Sabyasachee Baruah, Krishna Somandepalli, and Shrikanth S. Narayanan. Representation of professions in entertainment media: Insights into frequency and sentiment trends through computational text analysis. PLoS ONE, 17(5):1–37, Public Library of Science, 05 2022.

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Abstract

Societal ideas and trends dictate media narratives and cinematic depictions which in turn influence people’s beliefs and perceptions of the real world. Media portrayal of individuals and social institutions related to culture, education, government, religion, and family affect their function and evolution over time as people perceive and incorporate the representations from portrayals into their everyday lives. It is important to study media depictions of social structures so that they do not propagate or reinforce negative stereotypes, or discriminate against a particular section of the society. In this work, we examine media representation of different professions and provide computational insights into their incidence, and sentiment expressed, in entertainment media content. We create a searchable taxonomy of professional groups, synsets, and titles to facilitate their retrieval from short-context speaker-agnostic text passages like movie and television (TV) show subtitles. We leverage this taxonomy and relevant natural language processing models to create a corpus of professional mentions in media content, spanning more than 136,000 IMDb titles over seven decades (1950-2017). We analyze the frequency and sentiment trends of different occupations, study the effect of media attributes such as genre, country of production, and title type on these trends, and investigate whether the incidence of professions in media subtitles correlate with their real-world employment statistics. We observe increased media mentions over time of STEM, arts, sports, and entertainment occupations in the analyzed subtitles, and a decreased frequency of manual labor jobs and military occupations. The sentiment expressed toward lawyers, police, and doctors showed increasing negative trends over time, whereas the mentions about astronauts, musicians, singers, and engineers appear more favorably. We found that genre is a good predictor of the type of professions mentioned in movies and TV shows. Professions that employ more people showed increased media frequency.

BibTeX Entry

@article{Baruah-PLOSOne-2022,
  title={Representation of professions in entertainment media: Insights into frequency and sentiment trends through computational text analysis},
  author={Baruah, Sabyasachee and  Somandepalli, Krishna and Narayanan, Shrikanth S.},
 bib2html_rescat = {mica},
url = {https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0267812#abstract0},
doi = {10.1371/journal.pone.0267812},
 journal = {PLoS ONE}
    publisher = {Public Library of Science}
month = {05},
    volume = {17},
    pages = {1-37},
abstract = {Societal ideas and trends dictate media narratives and cinematic depictions which in turn influence people’s beliefs and perceptions of the real world. Media portrayal of individuals and social institutions related to culture, education, government, religion, and family affect their function and evolution over time as people perceive and incorporate the representations from portrayals into their everyday lives. It is important to study media depictions of social structures so that they do not propagate or reinforce negative stereotypes, or discriminate against a particular section of the society. In this work, we examine media representation of different professions and provide computational insights into their incidence, and sentiment expressed, in entertainment media content. We create a searchable taxonomy of professional groups, synsets, and titles to facilitate their retrieval from short-context speaker-agnostic text passages like movie and television (TV) show subtitles. We leverage this taxonomy and relevant natural language processing models to create a corpus of professional mentions in media content, spanning more than 136,000 IMDb titles over seven decades (1950-2017). We analyze the frequency and sentiment trends of different occupations, study the effect of media attributes such as genre, country of production, and title type on these trends, and investigate whether the incidence of professions in media subtitles correlate with their real-world employment statistics. We observe increased media mentions over time of STEM, arts, sports, and entertainment occupations in the analyzed subtitles, and a decreased frequency of manual labor jobs and military occupations. The sentiment expressed toward lawyers, police, and doctors showed increasing negative trends over time, whereas the mentions about astronauts, musicians, singers, and engineers appear more favorably. We found that genre is a good predictor of the type of professions mentioned in movies and TV shows. Professions that employ more people showed increased media frequency.},
    number = {5},
 link = {http://sail.usc.edu/publications/files/Baruah-PLoSOne2022.pdf},
  year={2022}
}

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