Capture.PNGCambridge (no date) ‘Stereotype’

In this session we were discussing and learning all about representation in the media, and what representation actually means. We also learnt about stereotypes, archetypes and countertypes, and how they are sued in the media.

Why is it important that we learn about representation?

As a Media creator, it is extremely important to learn about representation. This is because, as a creator, we are the ones who are representing different types of people to society. Our depiction of those people could actually shape and change the audiences opinion of different types of people in real life. As media creators, we quite literally ‘re-present’ characters to an audience, and the way different things are tackled can change the audiences opinions of characters in a show, and in reality.

Stereotypes, Archetypes and Countertypes:

On thing that we discussed today was stereotypes, archetypes and countertypes. Unfortunately, stereotyping people is extremely common both in real life and in the media. It was both upsetting and infuriating to learn and realise how prominent it is in society to see these stereotypes. It was also extremely eye-opening to realise that these stereotypes and archetypes have, in some way, been formed by extreme use of stereotypes and archetypes in the media.


Stereotypes are set ideas and opinions about a certain group of people in society. They are used all the time in TV shows and Film and throughout the media in general. They aqre, in short, a generalisation of a group of people in society. The depiction of the character is what is commonly associated with the group of people. It does allow for the audience to recognise the stereotype of the character quickly, but this is ingraining prejudice into our brains. Young children are extremely impressionable, and so these ridiculous generalisations can mould and shape the opinions of the next generation of people. This is one of the reasons that there is so much prejudice and discrimination in society. I am very passionate about this subject, and it is something I have researched about a lot in the past, and I will continue to do so.

Key ideas:

  • visual shortcuts
  • easy access to the character
  • generalisation



An archetype is the ultimate stereotype of character. It goes into detail about the character, everything about them is stereotypical, and relates to the stereotype they have been put into. Like I mentioned previously, the use of archetypes in so common in the media, and it is shaping and changing the opinions of

  • ultimate stereotype
  • specific
  • detailed



a countertype is something that goes against a stereotype and an archetype.

  • challenges stereotypes and archetypes


An example of a stereotype, archetype and countertype:

I will now be backing up my definitions with examples to further my understanding.

Stereotype of an O.A.P:

  • fragile
  • Zimmer frame
  • slippers
  • skin like tissue paper

Archetype of an O.A.P:

  • Margaret
  • bucket hat
  • perm
  • slightly hunched
  • friendly
  • stuck in her old ways
  • can’t deal with technology

Countertype of an O.A.P:

  •  mountain biking
  • goes to festivals


Stereotype of a Scottish person:

  • ginger
  • heavy accent
  • stuck in their ways
  • aggressive

Archetype of a Scottish person:

  • Hamish
  • bagpipe playing
  • kilt
  • farmer

Countertype of a Scottish person:

  •  Archie
  • florist
  • no accent
  • never worn a kilt


TV show representation task:

In this task to understand stereotypes and countertypes in more detail, I am going to be finding an example of a stereotype and a countertype in a TV show. I am also going to be thinking about why the characters have ben chosen, and what they add to the TV show.

An example of a Stereotype in a TV show:

newonnetflixuk (no date ) ‘The Story of Tracy Beaker’

The stereotype I have decided to pick is Tracy Beaker from the popular CBBC TV show ‘The Story of Tracy Beaker’ (Delyth Thomas 2002). ‘The Story of Tracy Beaker’ is based on the book (named the same thing) by Jacqueline Wilson. This popular children series focuses in on the life of Tracy Beaker, a young girl in a Childrens Home. Tracy Beaker is a stereotype of both young adults, and children who live in children homes.

Young adults are often thought of as being angry, rebellious and rude. This is often how Tracy is portrayed. As well as this, Tracy beaker is often shown trying to be brave, even though she has gone through a lot of hard times in her life. This is stereotypical of those forced to grow up in a childrens home, as they have often gone through traumatic events, and have had to learn how to fend for themselves. Here is a video showing some of the most common quote used by Tracy and those close to her in the show. These quotes show how we would quickly stereotype Tracy as being an obnoxious, rebellious young adult.

Evans, T (2013) ‘The Story of Tracy Beaker – Best Quotes’



An example of a Countertype in a TV show:

104camvisit.jpgFandom (no date) ‘Tracy Beaker’

I decided to stay with the show ‘The Story of Tracy Beaker’ to help to emphasise the point that stereotypes and countertypes are often present in Tv shows. The countertop I have decided to choose is the character ‘Jackie.’ Jackie is a writer, and when Tracy gets told this she automatically imagines the stereotype of a writer. She imagines Cam as being a rich person covered in jewellery. She imagines her being extremely organised and prepared for anything. In reality, Cam is none of these things, infact she is a countertype of a writer. She is unorganised and messy and wears jumble sale clothing.



Overall I think it is apparent that the media is constantly using stereotypes and countertops to help the audience to automatically decode and in a way relate to a character. I found this particular task extremely eyeopening, as I now understand that stereotypes and countertops are also often used in children shows such as ‘The Story of Tracy Beaker’.


Harvard Referencing:

Cambridge (no date) ‘Stereotype’ Available at: (Last accessed: 15th November 2016)


newonnetflixuk (no date ) ‘The Story of Tracy Beaker’ Available at: (Last Accessed: 1st December 2016)


Evans, T (2013) ‘The Story of Tracy Beaker – Best Quotes’ available at: (Last Accessed: 1st December 2016)


Fandom (no date) ‘Tracy Beaker’ Available at: (Last Accessed: 1st December 2016)