Stereotyping

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Stereotyping

Postby Sabina » Thu Apr 15, 2010 3:05 pm

Stereotypes are generalizations about a group of people whereby a defined set of characteristics is attributed to this group. The attributions or classifications can be positive or negative, such as when various nationalities are stereotyped as friendly or unfriendly.
It is easier to create stereotypes when there is a clearly visible and consistent attribute that can be recognized easily, such as skin color, hair color, or gender.
Basically a stereotype is the same as a cliché.

People have a hard time changing their adopted stereotypes. Even in the face of evidence that points to the opposite, people often cling to our obviously-wrong beliefs. When someone does change a stereotype, it usually happens in one of the following 3 ways:

    Bookkeeping model
    As new information is learned in small pieces, the stereotype is adjusted in small increments, in order to adapt it to the new information. Usually people need a lot of repeated information for each little change.
    Conversion model
    The old stereotype is thrown out completely and people begin from scratch. This usually only happens if there is a considerable amount of disconfirming evidence.
    Subtyping model
    Sometimes people create a new stereotype within the old one, in order to accommodate to and hold on the old stereotype. For example, if someone has a stereotyped view of US-Americans, then visiting New York may lead them to create a "New Yorkers are different" sub-type.
__1__

What are your experiences with stereotypes, and more specifically, as well as more importantly... what are your experiences with changing someone's stereotypical views?
Have you ever tried to do that?
What were your experiences?
Do you recommend or propose any particular approach?
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Re: Stereotyping

Postby Ryan » Thu Apr 15, 2010 4:36 pm

I don't know... stereotypes are generally learned from your surroundings... I don't think anyone is born knowing about the cliché man or woman (or any other for that matter)... being that I disagreed with my surroundings about most of their view points I never gave too much credit to them but I instead tended to disregard. Where I did pay attention to stereotyping was in humor... and while my first dealings with it were probably of confusion I understood the explanations and they were always of the type to show that it is an exaggeration of a common trait found in certain types of people. I later realized that this certain type was of the woolly grazing people in society...

The part I always had trouble with is why people have the need to stereotype, label, or put others in a box? I still don't know... I have my thoughts on that matter but I do not have enough information from which to speak.

As for your questions...
What are your experiences with stereotypes, and more specifically, as well as more importantly... what are your experiences with changing someone's stereotypical views?
It doesn't happen...
Have you ever tried to do that?
Yes
What were your experiences?
Unpleasant
Do you recommend or propose any particular approach?
No
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Re: Stereotyping

Postby Sabina » Thu Apr 15, 2010 5:12 pm

The problem with stereotypes is that they are based on a portion of the truth, which is why they become cliches in the first place.

Another problem is that some people actually try to live up to a stereotype. Of course this mostly happens in the case of positive stereotypes.

Ryan wrote:Where I did pay attention to stereotyping was in humor... and while my first dealings with it were probably of confusion I understood the explanations and they were always of the type to show that it is an exaggeration of a common trait found in certain types of people. I later realized that this certain type was of the woolly grazing people in society...

Well, it is not only about that "type". People make stereotypical jokes about all kinds of groups. In that sense supporting stereotypes with jokes is just as bad as supporting them without jokes, isn't it?
Joking or not joking, keeping the stereotypes alive in any manner or style still means that whoever is doing that is actively helping in keeping them alive.
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Re: Stereotyping

Postby dermot » Thu Apr 15, 2010 7:56 pm

Stereotyping.

Is it an issue really?
Are we not just dealing with ignorance on some level. If i encounter ignorance and i think i can help the misguided soul a little then i will ask him to consider the subject from another angle. That actually usually works.

As for jokes around sterotypes, hey your talking to an Irishman - the best Irish jokes are told by Irishmen about Irishmen.
Think Dave Allen, if we all relax our boundaries a little the world becomes a better place to live.

We dont need to change every detail, just the big picture little by little, its called transormation and it takes time.......best done with a smile?
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Re: Stereotyping

Postby Sabina » Thu Apr 15, 2010 8:10 pm

I would say.... Best done with a smile, as long as it's with style.
In that case I can agree, and would then change my above statement about jokes. Because yes, humor is very important. It can save lives!
The only problem is when people use humor to disguise prejudice, or not really disguise as much as "dress up" the prejudice. And then if you point it out to them, then they can always say "It's just humor..."

But, if done with style, and with no actual malice, then I agree. Humor is great!
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Re: Stereotyping

Postby dermot » Thu Apr 15, 2010 8:20 pm

Out and out prejudice around stereotyping is horrible to witness, its something that stops me in my tracks and makes me feel as if im dealing with a sub-human. Mostly its not possible to do anything in that situation, except get out of it.

In doing so im not abdicating responsibility towards changing the persons ideas, im making a decision not to tolerate or give a platform to the idiot.

Not every situation is that extreme though, and shining light on ignorance can bring deep change, mostly people want to be positive, and they are mostly good natured too. Behind the veils that is!
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