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ENGL 110- Unit 4: Stereotyping an Audience

Aug 10, 2023

This unit’s lesson materials discussed the idea of catering your writing to specific audiences. This requires making certain assumptions about an audience and then adjusting your content, tone, and vocabulary so that your writing will have the best chance of affecting them. How is this kind of audience consideration different from stereotyping? Or is it different? Support your position with examples.

Remember that initial discussion posts must thoughtfully address the topic, and must be at least 125 words.

Week 4 Discussion: Stereotyping an Audience

The best way to make an essay or any creative output have an unabridged sense is to have its scope of reach limited. The creative output needs to have a particular audience in mind or otherwise its success might get hampered. ‘Jennifer’s Body’ is now widely regarded as a movie with feminist tones, but its promotion packaged it as a chick-flick catered towards a male audience, which led it to be a disaster at the box office. Therefore, a writer should have a clear target group and cater to it from the beginning. Stereotyping and catering have an extremely thin line in between. Every group in society is a victim of assumptions. In many cases, these considerations eventually take the shape of stereotyping. Specific qualities are attached to particular genders or descent, and undoubtedly writers capitalize on that. Books and Movies made specifically for the male gender enjoy a certain independence of language while those for females, necessarily don’t. Classics that gained contemporary success, like The Great Gatsby and Harry Potter almost always have a White Protagonist, as the audience is used to imagining people of that descent as protagonists. Books like The Colour Purple became a target of censorship upon their release because the predominantly White Board could not understand reality as it was not reflected before by other writers, and not included in the stereotypes popularised of Black folks (Jessica Aucoin, 2021, p.82). There is a certain perception that writers entail to make their writings successful ventures. Recent years have seen writers step back from this stereotyping because of the rising awareness and angst people began having toward stereotypes. Creations like Gone Girl specifically flip the stereotypes on its head, through its twist. Mainstream Media is introducing more POC leads. Books are moving away from the rudimentary specifications like sexy Latina, villainous black men, and victimized white women. There is also a commercial aspect to it as audiences have also become increasingly accepting, of opposing qualities. Freedom Bird with its Black protagonist became a young adult sensation as soon as it was released, as the readers of the present-day world vehemently disagree with the notion of a black man being the villain.


Jessica Aucoin, M. L. I. S. (2021). Censorship in Libraries: A Retrospective Study of Banned and Challenged Books. SLIS Connecting, 10(2), 82.

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