Racism in Children' Advertisements: Two Content Analysis Studies in Brazil
The main objective of this research is to understand representations of Afro-descendants in advertisements directed at children in Brazil. Two studies of content analysis were applied to evaluate the advertisements in our sample. One of the studies investigated advertisements in children comic magazines and the other one assessed television ads exhibited while children programs were presented. SPSS TREE analysis was conducted on the data and the results revealed that this ethnic group is portrayed in secondary roles, in non-family relationships, in business or social contexts and less frequently represented as adults.
Investigations related to representations of Afro-descendants in the media in Brazil are welcome because, in spite of this group constituting 50.7% (being that the Mulattos are 43.1% and Negros 7.6%) of the population of the country (Varella, 2011), most studies have demonstrated that compared to the composition of the population, it is still, percentage wise, little portrayed in the media (Araújo, 2000; Barbosa, 2004).
In general, the results of these investigations reveal that roles associated with the Afro-descendants are impregnated with social stigmas (Barbosa, 2004; Carvalho, 2003; Rodrigues, 2001). Moreover, analyses of speech demonstrate that there is a depreciation of this ethnic group in the media. In fact, research on the subject has identified that the new stigmatization strategies of Afro-descendants in the media are more subtle and complex. Studies on the subject pointed out that messages in mass communication reflect the racism that is ingrained in Brazilian society (Araújo, 2000; Carone and Bento, 2003; Carvalho, 2003; Rodrigues, 2001).
It is on this context of concern that the present investigation is founded. The goal of this research is to examine how portrayals of Brazilian Afro-descendants in specific advertisements (those which appear in children comic magazines and those presented while children’s programs are been broadcasted) are displayed to children.