OSR Journal of Student Research

Article Title

Trans Representation in the U.S. Media: Using Clark’s Evolutionary Stages of Minorities in the Mass Media


Trans visibility in the media, both news and entertainment, have increased over the past century. Studies have shown that this increased visibility does not directly mean the coverage has been positive. The trans community is mainly depicted in stereotypical roles and as an object of ridicule. Studies have found a direct relationship between the depictions of minority groups in media and the public’s perception of these groups. This paper investigated the historic and current representation of trans in the U.S. media, by applying Clark’s (1969) evolutionary stages of minorities in the mass media to a review of the literature surrounding trans depictions. The author found that the trans community’s depictions qualify for Clark’s stages two (ridicule) and three (regulation) of his model. This lack of proper representation has led many in the community to seek representation in online communities. Suggested future research includes an exhaustive review of trans depictions in media using Clark’s model as a guide.

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