic environment of the mass media (p.271). The more images of reality that are featured in media, the more significant influence these images have on their viewers. In addition, because mass media show many images of everyday life, these images are perceived to be reality (Ball Rokeach & DeFleur, 1976). But what is reality? Adoni and Mane (1984) insightfully illustrate the concept, which is fundamental in understanding how the symbolic environment of the mass media. They point out that that what is real is structured through social agreement. People are creators as well as products of their social world. Adoni and Mane categorize various realities into three types that interact dialectically with one another:

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20 objective social reality, symbolic social reality, and subjective social reality (Adoni and Mane, 1984). Objective social reality is the simple objective world existing outside and confronting individuals as facts (p.325), so it is understood as common sense and does not need any further proof. Secondly, there is symbolic social reality. This reality is composed of symbolic representations of objective reality, and includes music, art, media content, literature, and so on. Symbolic realities are as diverse as the variety of symbolic systems like languages and cultures around the world. Lastly, there is subjective reality, which can be defined as individual cognitions and interpretations of the first two realities, object ive and symbolic, which form of a persons personal reality. This subjective reality is a central resource for the construction of group attitudes and opinions and as a result helps to construct objective reality and ascribes meaning to symbolic reality. Finally, because both objective and symbolic realities are socially constructed, they will be apprehended differently by people of different cultures (Adoni and Main, 1984, p.325 326). One can conclude that there are important but not always linear relati onships between objective reality, symbolic reality and subjective reality. The triadic interaction described above between the various realities is very compatible with Banduras viewpoint that mass media help us construct our attitudes and opinions (2001b). As one of the symbolic realities, mass media convey ideologies that depict objective reality, i.e., human characters, social and cultural norms, societal structures, and so on (Gerbner, 1972; Hall, 1981; Adoni & Mane, 1984; Bandura, 2001b). These sc holars argue that intense engagement in symbolic reality has a significant influence on peoples attitudes and opinions about themselves, others, other

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21 societies and the world. When it comes to television some scholars assert that the sheer amount and fre quency of television watching influences human attitudes and behaviors (Gerbner, 1972; Riddle, 2010). Others focus more on the specific media content people consume in explaining its impact (Taylor, 2005; Cohen & Weimann, 2008). Media depictions of women and racial minorities have been popular study subjects to a number of media scholars when discussing media influence on the formation of perceptions and behaviors as a result of heavy media consumption. Gerbner and Gross (1976) argue that the absence of c ertain social demographics in the media, such as gender, sexual and racial minorities, conveys has powerful messages to the audience. Representation in the fictional world signifies social existence, absence means symbolic annihilat ion ( Gerbner & Gross, 1976, p. 182). Symbolic annihilation indicates that gender and minorities social disempowerment can be attributed to the medias poor portrayals of those groups. For example, popular media often stereotype and ridicule black people by portraying them as criminals, mammies, etc (Pickering, 2008; Sanders & Ramasubramanian, 2012). Mass communication scholars agree that those stereotyped images and messages in the symbolic reality have significant influence on the construction of both our objective and subj ective realities. Symbolic annihilation as well as social cognitive theory suggests that we should pay attention to what immigrants are learning about social reality from the mass media.

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22 Cultural Studies and Media Representation of Race Cultural Studies The foundations of cultural studies lie in the work of F.R Leavis, an influential British literary critic. Leavis is wellknown for his critiques on competing theories of what is literary and what is not in his book, Mass Civilization and Minority Culture published in 1929. Saying that Culture has always been in minority keeping, he stressed that culture can be only appreciated by the minority which is capable of appreciating it. He also asserted that cheap mass culture, such as popular journalism, advertisements, vulgar literatures, etc., have replaced and destroyed the past cultural and social values (Pittock, 2010). Although such a viewpoint could be criticized as a prejudice based on middle class tastes, his theory played an important role in the early days of cultural studies. Stuart Hall (1992, p.278) defined cultural studies as the examination of the practices and meaning of daily life in discursive formations. He characterized this approach as diverse and not having a simple origin and that it i s informed by the work by a number of scholars in different academic fields, with multiple discourses, different histories, methods, and theoretical approaches (Hall, 1992). Cultural studies has always been a multidisciplinary field of question that obscur es the peripheries between itself and other subjects. Therefore, it can be applied to the examination of various concepts, such as ideology, race and ethnicity, class, gender, sexuality, and so on. In Halls view, what is at stake in cultural studies is its association with issues of power and politics, illustrating how less represented and/or marginalized groups in society, mostly defined by race, gender, and class are portrayed in the media, while calling for progressive change in society. In mass media studies, the core concepts of

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23 cultural studies, which are power, ideology, and hegemony, have been applied to highlight disparities in media representations of racial and ethnic groups, depicting stereotypes and prejudices that are reproduced in the media by the dominant groups in society. Accordingly, cultural studies can be said to be a theoretical approach that is never neutral or objective, always recognizing positionality i.e., the place from which one speaks, to whom, and for what purpose (Bark er, 2000, p.5). Encoding/Decoding: How the M edia I nscribe R acial I deas Stuart Hall presents an insightful research model that shows the articulated relationship between media affects and their audience in his article, Encoding/Decoding (Hall, 1973). He describes the process of communication as a circuit or loop (production, circulation, distribution, consumption, and reproduction), criticizing the old communication model that conceptualized it as linear SMR (sender message receiver). He explained the process as: This would be to think of the process as a complex structure in dominance, sustained through the articulation of connected practices, each of which, however retains its distinctiveness and has its own forms and conditions of existence (Hall 1973, p.508). That is to say, he identifies that each communication process of the model is loosely connected to other processes like the bones in our bodies. By being separated from each other, each process has its own distinctive and relative aspect, but at the same time they influence each other as they are linked as a structure (1973). According to Hall, messages are encoded in a discursive form which is usually the discursive from that is hegemonic in a society. But ideas are not just shaped throug h the simple delivery of representations in the media to its audience. The environment of the media program production, producers values and beliefs, the audiences feedback on the

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24 media programs, etc., have an influence on the creation of media products (1973). Furthermore, as media products are circulated to the public, they are not always interpreted in the same way the producers intended. Before [a] message can have an effect, satisfy a need or be put to use, it must first be appropriated as a meaningful discourse and be meaningfully decoded. It is this set of decoded meanings which have an effect, influence, entertain, instructor persuade, with very complex perceptual, cognitive, emotional, ideological or behavioral consequences (Hall, 1973, p.509). While social cognitive theory explains the impact of symbolic reality on the construction of individuals subjective reality (i.e., perceptions, attitudes, etc.), Halls point is that human cognition and attitudes impact both how the messages are constructed (encoded) and interpreted (decoded). This is because the creation of the media products and the consumption of them by the audience are mutually articulated, Halls encoding/decoding model reveals that mass media messages are created in a complex communication structure which leads us to approach the interpretation of the messages from multiple perspectives. For example, if racist media messages are encoded by the producer, the audience decodes them according to a variety of factors such a s culture, economic class, language, education, race, etc. Therefore, when investigating a persons racial attitudes, looking into the media content alone may not be sufficient to explain the relationship between the formation of individual racial attitudes and media content. We should investigate media influence on peoples perceptions, attitudes, and behaviors by relating them not only to the consumption of media products but also to the individuals culture, economic class, language, education, race, and position in the social order.

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25 Racialized Media Hall (1981) also discusses the presence of racist ideologies in the media practices that we use to represent, interpret, and make sense of some aspect of social existence (Hall, 1981, p.89). According to Hall, the media present ideology and racism in many ways. Hall identifies two types of racism; overt racism and inferential racism. Overt racism is when the media and/or people explicitly speak or address any racist policy or view. Inferential racism is fact ual or fictional illustration impregnated latently within the media content (p.91). As time has passed, the explicit presence of racist portrayals (overt racism) in media has significantly lessened with increasing public demands for social equity and awareness of racial inequalities (Klein & Shiffman, 2006), while inferential racism has been frequently and repeatedly represented in the media, when dealing with problems and conflicts in race relations (Hall, 1981). Although the media these days are less li kely to present blatant racism, some researchers argue that certain media genres such as comedy shows explicitly convey overt racism. Many researchers assert that comedy is less controversial and more tolerant than other media genres, and more likely to get away with explicit racist remarks. Therefore, racial and ethnic stereotypes are more overtly observed in comedy. According to these researchers, comedy naturalizes racial jokes, allows them to be acceptable for the viewers and listeners and eventually reinforces racial stereotypes, prejudices, and hegemonic racial discourses (Bowes, 1990; Haggins, 1995; King, 2002; Avila Saavedra, 2011). Conversely, one researcher showed how some comedians, like KoreanAmerican comedian, Margaret Cho, use their identity to achieve not only economic success but to speak out about social issues of race, class, and gender (Meyer, 2007). In short, when immigrants use entertainment media to acculturate

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26 themselves, they also learn about race relations in America. Overt racist remarks presented in American media in the name of humor can lead foreign viewers to have stereotypes, prejudices, and attitudes about certain racial groups. Symbolic Racism Symbolic Racism (Sears & Henry, 2005) refers to the negative beliefs and racial a ttitudes held about certain racial groups, based on abstractions rather than direct contact with specific individuals or groups. As briefly mentioned in the introduction, Katz and Bralys early research (1933) is a good example of this concept. Their study found that EuropeanAmericans were perceived as diligent, educated, and ambitious, while African Americans were perceived as superstitious, ignorant, and lazy by White Americans (Katz and Braly, 1933). The study also showed that people hold stereotypes and are prejudiced towards specific racial groups instead of specific individuals. Deo et al. (2008) show how racial ideologies are inscribed in primetime television programs by observing the frequency of AsianAmerican and Pacific Islander American (APIA) depictions, as well as focusing on how they are marginalized or portrayed as racial stereotypes. They found that APIA characters barely appear in television sitcoms and were totally left out of the primetime season of fall of 2004. Instead, they were featured almost exclusively in television dramas as doctors, lawyers, and men with superpowers in medical, supernatural or law enforcement settings (Deo, 2008). The researchers explain that Most sitcoms revolve around families and domestic settings, so the framing of APIAs in largely dramatic, rather than sitcom genres, ultimately reflects their exclusion from popular perceptions of what constitutes the quintessential American family (Deo et al., 2008, p.152). That is, it can be said that minority groups in symbolic reality are considered not to be ordinary Americans.

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27 In sum, it can be said that the popular cultural images in the media have considerable influence in constructing peoples perceptions of other cultures and groups and as a result, forming their racial attitudes and opinions about other racial groups. Acculturation and Assimilation Media use often becomes a cultural learning tool for new immigrants acculturation and assimilation in their host country. Immigrants start to undergo an integration process immediately on arrival in a host country as a minority and many studies reveal that American mass media play important roles in immigrants acculturation processes by providing sources for American cultural values and practices in various forms ( Kim, 1995; Zhou, 1997; Hall, Anten, & Cakim, 1999). When people move to a foreign country, the media can have a practical and realistic impact on the viewers attitudes and opinions toward the host culture and people. The dependence on the media for learni ng the host culture may be greater for those whose culture is significantly different from the host culture, for instance, people immigrating from Eastern cultures to Western cultures (Dyal & Dyal, 1981). Anxious immigrants dealing with foreign languages, cultures, and people proactively learn and adapt to the new culture by using the media. For example, Lee & Cho (1990) show that even though Korean television programs are more appealing for their entertainment, female Korean immigrants use American media to learn about the American people and American way of living (Lee& Cho, 1990). Their study revealed that race relations depicted in the American media were seen as authentic by the immigrants. Other studies (Greenberg, 1986; Messaris & Woo, 1991) point out that those immigrants who are exposed to American media show more acceptance of American

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28 culture and society, and the knowledge and information they obtain from the media influence their adjustment to the new environment. They also assert that various media vehicles, such as television, magazines, newspapers, etc., are used by immigrants to gain knowledge about the American patterns of thoughts and behaviors (Messaris & Woo, 1991, p. 86) in an effort to get integrated socially and culturally in the h ost culture. Other scholars have found that the media are considered to be effective culturelearning tools for immigrants with lack of direct experience with various racial groups in America, especially when the new immigrants have fewer social opportunit ies to make friends in the host country (Hall et al., 1999). Up to the present time, the media have never fallen out of favor with immigrants, who use them as cultural learning tools (Tan, 1988; Albarran & Umphrey, 1993; Lee & Tse, 1994; Walker, 1999; Ying 2005). Min and Guoxuan (2002) show that ethnic media in the United States, as well as American media, play significant roles for the immigrants in their adjustment to American society. They argue that the ethnic media, which are most familiar to immigran ts, serve as a guide which provides them with directions on how to successfully navigate their new environment. For example, they believe that such media provide Chinese immigrants who lack proficiency in English with basic information about housing, jobs, education etc. (Min and Guoxuan, 2002, p.435). Moon and Kim (2003) also suggest that American media use is a significantly positive predictor in terms of immigrants approval of American culture, but simultaneously it is a negative predictor for affini ty to their own culture, Korean culture (Moon and Kim p.13, 2003) As discussed so far, the media supply significant information and knowledge to new immigrants in their attempts at cultural assimilation and acculturation in the host

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29 country, regardless of whether the media are American or ethnic. Of course, the way immigrants interpret the mediated images differ according to various external/internal factors. As the cultural studies approach suggests, viewers from other cultures may interpret the media messages much differently according to their cultural values, situations, motivations, and state of mind while living in foreign countries. Understanding of such cultural settings for immigrants is also important to comprehend the way immigrants use media messages differently, as well as their appreciation of American culture and people. That is, even amongst immigrants, their perceptions and attitudes toward American culture and people, through which various objective and symbolic realities are constructed, can be different according to their own cultures. Also, considering that the media still depict racialized ideas explicitly (e.g., comedy shows) and latently, it is important to identify how the immigrants in American society interpret the racist media m essages and how they accept and deal with them in real life. For example, viewers who are not familiar with American culture and people may be more vulnerable to forming their racial attitudes and opinions according to how the media describe them. Katz and Liebes (1987), showed different perceptions and interpretations by new immigrants with different cultural backgrounds (Russians, Israelis, Israeli Arabs, first and second generation immigrants from Morocco, and kibbutz members) when compared with American citizens, of the same popular 1980s television drama, Dallas. Katz and Liebes found that while American citizens in Los Angeles were less likely to identify Dallas as a description of a real life in the U.S., the immigrant groups were more likely to beli eve that the show represents real American culture and people. The researchers note:

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30 What seems clear from the analysis...is that the nonAmericans consider the story more real than the Americans. The non Americans have little doubt that the story is about America; the Americans are less sure (Katz and Liebes, 1987, p.421). Even though such studies need to be updated, they imply that we should carefully examine what racial lessons immigrants are learning from their exposure to American media. Based on the forgoing literature review, the following research hypotheses are proposed: Hypothesis 1. High media users will have more racist attitudes than low media users, scoring higher on the Modern Racism scale. Hall ( Hall, 1973) suggests that media messages are imbued with racist content. Therefore, all things being equal, more exposure to that content should result in higher scores on the scale. Hypothesis 2 There will be significant differences in racial attitudes according to the students length of stay in America. This hypothesis is based on Halls (1973, p.509) argument that before a message can have an effect, satisfy a need or be put to use, it must first be appropriated as a meaningful discourse and be meaningfully decoded. As racist media me ssages are encoded based under diverse circumstances, viewers can be expected to those messages differently over time, as they have extramedia experiences in American society, such as meeting real people at school and in the community, shopping, etc. These social factors may influence the viewers decoding process and mitigate the impact of racist media content on immigrant racial attitudes. Hypothesis 3 There will be significant difference in immigrant racial attitudes according to their social demographics.

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31 The hypothesis is based on Halls ( Hall, 1973 ) theory of positionality in the social structure. People interpret media texts based on many different factors, such as their own race, income, age, gender, and education status. Each of these may be correlated with their attitudes toward different ethnic groups in the United States.

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32 CHAPTER 3 METHOD T he purpose of this study was to examine the media impact on the formation of immigrants attitudes and opinions about race S ocial cognitive theory and cultural studies were ideal guiding frameworks because they are committed to understanding the relationship between the media and the viewers attitude formations (Bandura, 2001b) and how viewers interpret media texts according to their social ethnic background and position in the social order (Hall, 1972). The primary research question was whether frequency of U.S. media use is correlated with Chinese international students racial attitudes. In order to observe the students attitudes and opinions a bout race, I employed a mixed method designed to answer this question, collecting opinion data via a survey and in depth interviews. Johnson & Onwuegbuzie note that many research questions and combinations of questions are best and most fully answered thr ough mixed method solutions (Johnson & Onwuegbuzie, 2004, p. 18). Such an approach allows us to expand our understanding of the subject of interest and elaborate, enhance, illustrate, and clarify the results from one method with results from the other method (Johnson & Onwuegbuzie, 2004, p. 22). Although there are various ways of assigning the dominant status of one method over the other, dominant status was given to the survey and the researcher used the indepth interviews to illustrate the results of the quantitative analysis. The biggest reason why dominant status was assigned to the survey is because of the sensitive nature of racial issues. Martin and Nakayama (2010) state, Face is the sense of favorable self worth, and in all cultures people are c oncerned about saving face. The subject of this

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33 study is a sensitive issue, racism, and it asks the Chinese students about racial attitudes. So to some extent, they may have misrepresented their attitudes and opinions about other racial groups in the in depth interviews, in order to save face. The anonymity of the survey approach might have allowed them more comfort in expressing their racial opinions than was afforded by talking about their thoughts about other races with a stranger. Survey Design Respo ndents Chinese immigrant students attending the University of Florida were chosen as the target population for this study. There are two main reasons this racial group was selected. First, there are about 1.6 million foreign born Chinese immigrants in the United States. It is the fourth largest immigrant group preceded by Mexican, Filipino and Indian immigrants, accounting for 4.1 % of all immigrants according to the 201 0 Census (US Census Bureau, 2010). Therefore, in terms of size, Chinese immigrants are predominant over the other Asian groups. Secondly, due to the unique differences in lifestyle, history, philosophy, religion, and racial composition of society between Chinese culture and the Western culture, this group of immigrants may significantly str uggle to adjust to American culture and rely more on the media to make that adjustment. Chinese students at the U niversity of F lorida were recruited for this study because the researcher had convenient access to many of them through personal contacts. UF also has the largest composition of international students in the state of Florida. According to Fall 2009 enrollment data, the number of Chinese immigrant students (both undergraduate and graduate) attending the school was 803. Compared

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34 to Korean (364) and Taiwanese (153), the Chinese immigrant student body was the largest. Finally, 38% of the student population at the UF is made up of minority students (UF Career Resource Center, 2011), which would allow Chinese students participating to have had direct contact with U.S. minorities. Convenience Sampling A convenience sample was used in this study due to limited access to a larger target population (Riffe et al., 2005). Upon receiving approval from the I nstitutional R eview B oard at the University of Flor ida, the researcher sent the survey to undergraduate and graduate program coordinators, asking them to forward it to Chinese students in their programs. The choice of recipient departments was based on the Asian population size in each college, based on th e University of Floridas enrollment by college, level, and ethnic group (University of Florida Factbook, Updated in March, 2011). The researcher also sent an email to the presidents of the Chinese American Students Association (CASA) and Friendship Assoc iation of Chinese Students and Scholars (FACSS), asking them to forward the survey link to their members. However, this approach did not get many responses by using these methods. Therefore, the researcher sent a request to participate in the survey direct ly to each Chinese member of these two organizations, through Facebook and direct email. The individual direct solicitations turned out to be quite successful and yielded a total of 224 responses. The researcher excluded questionnaires from the data analysis if they were completed by nonChinese respondents, or if the respondent made all their responses using the same sequence of numbers, for example, by checking all the

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35 questionnaire items with a 1. During this reduction process, 44 questionnaires were excluded from the analysis. Measures V ariable measurement A 26 item survey questionnaire (Appendix B ) designed to measure an individual's level of media use and racial attitudes was developed. For the media use variable, respondents were asked to indicate how many hours they spent using each medium (television, movie, music, radio, newspapers, and Internet) per week. The complete list of independent variables in shown in Table 3 1 Table 3 1 Predictor v ariables Predictor variables Intensity of TV Watc hing Intensity of Movie Watching Intensity of Music Listening Intensity of Radio Listening Intensity of Newspaper Reading Intensity of Internet Use Overall Intensity Media Use The response scale for each medium is shown in Table 3 2. The overall intensity of media use was calculated by summing the individual medium use intensity scores and dividing the sum by the total number of media, i.e., six (TV, movie, music, radio, newspaper, and Internet). Table 3 2. Intensity of media use Total hours per week of U.S. media exposure Intensity of exposure scale None 0 Less than 1 hour 1 1 2 hours 2 3 4 hours 3 5 6 hours 4 7 8 hours 5 9 10 hours 6

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36 The criteria for segmenting high, medium, and low media users for each medium was based on an examination of the range of scores for each medium and assigning cutoff points for high, medium, and low users for each medium. Modern r acism measurement The Modern Racism measure (MR), was constructed using eight items taken from the Symbolic Racism 2000 Scale (SRS) created by Sears and Henry (Sears & Henry, 2002/ 2005). Here are the questionnaire items derived from the Symbolic Racism 2000 Scale: It's really a matter of some people not trying hard enough; if blacks would only try harder they could be just as well off as whites. Irish, Italian, Jewish and many other minorities overcame prejudice and worked their way up. Blacks should do the same. Generations of slavery and discrimination have created conditions that make it difficult for Blacks to work their way out of the lower class. How much discrimination against Blacks do you feel there is in the United States today, limiting their chances to get ahead? Over the past few years, Blacks have gotten more economically than they deserve. Over the past few years, Blacks have gotten less than they deserve. How much of the racial tension that exists in the United States today do you think Whites are responsible for creating? How much of the racial tension that exists in the United States today do you think Blacks are responsible for creating? Table 3 3 shows the response categories for each it em in the Modern Racism scale.

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37 Table 3 3 Modern r acism (MR) Questionnaire Items Response Categories 1.It's really a matter of some people not trying hard enough; if blacks would only try harder they could be just as well off as whites. Strongly disagree Disagree Slightly disagree Slightly agree Agree Strongly agree 2. Irish, Italian, Jewish and many other minorities overcame prejudice and worked their way up. Blacks shoul d do the same. Strongly disagree Disagree Slightly disagree Slightly agree Agree Strongly agree 3. Generations of slavery and discrimination have created conditions that make it difficult for blacks to work their way out of the lower class. Strongly disag ree Disagree Slightly disagree Slightly agree Agree Strongly agree 4. How much discrimination against blacks do you feel there is in the United States today, limiting their chances to get ahead? A lot Some Just a little None at all 5. Over the past few y ears, blacks have gotten more economically than they deserve. Strongly disagree Disagree Slightly disagree Slightly agree Agree Strongly agree 6. Over the past few years, blacks have gotten less than they deserve. Strongly disagree Disagree Slightly disag ree Slightly agree Agree Strongly agree 7. How much of the racial tension that exists in the United States today do you think whites are responsible for creating? All of it Most Some Not much at all 8. How much of the racial tension that exists in the Un ited States today do you think blacks are responsible for creating? All of it Most Some Not much at all

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38 Note that there are six response categories for items one, two, three, five and six and only four responses categories for items four, seven and eight Since I wanted to include these last three items in calculating the Modern Racism score, I recoded the response categories for item four as follows: A lot = 5; Some= 3; Just a little = 1; None= 0). Similarly, questionnaire Items seven and eight were recoded as follows: All of it = 5; Most of it = 3; Some of it = 1; Not at all = 0). With reverse coding this recoding procedure allowed me to combine all eight items into one Modern Racism score, where a higher score indicates a more negative racial attitude. Other independent variables were Education Level (graduate, undergraduate) and Length of Residence in the United States. The scale items for Length of Residence are shown in Table 3 4 below. Table 3 4 Length of s tay Length of Residence < 1 year (Shor t Term) > 1 year but < 2 years (Semi Short Term) > 2 years but < 4 years (Semi Long Term) > 4 years (Long Term) Coding 0 1 2 3 Attitudes Towards U.S. Ethnic Groups The survey included questions which asked the Chinese students to rank various U.S. eth nic groups (European American, African American, Asian American, Jewish American, Latin American, and Native American) according to a list of negative and positive attributes. Five positive attributes (intelligent, sophisticated, efficient, honest, kind) and five negative attributes (aggressive, loud, arrogant, rude, and lazy) were supplied. The respondents ranked each ethnic group on each attribute, and the researcher tabulated the rankings. The researcher then graphed the rankings on each attribute for each ethnic group. Finally, the researcher asked respondents to rank the

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39 valence of the portrayal of each U.S. ethnic group in the media, and graphed their responses. Data Analysis Since convenience samples can only be statistically tested if the sample siz e is large and normally distributed (Riffe et al., 2005), the researcher calculated and compared mean scores on the MR variable for h igh i ntensity and l ow Intensity media users, across all six forms of media (television, movie, music, radio, newspapers, and Internet) controlling for education level and length of residency The hypotheses were also tested by analyzing and comparing frequencies and means for each criterion variable. The data gathered from the indepth interviews was used to supplement and i llustrate the quantitative findings. In Depth Interviews In depth interviews were also conducted with several respondents who consented to be interviewed. This qualitative data was used to illustrate and supplement the survey results. Selection of Partic ipants One of the survey questions asked whether the respondent would voluntarily participate in an indepth interview or a focus group on the topic. Those who agreed to participate were asked to leave their email addresses at the bottom of the last page of the questionnaire, and they were later contacted for the interview. The interviewees were six students between 24 and 32 years old. All were interviewed in January 2012. Half were female, and half were male. One was an undergraduate student, three wer e masters students and two were doctoral students programs. They were all originally from China, with English being their second language.

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40 The students majors varied: information systems, anthropology, engineering, advertising, electrical and computer engineering, and historic preservation. The students residency length also varied from six months to five years. The interviewees were not compensated for their participation. Procedure Before beginning the sessions, students were informed about the inter view topics, and the confidential nature of the study, and signed the informed consent. Each interview was recorded with two different recorders, for back up in case of battery failure. Although the interviews were conducted in English, the researcher also prepared an interview question sheet written in both English and Chinese to prevent miscommunication due to language barriers. The interviews were semi structured. The interviews lasted 60 to 90 minutes. All recorded data was manually transcribed and the participants were assigned an alias. Ellipses were used to show pauses and intentional or natural omissions of a word or sentence. Information that might reveal the participants identity was omitted. Laughter was indicated in parenthesis and interruptio ns wer e shown in square brackets. (Appendix D ) After transcribing the interview, the researcher contacted the participants and sent them a copy of their comments, indicating those that were unclear so they could clarify their answers. In interpreting their answers, the researcher did not correct any speech errors, unless they affected understanding of the responses. The researcher studied the data collected in these interviews, identifying separate themes until thematic saturation was reached (Strauss and C orbin, 1998). All of the recordings were deleted after transcription.

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41 Coding The researcher used the constant comparative method (Creswell, 2007) to locate the themes that emerged during the interview process. In the openended coding, the examined the transcripts for prominent themes supported by the text, for examples that represented each the theme. The researcher selected responses that indicated respondents racial attitudes, for example, I think White people are friendly and nice, Asians are int elligent and study hard. This process was continued until theoretical saturation was attained, that is, until no more new themes or attitudes appeared. After developing the initial set of themes, the researcher identified the main themes from the open coding sheet that were of particular relevance to my research. Then the researcher returned to the data base and collected attitudes which could provide insights into the main themes (Creswell, 2007, p. 160). The C hapter 4 presents the findings.

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42 CHAPTER 4 FINDINGS This study was designed to investigate the relationship between American media influence and the formation of racial attitudes in foreign audiences whose cultural backgrounds are considerably different. The primary aim of this study was to determ ine whether different degrees of American media use have significant impact on Chinese immigrant students attitudes and opinions about certain racial groups. Furthermore, the variables of the students residency length and education level in college were also observed as possible predictors of the relationship. The first part of this chapter provides a statistical analysis of the results of the study. In t he second part of the chapter, the researcher reports the themes and racial attitudes extracted from the in depth interviews. Result of the Survey Demographics Of the 224 students who completed the questionnaire, 180 were included in the analysis. The omitted 44 responses were removed from the analysis due to incomplete responses. All participants were Chinese immigrant students. Academic Level Figure 4 1 shows that of 180 respondents, 127 (71 % ) were graduate students and 53 (29.4 % ) were undergraduates.

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43 Figure 41. Academic l evel Length of Residence As shown in Figure 4 2 twenty nine (16 % ) of th e respondents were short term residents living in the United States less than one year; 38 (21 % ) were semi short term residents living in the United States from one to two years; 34 (19 % ) were semi long term residents living in the United States more than two years but less than four years; and 79 (44 % ) were long term residents living in the United States for more than five years. Figure 4 2. Length of r esidence

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44 Media Use and Understanding of American Culture As show in Figure 4 3 96 % of respondent s indicated American media are helpful in understanding American culture. Figure 4 3 My use of American media helps me to better understand American culture. Figure 4 4 shows that 95 % of respondents said American media are helpful in understanding Am erican society. Figure 4 4 My use of American media helps me to better understand American society. As shown in Figure 4 5 90 % of the respondents said the media are helpful in understanding American people.

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45 Figure 4 5 My use of American media helps me to better understand American people. Intensity of Media Use The intensity of the media use for each medium is shown in Figure 4 6 below. Figure 4 6 American TV v iewing As shown in Figure 4 6 the majority of the respondents were either medi um (49 % ) or low intensity TV viewers (41 % ). Figure 4 7 American m ovie v iewing

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46 As shown in Figure 4 7 the majority of the respondents were either medium (67 % ) or high intensity movie viewers (25 % ). Figure 4 8 American music l istening As sho wn in Figure 4 8 the majority of the respondents were either medium (55 % ) or low intensity music listeners (24 % ). Figure 4 9 American radio l istening As shown in Figure 4 9 the majority of the respondents were either medium (69 % ) or low intensit y radio listeners (26 % ).

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47 Figure 4 10. American n ewspaper r eading As shown in Figure 4 10 the majority of the respondents were either medium (64 % ) or low intensity newspaper readers (21 % ). Figure 4 11. Internet u sage As shown in Figure 4 11 the majority of the respondents were either high (60 % ) or medium intensity Internet users (36 % ). Summary The results indicate that American media are generally helpful to Chinese immigrant students in their understanding of American people, society, and culture. Most were likely to be low to medium users of traditional media like television, music,

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48 radio, and newspapers except movies. However, high use of the internet was prominent in the sample. Modern Racism The eight items of the Modern Racism were coll apsed into five indicators The following present s the results by indicator. Figure 41 2 Indicator 1: If Blacks work harder, they can overcome prejudice. As can be seen from the F igure 41 2 the majority (59 % ) of Chinese participants felt that Bla cks could overcome prejudice if they worked harder. Figure 413. Indicator 2: Discrimination keeps blacks in the lower class. As Figure 413 indicates, more than half of the respondents (5 6 % ) felt that discrimination does not keep Blacks in the lower class.

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49 Figure 414. Indicator 3: Blacks gets economically more than they deserve. Figure 414 shows that only 22 % of the respondents agreed that Blacks get economically more than they deserve. Figure 415. Indicator 4: Blacks are responsible for creating racism. As the F igure 415 indicates, an overwhelming majority of respondents felt that Blacks are responsible for creating racism. Figure 416. Indicator 5: Blacks are responsible for the persistence of racism.

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50 Overall, r espondents were almost equally divided 51 vs. 49 % over whether Blacks or Whites are responsible for racism as F igure 416 indicates Media Portrayals of American Ethnic Groups The following indicates respondents opinions on how American media portray various American ethni c Groups Figure 4 17. Which are the ethnic groups most positively depicted in American media? As indicated in the F igure 4 17 the majority of respondents indicated that they saw European Americans (Whites) the most positively depicted in American medi a (61 % ). Figure 4 18. Which are the most negatively described ethnic groups in American media?

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51 Figure 4 18 shows that the majority of respondents saw African Americans (Blacks) as the most negatively depicted in the media (54 % ). Results of Hypothesi s Testing Hypothesis 1. High media users will have more racist attitudes than low media users, scoring higher on the Modern Racism scale. Low intensity media users scored 2.40 (SD=.58) and highmedia users scored 2.64 ( SD= .80 ) on the MR scale. As the F igure 4 19 shows, higher media use is positively correlated with more negative attitudes towards Blacks. Figure 4 19. MR score for high and low intensity media use Because the variable intensity of media use is a composite variable, the hypothesis was tested again by comparing the MR scores with the intensity of use for each medium: television, movies, music, radio, newspapers, and the Internet. The MR scores for intensity of television, movie, music, radio, newspapers and the Internet use are also pos itively correlated.

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52 Figure 4 20. MR score for high and low intensity TV v iewing As F igure 4 20 shows, Low intensity television viewers scored 2.45 (SD=. 746) and Highintensity television viewers scored 2.78 ( SD= 732) on the MR scale. Intense viewing of television is positively correlated with respondents racist attitudes toward Blacks. Figure 4 21. MR score for high and low intensity m ovie viewing

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53 As F igure 4 21 shows, Low intensity movie viewers scored 2.14 (SD=.663) and High intensity movie viewers scored 2.62 ( SD= .886) on the MR scale. The intensity of movie viewing is positively correlated with respondents racist attitudes toward Blacks. Figure 4 22. MR score for high and low intensity m usic l istening As F igure 4 22 shows, Low intensi ty music listener scored 2.40 (SD=.695) and High intensity music listener scored 2.59 ( SD= .8 65) on the MR scale. Racist attitudes toward Blacks are also positively correlated with high intensity music listening. Figure 4 23. MR score for high and low intensity r adio l istening

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54 As F igure 4 23 shows, Low intensity radio listener scored 2.33 (SD=.598) and High intensity radio listener scored 2.60 ( SD= .8 43) on the MR scale. Racist attitudes toward Blacks are positively associated with high intensity radi o listening. Figure 4 24. MR score for high and low intensity newspaper r eading As F igure 4 24 shows, Low intensity newspaper readers scored 2.53 (SD=.725) and High intensity newspaper readers scored 2.67 ( SD= 92) on the MR scale. Racist attitudes to ward Blacks are positively correlated with intensity of newspaper reading. Figure 4 25. MR score for high and low intensity i nternet u sage

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55 As F igure 4 25 shows, Low intensity internet users scored 2.25 (SD=.707) and High intensity internet users scored 2.59 ( SD= 832) on the MR scale. The students racist attitudes toward Blacks were prominently positively correlated with intensity of internet usage. In sum, these results suggest that racist attitudes toward Blacks are generally positively correlated w ith intensity of media use, especially with the consumption of television movies and Internet content Modern Racism Indicators and Media Use Overall, high mean scores on each of the Modern Racism indicators were also positively correlated with intensit y of media use. Figure 4 26. Indicator 1 m ean scores for h igh and l ow i ntensity media use As Figure 4 26 shows, high intensity media users are more likely to feel that Blacks can overcome prejudice if they just work harder (low media users M=2.04, SD= 1.098 and high media users (M=2.58, SD= 1.097).

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56 Figure 4 27. Indicator 2 mean scores for high and low intensity media use As shown Figure 4 27, high intensity media users are slightly more likely to think discrimination keeps blacks in the lower class ( low media users (M=2. 40 SD=. 816); high media users (M= 2 56, SD=.8 13) Figure 4 28. Indicator 3 mean scores for high and low intensity media use As shown F igure 4 28, high intensity media users are more likely to think Blacks get economically more tha n they deserve (low media users (M=2.72 SD=.93 6) vs. high media users (M=3. 31, SD=.874))

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57 Figure 4 29. Indicator 4 mean scores for high and low intensity media use Paradoxically, low intensity media users are slightly more likely to say that Blacks ar e responsible for creating racism (M=2.64, SD=1.228) than high intensity media users (M=2.76 SD=1.052). Overall, the results indicate that higher media use is correlated with less sympathetic attitudes toward the plight of Blacks in American society. Hypo thesis 2. There will be significant differences in racial attitudes according to the students length of stay in America. The long term residents, those who stayed more than two year, scored 2.53 (SD=.097) on the MR, while the short term residents staying less than two years scored 2.62 (SD=.065). It can be said that Length of stay may lessen to some extent, students negative racial attitudes toward Blacks. Hypothesis 3. There will be significant differences in Chinese immigrant racial attitudes based on their academic level. The MR scores between the undergraduate and graduate were compared to test this hypothesis. Interestingly, U ndergraduates scored 2.47 ( SD= .95) on the MR and

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58 graduates scored 2.57( SD=. 67). Chinese Graduate students appear to hold more negative attitudes toward Blacks than Chinese undergraduates. Attribute Rankings of U.S. Racial Groups by Chinese Students Chinese immigrant students were asked to rank American ethnic groups according to each of positive and negative attributes. As se en below, Asians, Jews, and Whites were ranked the highest in the categories intelligent, efficient, and sophisticated; Native Americans and Whites were ranked highest in the category honest; Whites and Native Americans were ranked the highest in t he category kind; Blacks were ranked highest in the categories aggressive, rude, loud and lazy; and Whites were ranked the highest in the category arrogant. Figure 4 30. Intelligent As shown in F igure 4 30 the respondents said that Asians Jews, and Whites were more intelligent compared to other ethnic groups. Blacks were ranked the least intelligent.

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59 Figure 4 31. Sophisticated As shown in F igure 4 31 the respondents said that Whites ,Asians, and Jews were more sophistcated compared t o other ethnic groups. Blacks were ranked the lowest in sophistication. Figure 4 32. Efficient As shown in F igure 4 32 the respondents ranked t Asians, Jews, and Whites as more efficient compared to other ethnic groups. Blacks were ranked the lowest i n efficiency.

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60 Figure 4 33. Honest As shown in F igure 4 33 the respondents ranked Asians, Jews, and Whites as more honest compared to other ethnic groups. Latin Americans were ranked as the least honest. Figure 4 34. Kind As shown in F igure 4 34 the respondents ranked Whites and Native Americans were more kind compared to other ethnic groups. Blacks were ranked the least kind.

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61 Figure 4 35. Aggressive As shown in Figure 4 35 respondents ranked Blacks as most aggressive compared to other ethni c groups. Native Americans were ranked the least agressive. Figure 4 36. Loud As shown in F igure 4 36 the respondents said Blacks were the most loud of all ethnic groups. Native Americans were ranked the least loud.

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62 Figure 4 37. Arrogant As shown in F igure 4 37 the respondents saw Whites as more arrogrant compared to other ethnic groups. Native Americans were ranked the least arrogant. Figure 4 38. Rude As shown in Figure 4 38 the respondents ranked Blacks as the most rude comparerd to other ethnic groups. Native Americans were ranked the least rude.

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63 Figure 4 39. Lazy As shown in Figure 4 39 the respondents saw that Blacks as more lazy in compared to other ethnic groups. Asians were ranked the least lazy. Summary of the Quantitative R esu lts The survey results show that UF Chinese immigrant students spent significantly more time in using the Internet than other traditional media, such as television, radio, and newspapers. They think that American media are helpful in understanding America n people, society, and culture. Interestingly, although it was a small difference, there are more graduate students holding negative attitudes toward Blacks than undergraduates, but the longer the student stays in the U.S., the less negative attitudes they hold toward Blacks. The results also show that the students think the media portray U.S. ethnic groups unequally. The respondents perceived Whites most positively described and perceived Blacks most negatively in American media. When it comes to racial attitudes Chinese students hold toward Blacks (MR), the results were clearly prejudicial. The majority of

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64 Chinese students said that Blacks can overcome prejudice if they work harder (Indicator 1); that discrimination does not keep Blacks in the lower clas s (Indicator 2); and that Blacks are responsible for creating racism (Indicator 4). At the same time, a majority of Chinese students say the Blacks do not get more economically than they deserve (Indicator 3). Media use seemed to be related to the formati on of the immigrant students racist attitudes, as measured by the MR scale. Generally, the highintensity media users, especially television and movies, scored higher on the MR scale, showing less sympathetic attitudes toward the plight of Blacks in Ameri can society In examining the racial attribute rankings, students showed more positive attitudes about Whites, Asians, and Jews, while displaying negative attitudes toward Blacks and Latinos. Results of the In Depth Interviews The following section presents the six interview participants biographical information, and the principal themes that were identified in the interviews. Biographical Sketches The interview participants were all Chinese students attending the University of Florida. All of them were graduate students from 24 to 32 years of age. They had been in the United States from 5 months to 6 years. In order to protect their personal information, all interviewees were assigned an alias and any information that might easily reveal their identiti es were deleted from their file. Chao Chao is 25year old male student in the masters program. He had not been in the States until he came to the University of Florida. He had been living in America for five

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65 months when I interviewed him, and was fluent i n English. He identified himself as a low media user but the interview proved him to be a high user. He was familiar with many American television shows, movies, and music. He was living with three White American roommates. Chaos favorite television show is The Big Bang Theory and he said he mostly uses television shows to learn English and to learn more about Americans. Dengyu Dengyu is a 32year old male Ph.D student who was born and raised in a small city in China. He came to the United States six y ears ago and he speaks very fluent English. He has a few Chinese friends in other cities in America. Although he has some American friends in school, he does not have close friendships with any of them. He does not watch American television shows or movies as much as he did before coming to America. However, he keeps reading American newspapers mostly on the Internet. Jia Jia is 24 year old female student in a masters program who has lived in the States for three years. She does not have any close America n friends. She recognized herself as a very high media user. She watches American soap operas, reality TV shows, and movies. Jias favorite television shows are Desperate Housewives, Gossip Girl, CSI, X Files, The Apprentice, Jersey Shore, and Twilight. Z hishu Zhishu is a 28year old male Ph.D. student who has lived in the United States for five years; his English was very good. He said he has more Chinese than American friends and no close American friends. He identified himself as a high media user. He

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66 u sually watches American soap operas like The Big Bang Theory and many movies. He also reads newspapers to learn about American society and culture. Mai Mai is a 25year old female student in a masters degree program. She came to America six months ago. H er English was intermediate so several miscommunications occurred, which were cleared up later by her written comments. She has some American friends but she is not as close to them as to her Chinese friends. She identified herself as a very high media use. She enjoys a lot of American television, such as, Gossip Girl, The Big Bang Theory, How I Met Your Mother, and Lost. Binhan Binhan is a 21year old female undergraduate student. She has been in the states for 1 one year. Binhans English skill was inter mediate so her oral comments were backed up by her written comments. She goes to a church and she has a lot of American friends. Although she has some Chinese friends, she said she spends more time with the American friends she has met in church. She said she listens to American music and watches American television shows, and movies very often, including Desperate Housewives, Gossip Girl and Jersey Shore. Interview Topics American m edia u se On this topic, most interview participants noted that the media are important information resources in learning about cultures and people they have never met before. Besides using American media for entertainment purpose, they learned about American culture by watching American soap operas, movies, and news media even after coming to the States. The Chinese students participating in the interview sessions were quickly

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67 able to cite the benefits of learning foreign culture, languages, and people through the media: easy to access and entertainment. In fact, whether they consistently or inconsistently used American media to learn the culture, these interviewees reported with near unanimity that using American media helps them understand American culture and people. Dengyu, a less frequent American media consumer said that using American media: Dengyu: American media are pretty helpful to understand American culture and the way American people think and act and...Uh...and so on. Although I dont watch a lot of American TV shows or movies now, I still try to read newspapers every day. I think they [American media] are very helpful [in understanding culture]. Interviewees who consistently use American media also tended to connect their media usage to learning about American cultures, language, and Americans. The Big Bang Theory was the most frequently mentioned as a favorite television show. The soap opera, which is about graduate students campus lives, seemed to appeal to these Chinese interviewees who were primarily graduates because they found the show similar to their life in America and further, they possibly had the same emotional identification, as graduate students, with the casts of the drama. Zhishu revealed that he sometimes felt a close affinity with the characters in the shows: Zhishu: I was interested in this show when I became a graduate student. I thought this drama can (could) help me to see graduate students life in America. There are many shows about university students [undergraduates] but I didnt see any dramas about graduate students. I think its very new but...It is very familiar with me, uh, and my life [as a graduate student]. (Zhishu) All three female interviewees, Jia, Binhan, and Mai enjoyed watching American reality TV shows, such as The Apprentice, Americas Next Top Model, and Jersey

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68 Shore. They r eported that reality television shows are looked as more reality than other scripted shows they watch, such as Desperate Housewives, Gossipgirl, Lost, and The Big Bang Theory. Learning the English language was also another benefit most of the interviewees identified from their American media use. They found it useful to learn English by using the media, especially television shows. The said learning language is one of the most important parts of living in America and said it helps them assimilate themselves into American culture more efficiently. Chinese media u se All interviewees reported that Chinese entertainment and news media as well as American media were also good resources for learning about American culture and people. They said that they use Chines e media like China Central Television (CCTV) and they stated that Chinese media were helpful as a social learning tool in terms of understanding foreign culture with which they do not have tangible experience. Learning American culture through Chinese medi a actively took place before the students came to the United States. Mai said: Mai: Before I came here, uh, of course I watched Chinese media more [than American media]. So, I am [was] more familiar with foreign people in Chinese media when I was in China because I didnt have foreign friends. Now I actually try to spend less time on [in] watching Chinese media and [but] more American media to learn English. Whether it was Chinese or American media, the students clearly admitted that the media in general h elp them in learning American culture. Exposure to n egative r epresentations of b lacks in the m edia The participants noted that the media have concentrated on the negative aspects of the black neighborhood, for example, engaging in drug use, criminal activi ty, and welfare abuse. All participants reported that the portrayal of Blacks on television shows

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69 or movies is limited mostly to stereotypical roles. The students reported that they had negative images about Blacks before coming to the States and these images were formed by her exposure to American media. Jia: I always watched American TV shows before I came here [America]. I didnt particularly realized [realize] but now I am thinking...that most of negative characters were African A mericans or... South Americans [Latin Americans] or...some other minorities. The interviewees also found that Blacks appeared less often in than Whites. The dominant racial group in most of their favorite television shows was mostly Whites, they said. Binhan: I think there was only one time I saw Black people in Desperate Housewives [ throughout the whole season ] There wereBlack families and they were criminalsrunning away from something Um.. I dont remember. But I think I dont see Black people very much from the American dramas I watch that thats why. .[I dont remember Blacks in the media. ] Black c riminals in the m edia Of all media portrayals of Blacks, the interviewees said the dominant image of them in the media was as being criminals. They felt that American news media show more Black criminals than White criminals or criminals from other ethnic groups. The students concluded that there were unbalanced news reports of on criminality. Binhan and Mai said: Binhan: Black people are always like gangs, mob s, criminals in the media. Mai: When American media talk about criminals in the news, I think that most of the m are Black people. Among media genres, news media portrayals were significantly perceived as depicting social reality. The following accounts reveal the interv iewees opinions about Blacks, influenced by news coverage about Blacks.

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70 Zhishu: The news covers what really happens in real life. So if we see more Black criminals in the newspapers, that means there are more Black criminals. Jia: Newspapers are different from other media like television shows or movies. It is real. When I see Black criminals in a movie; they are not real, but when I see them in the newspapers; they are real. Besides news reporting, the formation of Black stereotypes was attributed to mov ies and Hip Hop music. Zhishu described HipHop music as gangster music, saying: Zhishu: I love hip hop music but sometimes I think the lyrics are too much It is full of curses. The stories are always about killing... or fighting with others. It is like ...Gangster music. I sometimes watched the hip hop music videos and I was very shocked; they are like pornography. Although many interviewees claimed that media messages rarely had a lasting impact on their behavior, some clearly saw potential for racist attitudes. Chao said he usually learns English through the entertainment media. While he thinks listening to American music helps him learn English quickly, he avoids H ip H op music because the message in the music is a bad influence: Chao: The [ hip hop ] music is all about violence, sex, drugs, money B ad influence. I just listen to the beat. I like that, but I never interpret the words. Another participant, Jia, described Black depictions in movies negatively and she reported that she used to have strong negative images about Blacks before she arrived in America, blaming the media for creating some misleading beliefs about Blacks. Jia said: Jia: When I watch American movies, the main characters are always White and Blacks are sidekicks. They [ Blacks] are either b ad guys or sidekicks of Whites.

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71 Regarding the portrayals of these negative stereotypical images of Blacks, the students criticized American entertainment media for creating some misleading beliefs, such as, that Blacks are violent. Chao said she had negative stereotypes about Blacks because of American movies prior to leaving China: Chao: Before I came here, I thought [because of American movies] African Americans were more violent, poor, and hard to get along [with]. As shown in the statements abov e, the Chinese immigrant students mostly found Blacks to be negatively portrayed in American media and in fact the media portrayals, especially news media, gave them a negative impression about Blacks. Media portrayals of Whites All interviewe es said that Whites are very positively portrayed in American media compared to other racial groups. While Blacks are depicted as criminals in the scripted media, they think Whites are mostly shown as those who are very powerful, rich, and heroic. They described Whites as Super heroes, CEOs, intelligent, and attractive. Mai White people in the media, everybody respects them; they are the best. Binhan: White women on Desperate Housewives are so very rich and attractive. Jia: Whites are shown as more educated and elegant people in the media. In Desperate Housewives, the four main female characters are all Whites, except Gabrielle. She is Mexican. Gabrielle is pretty and was a successful model, but she was not very much educated. Bree is a very elegant business owner; Lynnette is an intelligent business woman; and Susan is very talented. As Jia singled out Gabrielles education status in the show, education was frequently related to the quality of Whites and Blacks life in America. The interviewees generally repor ted that Whites are depicted playing positive roles in the media.

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72 The m ale interviewees explained how White males are depicted in American media. They reported that that many American movies describe White males as dominant figures. Chao said: Chao: In Am erican movies, only White guys save the world. There are African Americans or Asian Americans, but the American who saves the world in movies always has to be a White guy. Zhishu also noted that White males are much more empowered than the males from other race groups. He said : Zhishu: I think in every Hollywood movie, White guys usually have good jobs like CEO. Also, White guys in TV shows are mostly living successful lives with pretty White women. Jia thinks that the media misinform many Chinese people about White Americans by describing them as rich. She said: Jia: I think the reason why most of Chinese people think that White people are rich is because of the media. Chinese people who never been to America, they have some fantasy about America. They thin k most of Americans are rich, especially White. When a Chinese sees an African American in China, he or she will think that the Black person came from Africa because African Americans have the image of the poor. But when they (Chinese) see White person, th ey will think he or she is an American. As indicated in the students accounts, positive images of Whites that are constantly and more frequently portrayed the media comparing to other minority Americans may misled the participants to have excessive positi ve ideas about Whites. Attitudes toward Blacks Although the interviewees reported that they are heavily exposed to negatively mediated images of Blacks, some said their concepts of Blacks changed after having direct exposure to them:

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73 Binhan: Before I came to America, I though all Blacks were very dangerous, carrying guns. But now I have Black friends in my church and I know them wel l. They are all nice and kind. Mai: I had some prejudice and bad images about Black people like other Chinese, but now I liv e here and the most of prejudice disap peared. However, such attitudes were inconsistent with the vast majority of the interview data. A statement by Jia is especially noteworthy because it exemplifies the conflicted negative racial attitudes towards Blacks that Chinese immigrant students in this study hold, and the ambivalence in those attitudes. Jia reported that her negative images of Blacks disappeared after she arrived in America: Jia: I had some bad images about Black people like poor and dangerous bu t after I came here, I found them all friendly. Sometimes I think they ar e friendlier than White people. However, later in the interview she said that she gets nervous when she walks on a street that is Black concentrated which is contradictory to her statement that says about her attitude change toward Blacks: Jia: Actually, in [a name of place], it is kind of a place where black peopleconcentrated. Right? Every time I walk alone, I kind of a little bit nervous once I am surrounded by black people. B ut, they are kind, I think They did nothing, you know, [ that ] offends me, or offend others [...] I have a friend who lives in [a name of place]. One time, she told me that she was robbed as walking on a street where was full of black people. They took her bag away. [...] That thing happens in usually big cities wheres black peopleconcentrated. So since I heard this kind of things, every time I pass downtown [ because there are a lot of black people ] I am kind of nervous. Although she experienced Black people in person enough to change her attitudes toward Blacks from negative to positive, she still seemed to be holding onto her racist attitudes.

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74 Such inconsistency in attitudes toward Blacks was found in most of the male students. Although the intervie wees frequently expressed that their attitudes and opinions about Blacks had been changed from negative to positive as they sojourned in America, most of the interviewees explicitly or tacitly articulated a negative sentiment against Blacks by sharing unpl easant personal friends experiences with them. They claimed that Asians are explicitly discriminated against by Blacks in the United States. Zhishu shared his friends story and even advised the interviewer to be careful with Blacks as follows: Zhishu: My friend in New York said that I should not go to the area whereblack people live; its dangerous becausehe said that...UhIf you park your car alone at night, they attack you and rob you especially if you are Chinese. And theblack people in the subway late at night also very dangerous. There are a lot of robberies [...] because they [Blacks] hate Asians and most of Asians here are Chinese soYeah. Black people do not like Asian people very much. So you should be careful when you go to places that have a lot of black people at night Another participant, Dengyu, also reported racism against Asians by Blacks in America. He shared his own experience of being the target of hate crimes, and says it influenced his racist attitudes a great deal. He thinks Blac k people hate Asians, particularly Chinese. Dengyu: On the first day when I just arrived in the U.S, I was in New York. My friend contacted me to visit the Natural History Museum. When I was getting out of the subway, uh Suddenly a black teenager hit me with a water bottle [...] For no reason. I didnt know what was wrong with me or what was wrong with him. I dont know. [...] At that moment I was very so surprised and astonished. I was like, What was that? Whats wrong with them? I told this to my fri end later and he said. Oh, well, its because you are an Asian man. You are Asian. Thats the reason. However, some of the Asian interviewees also readily admitted that Chinese people also discriminate against Blacks.

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75 Chao: In my opinion, I think the r acial discrimination also exists. But I think it is not that terrible comparing to the past time. And I think some Chinese, because we do not have black people in our country, I think somesome Chinese; they discriminate black people. [...]BecauseFor exam ple, when you want to rent a house and find American roommates, and you find them through roommate matching service in advance. Some people ask like, if they are Americans or Chinese but some people ask, Are they white or black? I think there is some kind of discrimination. Uh, I think it is because we heard about something like that black people are rude, they behave not so politely. I also think that is because of the mass media. They make a belief. When you see the TV shows, some bad guys are black and thecops are white people. It seems that both the media images and personal experience increased wariness toward Blacks by Chinese immigrant students. Blacks work e thic The interviewees said that Blacks in America are poor compared to Whites because i n part, they do not work hard. They all agreed on how diligent Asians and Jews are. Chao: You know, Asian people and Jewish people, they work hard in America and they live very well here, right? At the beginning, Asians are in the poor situation when they first came to the United States and they may suffer a lot. But then a few years later, they work hard; they make the money; and they live better. [...] But blacksI think some blacks do not work hard enough. Because the president is now the black person a nd there are many black people who are really successful. So, yeah, I think part of the reason why they are poorer is that they dont work hard compared to other people. And I also part of the reason [why they are poorer] is the discrimination against them in the society. Another reported that Blacks are lazy because they are more likely to live on government subsidies than other ethnic groups, have lower paying jobs, and the homeless people they have seen tend to be Blacks: Zhishu: UmI dont think they [ black s] are that much lazy. But compared to other races, yes [they are lazier] uh, because they more live on welfares A nd even homeless people in [a name of place he

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76 lives ]Uh, I think I have seen more black homeless people. I am not sure about other cit ies in America but yeah, definitely there are more black homeless. Dengyu: A majority of homeless people are African American people. [...] African Americans usually have low paying jobs. Most of janitors in the UF or fast food restaurant servers are black s. As indicated in the statements above, the students seem to blame Blacks for making people see Blacks in a less flattering way and bringing discrimination upon themselves. While the Chinese students interpreted having the Black president as a symbol of a great potential for Blacks in America to move to higher class, they still saw more Blacks in lower class with low paying jobs and asserted that Blacks should work harder to make their way up. Blacks and e ducation While the students reported that Blacks ar e poor because of their lack of work ethic, they also related Blacks social status in America to education: Jia: I think Black people do not spend their money on their education. I really dont understand why. Dengyu: Criminals are usually uneducated and poor. Thats why we see more Black criminals in the newspaper because they are poor and uneducated. [...] Although bad people are not determined by races, it is determined by the degree of your education. Zhishu: Black people are usually poor and they are not well educated. They need to educate themselves or they will be either criminals or homeless. The statements above show that t hese Chinese students highly value education. Basically, they think the lack of education keeps Blacks in the lower class. For them, education is a very important factor that determines ones quality of life. The following statement indicates how education means to Chinese immigrant students :

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77 Chao: The first generation of Chinese immigrants is mostly poorly educated; they always make a living by labor work and get paid little. However, their children [the second generation] are totally different: w elleducated, totally American [both language and culture] and lead to a more successful future. For these Chinese immigrant students who greatly value education and relate it directly to ones quality of life, Blacks whose images both in the media and reality are either criminal or homeless might be seen as highly uneducated. They make a causal link between lack of education, criminal ity homelessness, and they tended to attribute the responsibility for existing negative black stereotypes to Blacks not educating themselves properly. Attitude c hange and social r elations Most of the interviewees reported their racial attitudes had been changed after coming to the United States. However, they frequently disclosed that they still stick to their racist ideas most of time, showing ambivalent attitudes towards Blacks. Interestingly, all participants except one, Binhan, did not have any close American friends and were not affiliated with any groups or organization or attempt to socialize with Americans after they arrived in the United States. Binhan was the only student interviewed who had more American friends than Chinese friends, although most of her American friends came from her church. She said she used to hold negative viewpoint about Blacks and admitted that she picked racial stereotypes mostly from American media before coming to the United States. Although, she found disparity between the media race portrayals and reality after coming to America, her attitude about the plight of Blacks in America remains conflicted: Binhan: My racial attitudes have been changed after I came here. Images of racial groups in the media are different from those I have seen in

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7 8 reality. [...] I know there was a lot of discrimination before. But I dont see it I think there is no discrimination at all Binhan goes to church and is affiliated with a foreign language program in school, and she has more Americ an or other international friends than Chinese and spent more time with them. Nonetheless, she would still largely qualify as a modern racist. Summary of the Qualitative Results The interviewees used American media to learn the culture and people. Most of them used to have or still have racial stereotypes or prejudice due to media exposure, reinforced by their own or their Chinese friends personal experience. The interviewees were primarily high media users Most of interviewees attributed stereotypes and prejudice they have about Blacks to the media creating misleading images about them, particularly television programs and news media Also, their direct and indirect personal experience influenced on their opinions about Blacks. While the students could identify false racial images that the entertainment media depict and claimed they were not influenced by them, they showed cognitive inconsistency by describing Blacks in the exact same way as the media portray them. They tended to accept news media report s as more realistic rather than other media representations, stating that crime reports in news reflect Blacks unfortunate reality, such as a lack of education or being in lower class, and blaming blacks for their condition. There was a significant dif ference in the students describing Blacks and Whites in the media. The students frequently described Blacks as criminals, the uneducated lower class, or lazy people both in the media and reality. On the other hand, Whites were politically and economically powerful and sophisticated. Most of the interviewees

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79 said they learned such attitudes from American media before arriving to the United States. Although they positively described Blacks at the start of each interview, their personal experience and observ ations about Blacks were very negative during the course of each interview. While most of the students reported that they do not hold negative racial attitudes or prejudice against Blacks, they explicitly described stereotyped Blacks in stereotypical ways, and concluded that Black criminals and poverty are due to almost exclusively to lack of education, which Chinese immigrant students particularly value. They asserted that the ultimate cause of discrimination against Blacks in America is the low level of B lack education, rather than racial discrimination.

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80 CHAPTER 5 DISCUSSION The Media and Social Learning In this study, personal agency proactively operated when Chinese immigrants were engaged in new host culture and it drove them to be purposely and actively involved in learning the new culture through various social networks (Bandura, 2001b) including their own cultural group networks. The findings of this study show that Chinese immigrant students indeed use various media vehicles in order to learn about American people, cultures, languages, and society through various media vehicles. Racial stereotypes in American media promote assimilation of racist attitudes for Chinese immigrant students. The images of Blacks held by the students were very much consist ent with their descriptions of the portrayals of American ethnic groups in the media. The interview participants admitted that they were influenced by the media when it comes to having such images of Blacks. They said they were also influenced by personal experiences. The study found that conforming to others viewpoints is normal among the Chinese immigrant students when making decisions or learning about things that they have never experienced. This finding is consistent with social cognitive theory that indicates peoples attitudes and opinions are developed by modeling and imitating others. I would argue that conforming to others is an important psychological mechanism in understanding media influence on the formation of racist attitudes among immigrants to American society. The media have been the vehicles that deliver ideologies and racial stereotypes in the media reflect dominant racial values in American society (Barker, 2000). Although some Chinese students said they are not

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81 influenced by media portr ayals of race, their acceptance or understanding and conforming behavior to such viewpoints indicates that they are influenced by such portrayals. Persistent Racism and Assimilation The study revealed that Chinese immigrant students blamed the media for creating negative images of minorities, especially Blacks. They found that Blacks and other minorities are portrayed in a negative light in American media. When Chinese immigrant students did indicate their thoughts about Blacks in America, many used popular Black stereotypes in the media such as criminals, cheaters, pimps, and drug dealers American media persistently portray such Black stereotypes. While the Chinese immigrant students consciously identified the many different racial stereotypes American media portray, more than half of the survey participants accused Blacks of creating racism. The qualitative data provided by the students disclosed that some have had direct negative experiences or heard of other Chinese who had. Even if they did not have the direct experience, the students seem to justify their sentiments by pointing out that news reports portray more Black criminals than criminals of other races, and they perceive news reporting as being realistic. For immigrants who already have negat ive racial stereotypes and prejudice about Blacks before coming to the host country, direct or indirect unpleasant experience with Blacks in reality after they come to America reinforces their preexisting racist ideas about Blacks gained from a symbolic reality a great deal. Moreover, the experience of coincident consistency of racial stereotypes between the media and reality may produce a viewpoint that sees that Blacks as attracting discrimination to themselves by their own illegal conduct.

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82 Chinese news medias imbalanced portrayals of race relations in America as well as those in American media significantly contributed to the formation of preexisting racial attitude among Chinese immigrant students. The interview participants especially pointed out that Chinese news reports about American race relations are frequently distorted and the news topics about Americans are usually negative. For example, Dengyu stated that Chinese news reports, which are heavily monitored and censored by the government, tend to disseminate negative images of American due to the politically unpleasant relationship between the U.S and China. When Chinese news media broadcast Americarelated news reports, they are usually about wars in the Middle East, high unemployment rates, and sometimes hate crimes against Chinese people in America. Also, the students see more Whites introduced as American in Chinese media than Blacks or other minorities. American racial portrayals in the Chinese media seem to be highly formalized. Omi and Wi nant (1994) state that r acial categories themselves are formed, transformed, destroyed and reformed. We use the term racial formation to refer to the process by which social, economic and political forces determine the content and importance of racial ca tegories, and by which they are in turn shaped by racial meanings (Omi & Winant, 1994, p.12). In other words, the political relationship between China and America shapes the way that Chinese media portray America and its peoples. Furthermore, the symboli c annihilation of Blacks in Chinese entertainment media may also contribute to the racist attitudes among Chinese students. For Chinese students, who live in racially homogeneous country, both American and Chinese media portray are the primary informative resource for learning about race in America. The

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83 absence and/or underrepresentation of Blacks and the predominance of Whites in these media can lead the Chinese viewers to form stereotypes and prejudice before coming to America. Such preexisting racial st ereotypes and prejudice seem to be confirmed and reinforced after coming to the United States. Gerbners cultivation theory (2002) insightfully explains it. In his theory, Gerbner identified the mean world syndrome as a main conclusion. Mean world syndr ome indicates that heavy television viewers are more likely to assimilate what they watched and to perceive the world as a dangerous place where they cannot trust others (Gerbner et al., 2002). Chinese immigrant students, who already have negative stereoty pes by watching both American entertainment media and Chinese news media, described Blacks not only in the stereotypical ways presented in the media, but saw them as also poor, uneducated, and more dangerous in reality than any other racial groups. Media s tereotypes of Blacks usually resonated with their own personal observations, reinforcing their preexisting racist ideas. Gerbner argues that when the viewers personal experiences are consistent with what they watch in the media, resonance takes place, which enhances the cultivation process (Gerbner, 1998). That is to say, according to Gerbner et al. (2002), Chinese immigrant students with high intensity of media usage are more likely to develop exaggerated negative perceptions about Blacks, especially when they have negative experiences with Blacks in real life. Not only the media but also preexisting community members become great learning resources on which newcomers rely w hen people move to a foreign country The dependence on such resources for lear ning about the host culture, as Dyal & Dyal

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84 (1981) note, may be greater for those whose culture is significantly different from the host culture, for instance, people immigrating from Eastern to Western culture. As the survey result found, many of Chinese immigrant students thought American media are helpful in understanding American people, society, and culture. The interviews also found that the students who have fewer social opportunities with American friends favored the media in learning English languages and the way American people live. Besides the media, another assimilation strategy they took was socializing with other Chinese in a community of the host culture. Considering the fact that Chinese culture is collectivistic, looking for advice and help and relying on other Chinese are very natural and common for them. These factors serve to reinforce existing racist attitudes. Chinese immigrant students generally stick to, live with, and hang out with other Chinese people, because it gives them easier access to informative resources for assimilation into the host culture. Most of the interviewees did not have American friends no matter how long they had lived in the United States. And their experience with Americans or other racial groups is usually shar ed within their social networks. For example, when new comers look for a new apartment to live, they usually ask other Chinese people in the community for references. Respondents usually tell him or her to avoid particular areas of town because it is more dangerous because they have more Black people in them. However, as I have noted earlier, individual interviewees did not see themselves as racist. Instead, they identified other Chinese people they knew or other ethnic groups as the holders of racist at titudes. That is to say, the immigrants pointed out that were indeed other members in their ethnic groups who frequently expressed negative attitudes toward other races, but not themselves.

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85 Hence, an ethnic community whose members social lives are limite d to their own ethnic group seems to provide a hotbed for the cultivation of racial stereotypes and prejudice, reproduced by sharing limited interracial relationships. New immigrant members pick up these ideas that are shared within the community members and reinforce their preexisting racist attitudes. Although short term residents a score somewhat higher on the Modern Racism scale than longer term residents, the interview data shows that length of residence has only a marginal effect on immigrants racial attitudes. Socialization with Americans seemed to be only slightly related to a decline of racist attitudes among some Chinese. Racialized Media, Blacks, and Chinese Values As half of students answered that Blacks are responsible for creating racism to a certain extent, high levels of Modern Racism were revealed among the Chinese immigrant students. Also, Blacks and other minorities in the media nowadays were seen very negatively in Chinese immigrant students viewpoints. The studys findings of negative m edia images of Blacks are consistent with Greenberg et al. (2002)s reviews on studies of ethnic minorities and the media conducted for the past thirty years. Racialized images have continued to be featured in American media up to the present. In this 21st century, Blacks both in the media and reality are perceived negatively by todays Chinese immigrant students who assigned them the characteristics of aggressive, rude, loud, and lazy, differing little from previous studies of racist attitudes in America. Chinese immigrant students thought that Blacks and other racial groups are marginalized in the media and even if they are featured, they tended to be sidekicks of Whites or portrayed as bad or poor characters. On the other hand, Whites in the media were seen occupying the highest social positions, as well as being successful, well -

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86 educated, and rich. Besides the media, such negative descriptions of Blacks also derived from students own experiences, and those of other Chinese people they knew or had heard a bout. It is noteworthy that they also indicated that Blacks are criminals and homeless in real life, a perception which may reinforce Chinese student acceptance of the negative media racial portrayals supplied by the media. As noted in the literature revi ew, the media audience decodes media messages differently according to a variety of factors, such as culture, education, race, etc (Hall, 1973). For these interviewees who directly associate education with a better quality of life, media depictions further reinforce their stereotypes against Blacks. That is to say, the Chinese emphasis on education plays a significant role in their decoding of messages about Blacks, and the formation of their negative attitudes toward Blacks. The interviewees in this study put much emphasis on the importance of education. Chinese immigrants value education more than anything and link it directly linked to the quality of ones life. While the immigrants admitted that Blacks are disadvantaged because they live on government s ubsidies and become criminals due to the poverty, they attributed such conditions to Blacks not educating themselves to make their way into the middle or upper class. By arguing that the lack of education is directly linked to the quality of life, the images of poor Blacks they saw both in the media and reality were interpreted as caused by lack of education rather than by social forces Reduced Prejudice and Stereotypes Through Interpersonal Contacts Although insignificant, the difference in MR scores for short and long term residents are worthy of comment. Longer residency in the United States may lessen racist attitudes to some extent. This finding is consistent with the contact hypothesis. Given equal status with Americans as college students in the university, communication

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87 occurs more easily between students regardless of their races. There are more conditions that would have to be satisfied for this result to be consistent with the theory, such as a racial group members willingness to interact wi th other racial groups; the universitys support for contact between Americans and international students; and similar values or beliefs shared amongst the students (Martin and Nakayama, 2010, p.149150). Therefore, the simple correlation between length of residence and MR does not provide adequate context for understanding how the students prejudices and stereotypes against Blacks might be reduced. In the interviews, the length of stay did not appear to be very relevant to the students racist attitudes Although most of the students revealed a certain level of MR as discussed in previous sections, most of interviewees professed that their attitudes toward Blacks have been positively changed since arriving here. They said they were more familiar with Black s in the media before coming to the United States but after they immigrated they realized that Blacks are also nice and friendly. However, the examples of experiences with Bl a cks that made them change their attitudes were not provided by the any of the int erviewees, except for Binhan, who satisfied most of the contact hypothesis conditions. Binhans significant change of her viewpoints about Blacks from very negative to less negative occurred from her actively spe nding time learning about American culture a nd mingling with Americans or other international or others from abroad. Getting involved in a program or organization voluntarily to interact with different racial groups is an important condition that is likely to have an impact on racial attitude change In

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88 short, direct interpersonal interaction goes not guarantee positive outcomes, but may be helpful in reducing racism. It is difficult to observe and fully explain how attitudes about race form and change over time in a complex society. Whether it pr oduces positive or negative outcomes, direct positive interaction with successful Blacks or other minorities may be the best way to alleviate persistent racial stereotypes or prejudice Chinese immigrants learn from the media. Implications While many scholars have studied the medias role in reproducing racial stereotypes and prejudice, and their influence on viewers, White prejudice and racist attitude development in the United States have been the subject of most such studies. In other words, racism betw een minorities has not often been adequately discussed. This studys finding s contribute to the literature on social cognitive theory, cultural studies, and the contact hypothesis. Findings from the survey and the interviews provide additional evidence of Modern Racism as well as help us understand the complex process by which immigrants and foreigners decode media messages. Because of the large homogeneous sample used in the survey, this study was able to quantitatively show apparent stereotypes that Chinese immigrant students have and prejudices they hold against Blacks. The qualitative portion of the study provided additional evidence that such stereotypes and prejudice are derived from what t h e y see in the media. Also, as the Chinese population in the United States grows, this study may help readers to understand Chinese values and attitudes toward Blacks and provide insights for future study on this topic Lastly, this study raises social awareness of the

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89 persistence of racism not only among majority dominant groups, but also between racial minorities. Limitation The study had some social demographic limitations. Because t he sample was limited to university students, there is a possibility that other Chinese immigrants might display different attitud es toward Blacks, based on their different position in the social structure. Moreover, all of the study participants were from a small Southern college town. A future study may yield different results if the study subjects are in different environments, such as in bigger cities. The use of statistical models to validate these results was excluded due to the nonrandom method of sampling. However, this study may be the precursor to a future effort to find statistically significant effects of media on racial attitudes amongst the Chinese, with a larger parametric study using a truly random sample of Chinese students. In the interviews, most of the interviewees actively shared their viewpoints about Blacks; a few of them often gave answers that only partially answered the interview questions, because of their weak spoken English skills. Although most of the vague oral comments were backed up in the written interviews, a future researcher will elicit richer and more comprehensive qualitative data by conducting the interviews in the native language of the interviewee. Also, the study conducted indepth interviews with 5 graduates and 1 undergraduate. If a future researcher interviews an equal number of students from each academic level, he or she may gain additi onal data that might yield more robust interpretations.

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90 Lastly, although gender difference was not a variable in this study, the interviewees revealed that but the male and female students had different interpretations of the causes and solutions for racism. If a future researcher considers gender as an independent variable for this study topic, these g ender based differences in racial perceptions could be further explored.

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91 APPENDIX A INFORMED CONSENT Informed Consent Please read this consent docum ent carefully before you decide to participate in this study. Purpose of the research study: The purpose of this study is to explore the media consumption habits of Chinese students and its impact on the acculturation of Chinese students to American cultural values. What you will be asked to do in the study: In this research, you and other students will be asked to complete a survey questionnaire. If you decide to participate in an interview after the survey, you will discuss your ideas, thoughts, and opi nions about American media and culture, for 60 minutes, with an interviewer. You will be asked to actively discuss, which will take place in English. Participation in the interview is optional. Time required: 10 to 15 minutes for the survey questionnaire 6090 minutes for the interview. Risks and Benefits: The risks of this study are expected to be minimal since both the survey and interview will be administered in a natural setting. There are no direct benefits for participating in the study. Compensati on: There will be no compensation to participants for participating in the study. Confidentiality: Your identity will be kept confidential to the extent provided by law. You will be asked to provide your email address only if you want to participate in t he interview. Your email will not be linked to your responses on the survey and I will delete all e mail address at the end of the study. In the interview, your identity will be protected by assigning you and alias. Your responses will also be assigned a c ode number not affiliated with your name. Your name will not be used in any report. The interview will be recorded, but any identifying information will be deleted during transcription, and no quotes or paraphrases used in any report that will identify individuals. Voluntary participation: Your participation in this study is completely voluntary. There is no penalty for not participating and you can withdraw at any time. Right to withdraw from the study: You have the right to withdraw from the study at anytime without consequence.

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92 Whom to contact if you have questions about the study: Jeonghui Gho Graduate Student College of Journalism and Communications University of Florida Gainesville, Florida 32611 Phone:352672 1830 Whom to contact about your rights as a research participant in the study: IRB02 Office, PO Box 112250, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 326112250, Phone: 352392 0433. Agreement: I have read the procedure described above. I voluntarily agree to participate in the procedure and I have received a copy of this description. ( ) I Agree

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93 APPENDIX B SURVEY QUESTIONNAIRE Demographics 1. Are you Chinese? ( ) Yes ( ) No 2. Which of the followings is applying to you? [ ] Undergraduate Student [ ] Master's student [ ] Ph.D student [ ] ESL student Media Use 3) How long have you been in the United States? [ ] Less than 6 months [ ] More than 6 months but less than 1 year [ ] More than 1 year but less than 2 years [ ] More than 2 years but less than 3 years [ ] More than 3 years but less than 4 years [ ] More than 4 years but less than 5 years [ ] More than 5 years 4) How many hours per week do you use the following media? a. Television [ ] None [ ] Less than 1 hour [ ] 1 2 hours [ ] 3 4 hours [ ] 5 6 hours [ ] 7 8 hour s [ ] 9 10 hours [ ] More than 10 hours

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94 b. Movie [ ] None [ ] Less than 1 hour [ ] 1 2 hours [ ] 3 4 hours [ ] 5 6 hours [ ] 7 8 hours [ ] 9 10 hours [ ] More than 10 hours c. Music [ ] None [ ] Less than 1 hour [ ] 1 2 hours [ ] 3 4 hours [ ] 5 6 hours [ ] 7 8 hours [ ] 9 10 hours [ ] More than 10 hours d. Radio [ ] None [ ] Less than 1 hour [ ] 1 2 hours [ ] 3 4 hours [ ] 5 6 hours [ ] 7 8 hours [ ] 9 10 hours [ ] More than 10 hours e. Newspaper [ ] None [ ] Less than 1 hour [ ] 1 2 hours [ ] 3 4 hours [ ] 5 6 hours [ ] 7 8 hours [ ] 9 10 hours [ ] More than 10 hours f. Internet

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95 [ ] None [ ] Less than 1 hour [ ] 1 2 hours [ ] 3 4 hours [ ] 5 6 hours [ ] 7 8 hours [ ] 9 10 hours [ ] More t han 10 hours 5) Which racial group do you most often see positively portrayed in the media these days? (Please select only ONE ethnic group) ( ) European American ( ) African American ( ) Asian American ( ) Jewish American ( ) Latino American ( ) Nati ve American 6) Which racial group do you most often see negatively portrayed in the media these days? (Please select only ONE ethnic group) ( ) European American ( ) African American ( ) Asian American ( ) Jewish American ( ) Latino American ( ) Nativ e American Please indicate your level of agreement with all of the following statements. 7) My use of American media helps me to better understand American culture. ( ) Strongly disagree ( ) Disagree ( ) Slightly disagree ( ) Slightly agree ( ) Agree ( ) Strongly agree

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96 9) My use of American media helps me to better understand American society. () Strongly disagree ( ) Disagree ( ) Slightly disagree ( ) Slightly agree ( ) Agree ( ) Strongly agree 10) My use of American media helps me to better und erstand American people. () Strongly disagree ( ) Disagree ( ) Slightly disagree ( ) Slightly agree ( ) Agree ( ) Strongly agree American Culture and People Please indicate your level of agreement with all of the following statements. 11) It's reall y a matter of some people not trying hard enough; if blacks would only try harder they could be just as well off as whites. () Strongly disagree ( ) Disagree ( ) Slightly disagree ( ) Slightly agree ( ) Agree ( ) Strongly agree 12) Irish, Italian, Jew ish and many other minorities overcame prejudice and worked their way up. Blacks should do the same. () Strongly disagree ( ) Disagree ( ) Slightly disagree ( ) Slightly agree ( ) Agree ( ) Strongly agree

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97 13) How much of the racial tension that exists in the United States today do you think blacks are responsible for creating? ( ) All of it ( ) Most ( ) Some ( ) Not much at all 14) How much of the racial tension that exists in the United States today do you think whites are responsible for creating? ( ) All of it ( ) Most ( ) Some ( ) Not much at all Please indicate your level of agreement with all of the following statements. 15) How much discrimination against blacks do you feel there is in the United States today, limiting their chances to get ahead? ( ) A lot ( ) Some ( ) Just a little ( ) None at all 16) Generations of slavery and discrimination have created conditions that make it difficult for blacks to work their way out of the lower class. ( ) Strongly disagree ( ) Disagree ( ) Slightly disagree ( ) Slightly agree ( ) Agree ( ) Strongly agree 17) Over the past few years, blacks have gotten less than they deserve.

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98 () Strongly disagree ( ) Disagree ( ) Slightly disagree ( ) Slightly agree ( ) Agree ( ) Strongly agree 18) Over the past few years, blacks have gotten more economically than they deserve. () Strongly disagree ( ) Disagree ( ) Slightly disagree ( ) Slightly agree ( ) Agree ( ) Strongly agree Ethnic/Racial Characteristics Please rank all of the following ethnic groups by dragging/dropping them into the sort box on the right. 19) Which ethnic group do you think is the most intelligent? Please Rank ALL of the groups. _______European American _______African American _______Asian American _______Jewish Am erican _______Latino American _______Native American 20) Which ethnic group do you think is the most sophisticated? Please Rank ALL of the groups. _______European American

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99 _______African American _______Asian American _______Jewish American _______Latino American _______Native American 21) Which ethnic group do you think is the most efficient? Please Rank ALL of the groups. _______European American _______African American _______Asian American _______Jewish American _______Latino American _______Native American 22) Which ethnic group do you think is the most honest? Please Rank ALL of the groups. _______European American _______African American _______Asian American _______Jewish American _______Latino American _______Native Amer ican 23) Which ethnic group do you think is the kindest? Please Rank ALL of the groups. _______European American

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100 _______African American _______Asian American _______Jewish American _______Latino American _______Native American Ethnic/Racial Characteristics Please rank all of the following ethnic groups by dragging/dropping them into the sort box on the right. 24) Which ethnic group do you think is the most aggressive? Please Rank ALL of the groups. _______European American _______African American _______Asian American _______Jewish American _______Latino American _______Native American 25) Which ethnic group do you think is the loudest? Please Rank ALL of the groups. _______European American _______African American _______Asian American _______Jewish American _______Latino American _______Native American

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101 26) Which ethnic group do you think is the most arrogant? Please Rank ALL of the groups. _______European American _______African American _______Asian American _______Jewi sh American _______Latino American _______Native American 27) Which ethnic group do you think is the rudest? Please Rank ALL of the groups. _______European American _______African American _______Asian American _______Jewish American _______Latino American _______Native American 28) Which ethnic group do you think is the laziest? Please Rank ALL of the groups. _______European American _______African American _______Asian American _______Jewish American _______Latino American _______Native American

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102 A PPENDIX C INTERVIEW QUESTIONS Do you use American media? What kinds of media do you usually use? This general question was intended to elicit the participants degree of media use. The participants were asked how much they were exposed to A merican media and which media they used. They were also asked to name their favorite shows or movies and whether they read a newspaper on a regular basis. How do you learn about American culture? I asked the participants about their sources of learning about American culture and society, including nonmedia sources. What do you think about race relations in American society? I wanted respondents to share their personal observations about Americans relationship with each other, such as whether Americans g et along well regardless of their race or whether they are more likely to separate from each other. The question was also intended to elicit their attitudes and opinions about each racial group and their thoughts about race relations in America. Do you think American media are helpful in understanding American race relations? This question was designed to see if the students actually learn about race in America by watching the media. More importantly, I wanted to find out whether the students noticed unfairness or discrimination among different races in American media. I further asked those who said the media did not help them understand race to explain why the felt that way. How does what you learned from media fit in with what you already knew about ra ce before you arrived in the U.S?

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103 Through this question, I wanted to find out how they thought about racial groups in America before coming to the States. The main purpose of this line of questioning was to see whether the students had racial stereotypes or prejudice toward specific groups of people before having direct interpersonal contacts with Americans. Have your attitudes about race been impacted more by your exposure to American media or by your experiences in American society? If so, how? The main purpose of this question was to gauge how much the immigrant students clearly differentiate between the mediated images of races and reality. Which racial/ethnic group of people do you think the American media portray most positively/negatively? Can you come up with any examples? Because immigrant students might have been exposed to American media to some extent, they must have seen certain races portrayed more often as main characters and other races portrayed in minor roles. This question was useful in eliciting their impressions and opinions about various racial groups media characters. What do you think about the personal traits/attitudes of Whites/Blacks/Asians or other ethnic groups depicted in the media? This question was asked to find out responde nt attitudes towards these specific groups in America. Most of the respondents shared their own or friends experiences or images they saw in the media to explain how they arrived at their opinions about the racial groups. Since coming to the U.S., which of your beliefs about racial groups are re affirmed; which are challenged; and which have been changed? This question was intended to see whether living in America actually made them realize that there were significant differences or similarities from what they saw in the media before coming to the United States and the U.S. racial reality. They discussed

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104 the stereotypes and prejudice toward certain race groups they had before and after coming to America and how they formed these images. Have you ever experienced racist remarks/behaviors from other racial/ethnic groups of people, since you have lived in the United States? The purpose of this question is to see whether racism still exists. They were asked to share their own experiences with racism in Americ a or those of their friends and how those experiences impacted their attitudes towards ethnic groups in America. Are there any more thoughts and stories you would like to share regarding the topic? The respondents were asked to summarize their opinions a bout racism and their use of media or other means to learn about American culture, people, and society.

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105 APPENDIX D INTERVIEW EXEC RPTS 1. Chao I asked Chao if he noticed other peoples negative attitudes toward certain groups of people. His response was not exactly what I expected but he disclosed what he thinks most Chinese think about Blacks. (1) INTERVIEWER: What do you think about the race relations in America? CAHO: In my opinion, I think the racial discrimination also exists. But I think it is not that terrible comparing to the past time. And I think some Chinese, because we do not have black people in our country, I think somesome Chinese; they discriminate black people. INTERVIEWER: How and why? CAHO: BecauseFor example, when you want to rent a house and find American roommates, and you find them through roommate matching service in advance. Some people ask like, if they are Americans or Chinese but some people ask, Are they white or black? I think there is some kind of discrimination. Uh, I t hink it is because we heard about something like that black people are rude, they behave not so politely. I also think that is because of the mass media. They make a belief. When you see the TV shows, some bad guys are black and thecops arewhite people. INTERVIEWER: Let me make one thing clear. I am not sure if I understood it well Uh, you came up with an example of roommate matching. So Chinese people are more likely to CAHO: [Interrupt] They prefer to live with white people. INTERVIEWER: Um, okay. Is there a specific reason why they prefer whites? CAHO: I think the part of the reason is that they are influenced by the opinion of people who said that some black peoples behaviors are not so good. But for myself, I try to try to think that they are a lot they are equal to us. I asked him whether he had found any similarities or differences in Black images between both realities. Chao shared observations about Blacks both in the media and

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106 reality, based on his experience. He had much to say about Blac ks social status in America. (2) INTERVIEWER: Do the images of black people in media match with their images in reality? CAHO: Black guysSome of them are not nice (in reality). I shopped last night at Walmart and there was a cashier; he was a black guy. I think he was very rude. INTERVIEWER: Why? CAHO: He didnt say anything but he gave me a mean face. Usually cashiers say hi, how are you today and they are friendly but he looked very mean. INTERVIEWER: You mean, unfriendly? CAHO: Yeah, oh, and I went there with my roommate and he also said he looked mean. INTERVIEWER: Maybe he was just having a bad day [Laughter]. CAHO: Maybe. But you know, when shopping in the Publix, you see few B lacks there but at Walmart, most of customers are black. INTERVIEWER: S o you are saying that most of people who shop at Walmart are black people? CAHO: Yes. Have you been to the Walmart? Most of the shoppers are black people. Also, you can tell most of black people are not in the good economic situations. They are not rich because they go Walmart and you can buy cheap things there. But when you shop in Publix, you can find out that most of them are whites, I think. INTERVIEWER: Thats very interesting observation. Now you said that... CAHO: [Interrupt] And what is more funny is my roommate told me that most of them are especially fat black guys, very fat black guys. They are not in a very good shape. [] And the poor people are just eating junk food like McDonald.

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107 Chao further explained his views about the poor image of Blac ks in America. He noted that Blacks in America are poor compared to Whites because in part, they do not work hard. He pointed out how diligent Asians and Jews are. As America has a Black president now, he said Black people can be successful if they work harder. At the same time, he also blamed discrimination and unfair social systems, as well as negative mass media images of Blacks, for making people see Blacks in a less flattering way. (3) INTERVIEWER: Yeah. So let me make sure I am following with you bas ed on our conversation so far, do you think black people in America are much poorer than whites? CAHO: Yes. The shopping at Walmart and Publix was the only chance to tell me who is rich and who is poor. The Walmart has the lowest price and people who shop there are usually economically tight. And also the workers at Walmart are mostly blacks and they are not so polite. But when you go to Publix or Target, things are different. They are mostly white people and usually polite. INTERVIEWER: UmmNo. Why do yo u think blacks are poorer in America going to the shopping center that sells cheaper things? CAHO: I think, the part of the reasons they are poor isThey do not work hard. INTERVIEWER: They dont? CAHO: You know, Asian people and Jewish people, they work hard in America and they live very well here, right? At the beginning, Asians are in the poor situation when they first came to the United States and they may suffer a lot. But then a few years later, they work hard; they make the money; and they live bett er. But blacksI think some blacks do not work hard enough. Because the president is now the black person and there are many black people who are really successful. So, yeah, I think part of the reason why they are poorer is that they dont work hard compared to other people. And I also part of the reason (why they are poorer) is the discrimination against them in the society. [] INTERVIEWER: Now that Americans have the black president, do you think blacks can be better off or can be more successful than now if they work harder?

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108 CAHO: Yeah. I think so. But, umAs I said, the society also has the problems. Like I said, the discrimination also exists. And the mass media, they just spread the thoughts, spread the belief that, uh, that they are bad people and t hat they have some bad characteristics. So, yes, some black guys can...very successful if they work hard. Uh, but I think, for the whole (black) population, I mean, the level of their wealth will not that much increase because there is still a gap between races in the society. And the society needs to improve itself. 2. Dengyu I asked him if he experienced any racism since he came to America. He shared many stories of racism and race relations in America. He thought Chinese, or Asians, are discriminated, h ated or even sometimes physically attacked by Blacks. (4) DENGYU: On the first day when I just arrived in the U.S, I was in New York. Ahthe exact day was.[the date]. My friend contacted me to visit [a name of place]. When I was getting out of the subway, uh Suddenly a black teenager hit me with a water bottle. INTERVIEWER: What? Why? All of sudden and for no reason? DENGYU: For no reason. I didnt know what was wrong with me or what was wrong with him. I dont know. [] I think they want to express their anger towards Asians because they are suppressed by white people. They want to revenge somehow. They hate other minorities like white people do in this society. [] And attacking Chinese and Asian people is a good way for them to release the emotion, t heir anger, the resentment. Because most of Chinese people dont know how to or do not dare to defend themselves and fight back against them. Sometimes Chinese people choose to tolerate these kinds of unfair treatments. INTERVIEWER: So DENGYU: [Interrup t] You know, in New York, most of Chinese stores are often robbed by black people. But very few of them (Chinese store owners) report them to the police. INTERVIEWER: Why dont they report mostly? DENGYU: Because they dont want to cause more problems by reporting it to police. INTERVIEWER: Because the robbers may pay back?

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109 DENGYU: They are afraid that black people will revenge them after that (the report). But actually, that (not reporting it to the police) made them, uh, the black people more bad people. That allows them bully more and more Chinese people and robber them again and again. This happens very often in Chinese stores in the New York. 3. Jia ( 5) INTERVIEWER: How do you see black people in reality after coming to the United States? JIA: UmBla ck people? UmActually, in [a name of place], it is kind of a place where black peopleconcentrated. Right? Every time I walk alone, I kind of a little bit nervous once I am surrounded by black people. But, they are kind, I think. They did nothing, you kn ow, (that) offends me, or offend others...UmThey just talk loudly. Really loudly. INTERVIEWER: Why do you get nervous when there are many blacks? JIA: Because I have a friend who lives in [a name of place]. One time, she told me that she was robbed as walking on a street where was full of black people. They took her bag away. INTERVIEWER: Oh. JIA: Yeah, something like that. That thing happens in usually big cities wheres black peopleconcentrated. So since I heard this kind of things, every time I pas s downtown (because there are a lot of black people), I am kind of nervous. But that things never happened to me yet though. 4. Zhishu I asked Zhishu which groups of people he thinks the American media portray more positively and more negatively than ot hers. (6) ZHISHU: I think most of the timesthe media portray them as bad people and also lazy people. White people usually have good images by having nice house, cars, jobsbut I think themy impression about black people in media isthat they are just dangerous, violent, and lazy. And they are involved in more crimes. And in the TV shows or movies, most of dangerous towns or cities are filled with black people.

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110 INTERVIEWER: Can you think of any movies that you saw these characters or scene of the towns? ZHISHU: UmLikeI saw some movies that are about black people. One is Dangerous Mind and the other one is 8 miles. I think most of moviesthat is (are) about black peoples lifeuhtheyuh, in these movies, black people are always gangsters, drug dealers, and having gunsfighting each othersomething like that. While the movies of white people are likeheroes or just some dramas..but I have never seen movies of white gangsters. In the previous question, he said the mediated image of Blacks showed dangerous, violent, and lazy people. I asked Zhishu if any of these images were reaffirmed, which were challenged, and which had changed for him after coming to the United States. (7) INTERVIEWER: You saidBefore coming to the States, the images of blacks you had were dangerous, violent, and lazy. Have these images ever changed after you came here? ZHISHU: UmI dont think they (blacks) are that much lazy. But compared to other races, yes, because they live one welfares and even homeless people in [a name of place]Uh, I think I have seen more black homeless people. I am not sure about other cities in America but yeah, definitely there are more black homeless. Oh, I have some black neighbors, too. UhThey always play their music really loudI think it is very not t houghtful. They dont care others. Zhishu noted that he saw more Black criminals both in the entertainment and news media. He regularly reads Alligator and he said he often noticed most criminals in the newspaper were Blacks or other minorities. He prese nted some reasons why he thinks Blacks are more often seen as criminals. ( 8 ) INTERVIEWER: Why do you think you see black criminals more than others in the media or reality? ZHISHU: UmEducation. Most of black peopleuhI think their education level is not high, especially in college. For example, in my department (engineering), I think maybemost of students there are white

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111 people or Asians. In one of my classes last semester, there were about 20 people there and black people are only two, uhyeah, two black people were there in the class. 5. Mai I asked Mai if there was any change of attitude toward certain racial groups after she came to America. She had negative images about Blacks before coming to the States and these images were formed by her exposure to American media. The negative images of Blacks she used to have were totally changed after spending time in America. ( 9 ) INTERVIEWER: So what has been changed after coming to America? Mai: I think Black people is kind of more less .. What should I say? Before I come here, there are a lot of shows on TV, so I saw that Black people are little dangerous. But after I came here I found out that Black people are very nice and a friend for some kind of things. And... INTERVIEWER: That is actually very good and interesting point, you know. In media you watched, black people are mostly described as dangerous people. Mai: Yes, yes. They are using their, involved in crimes or gunshots Umm.. And murders. INTERVIEWER: So, you had that impression before coming to the United States, but after, you know, you came here, these thoughts have been changed? W: Yeah, I find Black people is sometimes more friendly than the White people. And they are willing to chat with you, not like some White people, who just look at y ou and pass by. 6. Binhan

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112 Binhan had some negative images of Blacks and positive images of Whites before she came to America. I asked Binhan if her attitudes toward both racial groups have changed since she came to the United States. (10) INTERVIEWER: Did your thought about the race relations get changed after you came here? Binhan: ... [Pause and thinking]. They are different. INTERVIEWER: They are different? How? Binhan: Just like I told you before, I thought manymaybe from the (Chinese) websiteI wi ll see (I thought I would find out) that there would be a lot of discriminations between white people and black people but when I came here, (I realized) that is(was) wrong; there is (was) no discrimination from them. They are getting along very well. [] I think it is because I am in the university. If you are in middle school or high school, there may be discrimination. But in the universities, maybe the discrimination is very small.

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113 APPENDIX E PARING PROCESS OF SYMBOLIC RACISM SCALE 2000 INDICATORS.

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122 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH Jeonghui Gho was born in Seoul, a beautiful and dynamic city in South Korea. She received a BA degree in English Literature from Sun Moon University in Sout h Korea in 2006. For three years she taught English to high school students at KCA Academy, a private education institute in South Korea. She was accepted to the masters program in international/ intercultural communication at the University of Florida i n the spring of 2010. This thesis document reflects her completion of the masters program in mass communication at the University of Florida, Gainesville. Now she moved to Luverne, Alabama for her job position at SMART Alabama, LLC, which is one of five daughter companies of Hyundai Motor Company in U.S.A. She plans to practice what she learned during masters studies in this global company whose employees cultural backgrounds are diverse, wishing she could be a bridge that connects one another.