The Effects of the Media on Black Male Identity

This research aims to understand various questions about today’s society:

How do media images of black men in society influence how younger black men perceive themselves?

Who are the role models for young black youth?

What are the archetypes of black men in America?               

What are the effects of the media on black male identity?

The purpose of this research is deconstruction. By shedding light unto how people develop and learn to function in society this research gives an understanding of ourselves as people and allows us to see how and why things are the way they are.

This question is significant to understanding modern society as well as the values and attitudes that people of today possess. Its social importance comes from the understandings the data would suggest about how young black youth are learning to grow up in modern society. The predicted findings will give insight to today’s society through understanding the popular role models and what they represent to black youth. The findings should allow us to better understand society through understanding the values represented by their role models. The scientific relevance stems from previous research in both sociology and psychology about the self and identity development.


Upon completing this investigation many conclusions can be made. The data will give an impression of who black youth are aspiring to be and the qualities and traits they value in people. This not only gives us an understanding of black youth but also sheds light on how one is socialized in society.

This information can be used in all types of fields. In education, this data is important because it can be and understood and use to implement programs and foster ideas to help black youth obtain role models that would increase their individual success. In criminal justice, in can be used to understand the plight of the black male in America and how black youth may be socialized into criminal careers. This would be significant in the rehabilitation process for many youth and through education one could hopefully foster new pathways for troubled youth. In the social sciences, it provides groundwork for similar research in the field of socio-anthropology and readdresses concepts of role, role models, goal attainment and success.


The method for this investigation can be divided into parts survey and analysis:

The first part would be the survey.

Researchers would administer surveys to young adults through youth programs, schools, and universities. The target demographic would be black males age 16-22. The survey is designed to assess role models and their significance to the respondents.

Here the unit of analysis is the role models of the participants and the unit of observation is the participants themselves.

Possible locations to administer surveys: Pace University, Andrew Glover Youth Part, other New York City schools, universities, youth programs and etc.

The survey should be administered to individual youths. Using a paper questionnaire, respondents will fill out each question selecting the answer they presume to be most fitting for each question. An instructor should be present for an explanation of the survey. General questions about the survey will be answered but the instructor must not provide any information that would lead respondents into producing specific answers.

The questionnaire is designed to assess data from the respondents that will later be used for analysis. The answers to the survey questions will be collected and categorized to allow researchers to make assumptions and provide ground work for further research.

For consistency purposes there should be an equal number of respondents from each organization. By selecting 10 respondents from each group, the data becomes not only representative of the individuals but also the groups themselves. This allows the data to be more indicative of which values, role models, and other factors that are present among different groups of black youth.

This data will then be collected and analyzed. Based on the responses of the research will be conducted to analyze the respondents’ choices of role models and understand the effects of these role models.

The process of analysis would begin by identifying the respondents’ answers on which role models from the media they found be to most influential. Role models who came up repeatedly would then be researched and analyzed for a better understanding of who they are and what they represent. The traits respondents selected will also be tallied and analyzed to understand the values that are most favored.

At the end of the investigation, the researcher will collect all the data and combine the results from the surveys with the research conducted based on the results to formulate conclusions about the role models of the respondents and the significance to society. The data should provide a suggestion of the values of young black Americans and give insight to how and why black youth identify themselves in society. I hope that the research with provide substantial evidence to types of roles black youth aspire to be.