If you write a play portraying your workplace as comically disorganized and woefully inefficient, you better hope it makes money, because your boss may fire you for this characterization. The word characterization describes how something is represented.
When you break apart the word characterization it’s easy to figure out what it means. Character tells you that this word will likely involve the qualities a person or thing has. The -ization ending means it is a noun — the act of doing something. You can use the word characterization to describe the depiction of a character in a book or a movie, or also as a way a particular person, group, or event is portrayed, such as a journalist’s characterization of a political enemy.