Capella Diversity and the Media

Capella Diversity and the Media

Capella Diversity and the Media



Assessment Instructions

In this assessment, you will have the opportunity to take a deeper look at the connection between the media and the cultural diversity of U.S. society. You will discuss how a current program or article in current news media approaches diversity-related issues and explain how we can use the sociological perspective to better understand both the portrayal of diversity-related issues and the media’s broader role in U.S. society. Effectively evaluating the accuracy of the information provided in your chosen media piece will require some additional research and fact checking, something that sociologists do as well when they are weighing the validity of opposing arguments. Capella Diversity and the Media


Choose a news media piece from a reputable source that is focused on an issue related to race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, religion, age, physical or mental disability, or social class. Examples of acceptable media include newspaper articles, editorials, and radio or television news segments. Write an essay in which you complete the following:

  • Briefly, in one or two paragraphs, summarize the main events or issues presented in the article and describe how they relate to cultural diversity studies.
  • Compare and contrast how minority and dominant groups are portrayed in your chosen media article or program.
    • Consider how your source material demonstrates this dominant/minority group differentiation. For example, is there differentiation along racial or ethnic lines, or other variables, such as gender or social class?
  • Discuss at least two sociological theories that are most appropriate to understanding the diversity issues in your chosen media piece. Include relevant examples from the article or program to illustrate your points. Examples of theories include:
    • Functionalist perspective.
    • Conflict perspective.
    • Labeling theory.
    • Marx’s and Weber’s theories of inequality.
    • Park’s race relations cycle.
    • Gordon’s theory of assimilation.
    • Human capital theory.
    • Scapegoat theory.
    • Authoritarian personality theory.
    • Exploitation theory.
    • Contact hypothesis.
    • Noel hypothesis.
    • Blauner hypothesis.
    • Culture of poverty theory.
  • Do one of the following—choose which is appropriate for your chosen article:
    • Discuss how one or more of Merton’s four categories of prejudice and discrimination apply to the media piece you chose.
    • Explain whether assimilation or pluralism best describes how race and ethnic relations are presented in your media piece.
  • Find and analyze two credible sources of data that are appropriate for supporting or refuting the central tenets of your chosen media article or program.
    • If data is cited in your media piece, you may go to that source and analyze it yourself; then consult an additional source that supports or refutes the data presented.
    • Make sure to include citations for any sources used.
  • Discuss how the content of the media piece may affect or might have been influenced by power. For example, consider how individuals in power influence decisions regarding how issues are portrayed. Capella Diversity and the Media
    • This can include corporate executives, lobbyists, special interest groups, or those who own a particular newspaper, channel, or media conglomerate.
  • Suggest, in your concluding paragraph, a viable policy strategy—one that could be implemented at the local, state, or federal level—for addressing the particular diversity-related issue presented in your news article or program.


  • Written communication: Written communication is free of errors that detract from the overall message.
  • Length: 6 pages, not including title and references pages.
  • Format: Include a title page and reference page, and format the paper and your citations according to current APA style and formatting guidelines.
  • Sources: Cite the chosen article or program and at least two additional scholarly sources.
  • Font and font size: Times New Roman, 12-point.


Write a 6 page essay analyzing a chosen diversity issue covered in the media.

By successfully completing this assessment, you will demonstrate your proficiency in the following course competencies and assessment criteria:

  • Competency 1: Describe theoretical ideas of power in relation to policy.
    • Discuss sociological theories appropriate for promoting understanding of a diversity concept.
    • Discuss how a media piece may affect or might have been influenced by policy and/or power.
  • Competency 2: Identify historical and contemporary influences of discrimination in U. S. culture.
    • Discuss how minority and dominant groups are portrayed in a media piece to understand influences on discrimination.
  • Competency 3: Analyze the effects of social policy using aggregated data.
    • Analyze data that is appropriate for supporting or refuting the central tenets of media piece.
    • Write coherently to support a central idea in appropriate format and with few errors of grammar, usage, and mechanics. Capella Diversity and the Media

Competency 6: Communicate effectively.

Questions to Consider

To deepen your understanding, you are encouraged to consider the questions below and discuss them with a fellow learner, a work associate, an interested friend, or a member of your professional community. Capella Diversity and the Media

  • Some sociologists who study the media argue that the media is a reflection of what is already happening in society, while others contend that the media manipulates its audience by portraying events or issues with a particular slant or goal in mind. What do you think? Does the media reflect what is already going on in society, or does it manipulate viewers to draw conclusions about what is going on? Perhaps a bit of both? Consider the implications in terms of how the media portrays diversity-related issues like racism and sexism.
  • Can our interaction with media—movies, TV shows, news and radio programs, and so on—have any influence on our understanding of race, ethnicity, social class, gender, age, religion, et cetera?
  • To what extent does the news media create and perpetuate stereotypes about particular groups of people?

Capella Multimedia

Click the links provided below to view the following multimedia pieces:

Library Resources

The following e-books or articles from the Capella University Library are linked directly in this course:

Internet Resources

Access the following resources by clicking the links provided. Please note that URLs change frequently. Permissions for the following links have been either granted or deemed appropriate for educational use at the time of course publication.

Bookstore Resources

The resources listed below are relevant to the topics and assessments in this course and are not required. Unless noted otherwise, these materials are available for purchase from the Capella University Bookstore. When searching the bookstore, be sure to look for the Course ID with the specific –FP (FlexPath) course designation.

  • Healey, J. F., & O’Brien, E. (2015). Race, ethnicity, gender, & class: The sociology of group conflict and change (7th ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
    • Chapters 3–5.