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Stereotype Essay

stereotype essay

Example #1

Today teenagers are stereotyped every day. Stereotyping has become a natural reaction by the older generation when they see a teenager that is dressed differently or acts differently than what they used to at that age. Their idea of what a person should dress like or act like is completely different from the ideas of teenagers. I have found out the hard way over the last few years. Teenagers are stereotyped all of the time. For instance, I went to Wal-Mart to get a job and people doing the employing had all of the people who were getting applications go to the back room and watch a film. Basically, the film was about the proper way to dress act, and even how long your facial hair could be.

One of the employers basically singled me out and said, “I am going to use this young man here for an example. The pants he has on are too baggy.” The jeans I had on at that time were actually not baggy at all because I was trying to dress nicely for the interview. “He will have to shave off his goatee and sideburns.” Then he went on and talked about their dress code and how the employees were expected to act. Then he did somthing I did not believe. He said, ” All of you will have to take a drug test.” then he looked straight at this kid and said, “Some of you may not pass.” After that, I had gotten enough abuse for one day so I just got up and walked out.

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Another example of teenagers being stereotyped is when teens are in a group. Just because they are standing there the older generation thinks they are drinking, using drugs, or just up to no good in general. For instance, the police in my hometown will not let more than two cars of teens congregate in one place at a time. I do not think that is fair because if you want to stop and talk to someone you have to wait until one of the cars leave. Teenagers are sometimes thought guilty of things just for the simple fact that they are teenagers. For example, I had a wreck with an older woman a few years ago. I was coming up to a stop sign so I slowed down. When I got to the sign I did the same stop that everybody does at signs on back streets, the one where you slow down almost to a stop but not quite then you go.

This stop sign was a little different in that there are bushes all the way down the side of the street, so it is kind of hard to see. So I looked and looked again and still saw no one so I went. Just as I start to pull through a car slams into the passenger side of my car. I was driving a 1978 Chevrolet Caprice Classic, it was a big, bulky car. I was hit by a 1991 Pontiac Grand Am, which is a tiny car compared to mine. The speed limit in this spot is 15 miles per hour because it is a school zone. Now that I have the setting established I will continue the story. This tiny car hits my “tank” of a car and knocks it over about 5 feet.

The car that hit me bounced off the front passenger fender and hit the back fender hard enough to bend the back wheel. So this car bounces off my back fender and goes about 15 feet further up ahead, tires screeching the whole way. So I jump out of my car to see if the other person is o.k. I run-up to the window of the other car in time to see an older woman reaching across the seat to get her insurance out of her glove box. When I knocked on the window to see if she was o.k. she abruptly sat up and said her neck was hurt. Now, let’s think about this for a second, she was leaning over and stretching to reach the glove box, also when I knocked on her window she sat up so quickly that if she had a neck injury she would have been screaming in agony.

I could not believe that she was actually saying she had a neck injury after what I saw her doing. I was so mad I just had to walk off. I felt like grabbing my neck, falling down, and saying I can’t feel my legs, but I refrained. The other issue I want to address is the speed she had to be going to do what she did. She definitely had to be going well over the speed limit to do the damage she did to my car and her car as well. her car was turned around facing my car about 15 feet away. She knocked my car 5 feet straight sideways. If 15 miles per hour does that I would hate to get hit at 30 miles per hour. A police car finally came and the woman told the policewoman she needed an ambulance. She called in an ambulance and they took the “injured” woman away.

Then the policewoman came over and wrote me a ticket for running a stop sign. That I understood but when I tried to tell her that the woman had to be speeding she just gave me a dumb look and went on doing what she was doing before I asked her the question. That made me so mad because she didn’t even ask my side of the story, she didn’t even ask me if I ran the stop sign. The next day I even saw the woman at work, she was not even wearing a neck brace. Our insurance company called a few days later and said that she is trying to sue us. That made me even madder. Luckily we had good insurance so she didn’t have a chance, but it still made me very angry. I know many instances where teens got tickets that adults would get away with.

Teenagers are often stereotyped and discriminated against nowadays. I think it is kind of sad that teenagers and the older generations can’t get along just because of age or the way we dress, act, or even the music we listen to. I think that some people refuse to believe things have changed that much since they were teenagers. Today people are starting to realize that all teens are not bad just because some of them go out and get drunk or do drugs. As hard as it might be to believe a lot of teens don’t even want to drink or get high, they just think there are better ways to spend their time.

Take me for instance, I am so laid back and willing to do things people are afraid to do that I would hate to see what I would do if I did drink or get high, I would probably do something that would kill me. All I am trying to do is just to let people know just how much teens are stereotyped and discriminated against just because of their age. Not all teens are like the ones you see on television or in the papers. Teenagers do more good things that go unnoticed than things they do that end up on the front page of the newspaper or on the local news.


Example #2 – Stereotyping In Media

Over the years, media representation and portrayals of Native Americans and visible minorities have come under increasing scrutiny. Negative stereotyping, under-representation, and tokenism, which means making little or no effort to give minorities the same opportunities that the majority are given, are the most common charges that have been brought up against advertisers and news and entertainment media. Mass media portrayals of Native Americans and racial minorities are as likely to inform and reveal, as they are to misinform, conceal, and evade. There is no shortage of examples about information whose one-sidedness borders on propaganda.

While some suggest these flaws are unintentional and easily corrected, others have no doubt that the conventions of these media industries create an environment that is hostile to visible minorities and difficult to change. When we consider the bulk of films, TV sitcoms, news, and advertising that we encounter every day, the statistics show that visible minorities and Natives are still proportionally underrepresented in the mass media, both on-air and off. In advertising, for example, Natives and visible minorities remain virtually invisible. In a 1989 study on billboard advertising in Montreal subway stations, the researchers found that minorities were featured on only one billboard from a total of 163 on display.

In a 1994 report titled Cover to Cover, Media watch found that while 20% of the ads of Maclean s, a Canadian magazine, contained people of color, there were entire issues of Reader s Digest and L actuality which had no ads with people of color. Entertainment programming is only marginally better both in the United States and Canada. Like advertising, film and TV programs also tend to ignore visible minorities and Natives, particularly as main characters. Instead, aboriginal peoples and visible minorities are simply used as window dressing, seen in the role of the cop, the judge, or the store clerk, but are seldom in a role central to the story. Not even the popular Thunderheart avoids these typical stereotypes. The movie portrays Natives as always having visions and also shows the Natives talking to the wind and talking to the water.

These portrayals of talking to the wind and water seem to go hand in hand with having visions. This characterization of natives occurs in many more movies like Little Indian in the cupboard, Pocahontas, Dances with Wolves, and the more recent one Thunderheart. These characterizations are unrealistic compared to today s society. Native Americans and minorities have long complained of media stereotyping. Historically, minorities were represented in a manner consistent with prevailing prejudices and attitudes. Images of minorities were steeped in unfounded generalizations, virtually to the point of near parody. For example, media stereotyping of Natives dwelt on themes of the noble savage, the savage Indian, and the drunken Native.

We notice these stereotypes in many of the recent movies like Thunderheart, where most of the Natives are portrayed as savages. The movie Little Indian in the cupboard is another example of stereotyping in the entertainment industry, which portrays the natives as the noble savage. Other racial minorities were labeled as dropouts, pimps, and drug pushers, which is evident in the portrayals of African Americans in the entertainment industry. The movie Thunderheart is a classic example of the stereotypes that the media and entertainment industry use to portray Native American people. In the movie Native, American people are considered dangerous and are portrayed as weird because they talk to the water and the wind.

Another stereotype of Natives in that movie is of natives having visions. The main character in that movie Val Kilmer who is a half-Indian FBI agent seems to be having these visions about his past and his dad, who was a full-blooded Indian. Towards the end of the movie, Val Kilmer finally realizes that he has Indian blood in him and acknowledges the fact that he is a true Indian, after having several of the visions that were just mentioned. The effect of this stereotyping on Natives and minorities is that they are often portrayed as unusual or negative, and thus this poses a problem to minorities trying to live a regular, normal life in today s society free from these stereotypes. In conclusion, this stereotyping of minorities and Native Americans by the media is totally unrealistic and conveys false information, and steps need to be taken to correct that.


Example #3 – My Experience of Stereotyping Against Asian Students

When I was a new entrant to Queenstown Primary School, I was put into a special language program called the “Learning Centre” for children who struggled to communicate in English. To a person who was born in New Zealand and whose English was their first language I felt clueless as to why I had to attend these special English classes. As confused as I was, I still attended the learning center to read books that I already knew how to read and spell words that were below my capabilities. It wasn’t until later in life when I reflected upon this experience and realized that I had been thrown into this program because of one thing that made me different from everyone else.

I was Asian. I was a shy Asian girl and the teachers all assumed that I couldn’t speak English because of this. Our school throws around the word “diversity” proudly and frequently, exclaiming the greatness of the fact that our students come from over 21 different nationalities. But this sort of casual racism towards Asians are common and go unnoticed because they’re often made by otherwise well-meaning people. As a child, I didn’t understand race. I assumed that everyone was the same. But most New Zealand born Asian children will experience that earth-shattering moment in our childhood where we realize that not all of us are white. First of all, you begin to realize that your parents are a little different from your friend’s parents.

That they carry a different accent to your friend’s parents and put food in your lunch that smells a little differently. You notice that your name is strange and that when someone’s speaking slowly to you, it’s not because they’re trying to be articulate, but because they think you don’t understand English. You also realize your height, your eyes, your nose, your skin, they don’t quite fit into the same characteristics as your friend’s facial features. In year 2 (and still an ongoing experience), my teacher called me Amy. I corrected them and told her “it’s pronounced Army, ” to which she replied, “that’s not how you would normally pronounce it in English. ” I felt like I was being accused of having a name that didn’t sound Kiwi and I asked my parents if I could change my name. One that wouldn’t be followed by an awkward pause on the roll.

In year 4, I wished I was blond and blue-eyed like my other friends. I looked down whenever degrading Asian jokes were made by people too ignorant to realize that by them pulling their eyes back to mock mine, really hurt my feelings. In year 7, I brought homemade Japanese bread to school for lunch, but after one too many judgmental looks and “ew you eat that, ” I convinced my mum to pack me vegemite and cheese sandwiches. “You’re so Asian, ” became a regular expression used to justify my Asian-ness. An expression that I wasn’t sure if I liked and wasn’t sure if I understood. What does this phrase even mean? Can someone please explain to me what criteria one might use for determining my level of “Asian-ness”? I had heard this stereotype one too many times until it got to a point where becoming ‘too Asian’ scared me. It left me despising my own race, I tried my hardest to avoid speaking Japanese in front of my non-Japanese peers.

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I would tell my parents to keep quiet in public in an attempt to stray away from appearing foreign because I was scared their accents would embarrass me. In year 9, I had a Chinese teacher who spoke broken English. Students in my math class made fun of her accent and mockingly repeated what she said which was completely unnecessary. She knew twice as many languages as those who were making the racist remarks so excuse her if she couldn’t speak her newer language perfectly. Most non-native English speakers will have an accent that they cannot get rid of- and that’s completely fine. What’s not fine is you looking down on someone just because they can’t speak fluently in a language that you’ve spoken your whole life. Them having an accent does not make them a stupid, uneducated, loser.

They’re hard-working people who have accomplished so much by moving to a different continent, experiencing culture shock, learning a foreign language, and still being able to make a living in this new unfamiliar world. Unsuccessful? A loser? Look at yourself -being condescending to a teacher who’s gone through so much in her life, only to be shut down by people like you who are unwilling to see that she’s trying. These people are what I call absolutely pathetic. It upsets me to see people patronizing those who can’t speak fluent English. It mortifies me when I see my mum being treated this way. It made me realize that it’s not my mum or my math teacher but those instigators who should feel ashamed.

You are the unsuccessful individual for not being able to emphasize for my mother, your teacher, your international friends, your colleagues who are being mocked daily because “they don’t sound like the rest of us”. You are a loser for judging a person’s hardship as nothing because they have an accent you find difficult to understand. And you are pathetic because you are the ignorant, heartless, malevolent person you are. In year 11, a friend questioned me about my “Asian-ness”. She wanted to know why I wouldn’t speak Japanese in front of her. As a Kiwi Asian who grew up feeling ashamed of my own culture because of the experiences I faced as a child, her friendly discrimination caught me off guard. It made me feel as though it would be unreasonable to tell her what I thought because in truth the thoughts that looped in my head were something I wouldn’t have had the courage to say in person. I thought. . . pardon?

You don’t understand Japanese so why should I start speaking Japanese to you? People mocked my culture, now you want me to embrace my culture? What do you want me to do? Why do I feel as though I have to please you? Stop judging me for who I am and who I’m not and please just let me be. To whoever’s asked this question to anyone of Asian descent, I ask you all to stop policing kiwi Asians on how Asian they are. With this bs of judging anyone for not being entirely fluent in their language or entirely engaged with their culture. Many of us spent the majority of our lives living in western society forced to assimilate to be accepted and more often than not, ashamed of our own heritage.

Everyone’s journey to connecting with their roots is different and no one should have the audacity to point fingers and tell others how they should live their lives. And with as much kindness as I can gather, I ask for you to please mind your own business and shut up. In year 12, my teacher asked if I was going to Otago University and I replied, “no I want to become an architect. ” To that, my teacher seemed really confused and replied, “Oh, I thought you wanted to become a doctor. ” Does being Asian automatically incline me into pursuing a career in medicine? Because if you are assuming that all Asians LOVE science and would just LOVE to become a doctor one day, then you have some serious stereotypic-perception on Asian students that really need to be reviewed.

Now I’m a year 13, no longer ashamed of my own heritage. But I am tired of people’s assumption that I’m smart only because I’m Asian. That my accomplishments mean less because of my ethnicity. I’ve worked just as hard as other students at Wakatipu High School and nobody should have the right to claim that my academic achievements deserve less acknowledgment because my race is supposed to be “smarter”. The prejudice against Asians is perhaps one of the lesser evils experienced in this world. It’s not police violence, nor is it gang violence. We don’t get stopped because of the way we look unless it’s when we’re buying alcohol because we look to young. My ethnicity experiences many desirable stereotypes like the model minority stereotype, “whose members are perceived to achieve a higher degree of socioeconomic success than the population average”.

As much of a privilege, it is to be labeled with these flattering positive stereotypes, they also strip Asians of their individuality and degrade their intelligence into something less meaningful. One of the most self-inflicting stereotypes of an Asian is that they are all expected to excel academically. Many people perceive Asians as smart individuals, and yes being called smart wouldn’t offend anyone in their right mind. But of all the discriminations I’ve experienced from year 1 right through to year 13, this stereotype has provoked my individuality to feel the most at risk. First of all, I’d like to debunk this idea of “every Asian is smart” because, like any other stereotypes, it obviously doesn’t imply to everyone who lies in the Asian spectrum. It’s true that 82. 3% of all Asian students passed NCEA level 3 in 2017, which is the highest graduation rate of all major ethnic groups across secondary schools in New Zealand.

But because of these Asian stereotypes that are existent in Kiwi culture, sometimes people forget that not all Asians are the same. And due to the way that many people -from all ethnic backgrounds, including Asian- regard this “Asian-is-smart” stereotype as something honorable, it’s usually disguised as a compliment. But, I personally don’t feel any gratification from when my academic abilities are being justified purely because I’m ethnically Japanese. In fact, I’ll take it as an insult because it makes me feel as though you are judging my intelligence based on my having Asian genes. I cannot help but feel that society’s stereotype that “Asians are smart” translates into, “Asians are smart because they are Asian. ”

Therefore, no matter how much effort an Asian student puts into their studies when he or she passes with excellence, your reactions will be along the lines of “Asians are so smart, ” or most commonly, “she’s so Asian. ” It’s hardly difficult to see that an Asian student’s achievements and intelligence are being attributed to one thing and one thing only -their race. But shouldn’t we feel blessed that our race isn’t being called stupid? I mean, people think we’re smart for god’s sake. Could it possibly get any worse than that? Well despite how trite this may sound, it actually can. Many Asian students are, without needing to prove to others, already expected to excel academically because that’s how society has labeled us. But this leaves me questioning my own identity.

Because if all my accomplishments and achievements are being credited to my race, what am I left with as an individual? Will all the grades that I get and the awards I receive always be defined by my ethnicity? What if I’m unable to reach these expectations that the public school system has imposed on me… Am I not authentically Asian? I, along with other Asian students within New Zealand have felt as though we have been boxed into this stereotype. And although it’s easy to brush off your assumption that I’m smart as per society suggests I’m “supposed” to be, I feel disheartened to know that you only regard me as smart because of my ethnicity. Something like intelligence is an important part of a person’s identity and you attributing it to a race becomes more than just a stereotype. It becomes an insult.


Example #4 – Stereotyping in the Human Culture

Stereotypes have existed as long as human culture has been in existence. They are a reflection of what certain people or groups of people think about others who are different from them. They are expressed by a single phrase or words, images or words combined with images. Those who share similar views on stereotyping understand and recognize the evoked images easily. There are both negative and positive stereotypes. An example of a positive stereotype is the phrase ‘black people are good at running’ while ‘women are irresponsible’ is a negative stereotype. Individuals who stereotype others feel superior to them.

Stereotyping disregards the fact that individuals have their uniqueness and assigns common qualities to all individuals who belong to a certain group. People use stereotypes in order to simplify their world since they involve themselves in little thinking when they encounter new people . Through stereotyping, it is inferred that people possess certain abilities or qualities assumed to belong to all members of the group they belong to.

Stereotypes amount to social categories which cause prejudice. Although some stereotypes are positive, most of them are negative and affect individuals negatively. This essay will discuss some common stereotypes and their effects on people. The first type of stereotype is youth stereotypes. Stereotyping a particular group of individuals may have an influence on how the group is perceived by society and probably alter the expectations of the society on the group. Continued exposure to stereotypes causes society to consider stereotypes realistic as opposed to sampled representations. The media at times plays a significant role in making stereotypes more pronounced.

An example of a stereotype is the notion that youths are uncontrollably engaged in crime. This is a perception that is highly developed through the media when stories on property crimes, students shooting their colleagues, and acts that involve perceived youth gangs are publicized by the media. However, statistics paint a different picture since there are indications that youth homicide cases have decreased considerably. Since 2001, such cases have continued to drop remarkably. In addition, the number of youths accused of committing property offenses which are the most prevalent youth crimes reduced remarkably between 1987 and 1997.

As a result of this impression created by the media that youth crimes are ever-increasing, lobby groups politicians have been advocating for stringent disciplinary actions to deal with young people who commit criminal activities and reduce the perceived increase in criminal activities committed by the youths. This has been in total disregard of the truth that young offenders are punished more severely than adults who commit similar crimes. Negative stereotypes affect the way adults look at youths and also have an impact on how young people perceive themselves. The impression that young people do not earn respect from people around them does not motivate them to perceive themselves positively.

Minority groups like women, blacks, lesbians, and gays experience the impacts of negative stereotyping and are hardly represented positively in the media. This causes most of the minority groups to fight for the elimination of the negative stereotypes associated with them. Youths argue that they are intelligent people but most adults do not believe that they are intelligent. They face discrimination that is stereotypical in nature which is wrong. The only way through which youths can be assisted to realize their goals is by listening, trusting, and respecting them. They should not be stereotyped on the basis of how they look like or the kind of music they listen to.

The second type of stereotype encountered in daily activities are women stereotyping. In most cultures and societies, women are viewed as people who cannot take up leadership roles. As a result, leadership positions are only reserved for men, and women who attempt to fight for them often face strong opposition from men and society in general. The entire society seems to accept that women are ineffective leaders and subscribe to that kind of thinking. It is even surprising that some women discourage their fellow women from getting into leadership instead of supporting them.

Gender stereotyping affects women negatively and prevents them from making a positive contribution to society. When women are discouraged from getting into leadership positions, this affects the way they perceive themselves negatively. In addition, the perception that men are the only individuals who lead well breeds poor leaders since they do not face a lot of competition in leadership. Those who deny women leadership positions argue that women should only concentrate on domestic matters and leave leadership for men.

Their arguments are based on a wrong perception that allowing women to get into leadership destroys the societal fabric. The mistake in this kind of argument is that men do not always make good leaders. In many situations, they are associated with poor leadership which eventually exposes their subjects to suffering. The truth is that there are many women who succeed in leadership and achieve what most men do not achieve. The perception that women are poor leaders is simply a mere stereotype.

The third type of stereotype that is common among some whites is racial stereotyping. This is a type of stereotyping that depicts black people as inferior to the whites hence they end up being denied privileges and opportunities that the whites enjoy. Although racial stereotyping is not as pronounced as it was a few years ago, it still exists. For instance, black people are restricted from accessing certain institutions on the basis of their skin color. There are also cases of individuals who are mishandled simply because they are from a different race.

Racial stereotyping becomes a very complicated issue in cases where the blacks are citizens of countries whose majority of citizens are white. This implies that they have to deal with negative stereotypes for their entire lives . Racial stereotyping affects blacks negatively because it denies them a chance to live comfortably as the rest of the white population. When blacks are viewed as individuals with a different identity, the feeling that engulfs them is that they are lesser human beings.

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This prevents them from making positive contributions to society even when they have the ability to contribute positively. The mistake in this kind of thinking is that black people have the same qualities as white people. The perception that white people are better than the blacks is wrong since whatever they can do, the blacks have the capacity to do it too. For example, black people have succeeded in many sectors in places where they are considered inferior to whites. A good example is the incumbent US president whose roots are of black origin.


Example #5

Stereotypes are things that everyone in this day in age has to deal with. Everywhere we look we find ideas that one thought to be typical of a certain race, ethnic group, or age ranges. Pop-culture has its share of stereotypes. From mass media to published writings stereotypes find a way to rear up and present themselves to all audiences. The movie Boy s Don t Cry is a depiction of the true story of a female, Tina Brandon, wanting to become a man, Brandon Tina. Although she doesn’t make it to the surgery to physically become a man, she still takes on the role of what she thought was the stereotypical man. Going for a ride on the back of a pickup truck was one of the things she did to ensure her friends that she was a man.

She also felt that the stereotypical man drank beer all day and did drugs, so in turn, she began to do the same. There were also the sexual relations she had with females, which were part of what she thought was being a man also the fact that she confused about her sexual identity. Another example of stereotypes in popular culture is seen in the film Merchants of Cool. To make the big bucks, companies try to target and analyze the stereotypical teenager. The teenagers they target are the ones that always go for the spotlight, for what is trendy, and the teens that go for whatever is popular. These teens are a gold mine for retailers today. MTV spent some time and money with a few kids in order to find out exactly what it was that was popular, and what it was that they could make to get people to spend millions of dollars on.

In the essay Give Her a Pattern by D. H. Lawrence, female stereotypes are extremely criticized. His main objective is that most if not all women unceasingly try to adapt themselves to what men think women should be or act like. He feels that women are afraid to be anything different than what men want them to be, maybe for the fear of rejection, or unappreciation. She also points out that prostitution is the eternal secret ideal of men (Lawrence, Pg. 213). The women who dress and act slutty, and hang out on street corners are branded with this stereotype simply because that s what men want. Even if these skin showing females are just minding their own business and are not looking to make some money, they are still stereotyped as prostitutes.

If you were to picture a female standing out on the street in a mini skirt, and a shirt that exposed most of their stomach, you can imagine the thoughts of people both men and women that pass by. The Stereotype by Germaine Greer deals with the idea that women should be dressed in the finest clothes, and have all the riches they want. Greer gives the idea that the woman is a showcase for her mate. The man gets to buy her things and make her more and more beautiful, then she goes out and shows it all off. Another stereotypical idea that is portrayed in this writing is that men are the ones to go off to work all day while the woman wanders the streets, and the finest stores, and hotels, with her husband’s money, buys whatever she wants and then has enough time to come home, greet her mate from a hard days work, and have dinner ready on the table.

In my opinion, this stereotype is more present in today s society than some people would like to believe. Women would like to believe that they are exactly equal to men, that they can do whatever a man can do, and just like a man can go to work every day. This is true to some extent, there are things that women cannot do that man can do, I think football is the only sport that women haven t tried to take over. Although women want to portray to all this idea that they are unstoppable, they have to come to realize that it’s ok to be different than a man and that they are not always going to be the ones making differences. Stereotypes don t stop at the home, and with teens, they go all the way to widely sponsored events such as the Miss U.S.A. Pageant.

Studs Terkel has written called Miss USA, this is a personal experience essay where the writer had her time in the spotlight as Miss U.S.A. She didn’t totally regret the idea of becoming this beauty queen but regretted deeply the ideas that went along with it. She said that when people speak about beauty queens, there are certain images that the women are labeled with. One popular image for this situation she refers to as t and a, tits and ass (Terkel, Pg. 332). The stereotypical beauty queen is to have a beautiful body and beautiful features. Talent goes as far as a five minute rehearsed skit that is designed to make the contestant seem somewhat intelligent.

Then the stereotype story goes on as if the beauty queen has no say in anything. Paraded around to be shown off then to have her place taken by another beauty. I don t think we will ever live in a world without stereotypes. People are just too accustomed to them. They use them for financial gain, to gain a perspective on, or to judge someone they first meet, and unfortunately to mock others to gain acceptance by those with the same views. Though people may be against stereotyping I am pretty sure that everyone somewhere along the line has taken part in this cruel way of thinking.


Example #6 – The Depiction of the Racial Stereotypes

Originating in race-based African chattel slavery, racial stereotypes have plagued American history. Antebellum stereotypes characterized African Americans as inferior and unevolved, which perpetuated the opinion of most white Americans that African Americans were suited to servitude, as they were seen as incapable of learning and being civilized. The stereotypes propagated by slavery, Minstrel Shows, and later books and films found their place in a variety of well-known pieces, including Bishop Whipple’s Southern, which preserved repugnant stereotypes. However, antebellum author Herman Melville employed these racial stereotypes in Benito Cereno in a seemingly innovative way; he utilizes stereotypes of African Americans to critique 19th-century racial discourse by calling into question the validity of rigid racial boundaries and suggesting the danger of viewing a race as a monolithic body.

Benito Cereno, a novella set in 1799 – in the midst of the age of slavery – details the thoughts and feelings of Massachusetts Captain Amasa Delano amidst a puzzling encounter on a slave ship. Often referred to as “the American” (Melville 121), Delano is the captain of a whaling ship, the Bachelor’s Delight. While his ship is docked off the coast of Chile, Delano comes in contact with a “strange sail” (Melville 109), which readers soon learn is a Spanish slave ship in the midst of a rebellion. Once onboard, Delano begins to witness events he considers odd and inexplicable due to his acceptance of racial stereotypes. For instance, he observes a group of six slaves clashing their hatchets with a “barbarous din” (Melville 119), whom he describes as “unsophisticated Africans” (Melville 120). In addition to calling their behavior unorthodox, Delano describes these men as equal to barbarians.

This description paints a picture of Africans as lazy, ignorant, and uncivilized, all of which are considered the opposite of what it means to be American. Ultimately, Delano’s perception of slaves as being uncivilized brings to light the conviction of early Americans that slaves and minority ethnic groups were the ‘other.’ From this point forward one could begin to consider Delano as an American lens or viewpoint, as he is beginning to exhibit views consistent with the majority of his contemporary Americans. Moreover, Delano continues to judge situations based on his acceptance of racial stereotypes. As he observes a group of slave mothers breastfeeding their children on the deck of the ship, he remarks, “like most uncivilized women, they seemed … [as] Unsophisticated as leopardesses; [as] loving as doves” (Melville 175). The undertones of racism become clear as Delano compares these women to undomesticated animals. Moreover, the juxtaposition enunciates Delano’s paradoxical view of African women.

Indeed, various sources on antebellum culture, such as Gettysburg College’s digital archive on slave communities, suggest that white men were drawn to the “exotic charms” of female slaves, and their perceived lack of modesty appeared to signal a compromised sense of morality, as well as a heightened sex drive, which white men often felt entitled to exploit. (Slave Communities) These stereotypes are evident in Benito Cereno, as Delano observes them while exposing their breasts, all while he describes them as comparable to wildlife. Truly, his view that African women are exotic and picturesque, but still subordinate due to their race, exhibits an overwhelmingly baffling view of these women, by suggesting they are seductive and appealing, but unworthy of respect, due to their race. Ultimately, Delano’s conflicting account reveals his contradictory interpretation of slave women, from which the text begins to question the importance of race as a means for judgment of character by considering their femininity in addition to race.

By the side of Captain Benito Cereno and behind the events of the whole day is Babo, a slave who understands and manipulates the stereotypes many people apply to him to conceal the ongoing slave revolt. Described by Delano as “less a servant than a devoted companion,” (Melville 124), Babo initially appears to be the dedicated African slave assistant of Don Benito Cereno. Delano perceives the intimacy of their relationship when Babo goes as far as to speak for Cereno, claiming that, “His mind wanders. He was thinking of the plague that followed the gales” (Melville 132). Later, Delano witnesses Babo shaving the captain’s face. While watching Babo serve Cereno, Delano posits “there is something in the Negro which, in a peculiar way, fits him for avocations about one’s person” (Melville 200).

This sentence clearly illustrates Delano’s belief that African Americans are inferior to whites and specifically suited to serving the superior race. Furthermore, he goes on to state that African Americans possess a “certain easy cheerfulness, harmonious in every glance and gesture; as though God had set the whole Negro to some pleasant tune” (Melville 200). Delano’s statement not only reveals his racist attitude but also his insensibility to the feelings of Babo. This statement enforces the idea that an entire ethnic group not only has an inherent purpose to serve but also that they enjoy serving. Without a doubt, this racial stereotype denies a large group of people agency by implying their natural position on Earth is to please not themselves, but the men that have captured, tortured and exploited them for centuries.

Ultimately, by revealing Delano’s obliviousness to the reality of the situation, the text asks the reader to not only consider people as more than their race but also begins to suggest the danger of believing an entire race is “harmonious” (Melville 200) and incapable of independent thought. Interestingly, Melville’s choice to include variations of stereotypes that characterize slaves as ignorant, lazy, and uncivilized contrasts starkly with the reality of the story; the slaves are capable of much more than pleasing the white man. Ironically, Babo has been playing into these racial stereotypes and acting accordingly to avoid suspicion from Delano. In fact, Babo has been leading a clandestine operation, in which he cunningly strings Delano along to believe that Cereno controls the ship when in reality, the slaves have seized power.

Because Cereno must be supervised by his captor, Babo, and pretend he controls the vessel while wielding no real power, the increasingly odd events of the day begin to make sense once a “flash of revelation” (Melville 238) sweeps across Delano’s mind, and he finally understands the situation at hand. One could argue that Delano fails to understand the charade due to his “undistrustful good-nature” (Melville 110), but given the explicit racial stereotypes included throughout the course of the story, it is clear that Delano would never consider that an African would be able to control a ship, especially since this job usually belonged to an educated white man, such as himself. In other words, Delano cannot fathom the idea of a so-called inferior race appearing as his equal. The irony of his obliviousness not only debunks the dreadful stereotypes peppered throughout the story but also criticizes the sense of racial superiority, as well as the necessity of race in significant judgments.

By including these racial stereotypes only to question them, Melville offers a thought-provoking critique of American racial relations. By representing people who were considered too ignorant, lazy, and pathetic to be capable of pulling off an intricate and seemingly well thought out plan, Melville calls the reader to question the validity of stereotyping – an invitation that would have shaken his contemporary readers to the core. It is important to understand that Melville utilizes common stereotypes in an unprecedented way to critique racial relations, rather than perpetuate them. One can understand his disapproval of existing racial stereotypes through his choice to stray away from including a white character who saves the day.

Melville’s choice to move away from this standard is most profound, not only given the situation, but most significantly the time period; antebellum literature rarely gave slaves agency, and even landmark works, such as Uncle Tom’s Cabin include the success of a slave as contingent upon a white character. As a result, Melville artfully crafts a story addressing the validity of racial stereotypes, which also calls the reader to question the danger of denying a race agency and consequently viewing a race as a monolithic body, all of which were far ahead of Melville’s time. Without explicitly pronouncing a stance on the principle of racial discrimination and the legitimacy of mainstream stereotypes, Melville communicates to the reader that considering a person’s ethnicity above their outward character and actions can mask intentions and ultimately adversely affect the outcome of a situation.


Example #7

Stereotypes are essentially assumptions that are made about a person or group’s character or attributes, based on a general image of what a particular group of people is like. Just as people assume that all cars have four wheels, while all bicycles have two, they also assume that all men have certain attributes that differ from women. In reality, a few vehicles that might be called “cars” have three wheels-as do some bicycles. So, these stereotypes about cars and bicycles are not always accurate. Stereotypes about men and women are even less likely to be accurate, as people’s characteristics vary much more so than do vehicles. Some men have physical or psychological characteristics that are more characteristic of women, while some women may resemble men in certain ways. So stereotypes are generalizations that are often oversimplified and wrong.

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Stereotypes are especially likely to be wrong in conflict situations. When people are engaged in a conflict, their image of their opponent tends to become more and more hostile. As communication gets cut off, people make generalizations and assumptions about opponents based on very sketchy and often erroneous information. They see faults in themselves and “project” those faults onto their opponent, preferring to believe that they are good and their opponents are bad. Eventually, opponents develop a strong “enemy image,” that assumes that everything the other side does is evil or wrong, while everything they do themselves is good. Such negative stereotypes make any sort of conflict resolution or conflict management process more difficult.

A first step toward overcoming these problems is becoming aware of the tendency to hold negative stereotypes of opponents, and then making conscious efforts to correct the inaccuracies. Often this is done by increasing person-to-person contacts between people from different groups. Usually, when people meet each other, talk together, and/or work together, they will soon learn that the opponents are not nearly as awful as they had earlier believed. (Of course, sometimes opponents will confirm the negative images, which makes overcoming them even harder.) Small group workshops-dialogues, analytical problem-solving workshops, mediation sessions, joint projects, and training programs are all ways in which stereotypes can begin to be broken down and more accurate images of the opponents developed.


Example #8 – Gender Stereotypes in Modern Movies: Beauty and the Beast

How can a simple color such as pink or blue change people’s perspectives on your sexuality? This is a common example of a gender stereotype that is shown by many people from adolescents to adults. This is an unfair issue in modern society because there shouldn’t be a certain standard every gender has to live up to and there are many more stereotypes that affect the world. Many movies usually display different gender roles that are very common and relatable issues in reality because that is how movies make sales and attract audiences. In the contemporary day, gender roles for men and women such as how they should act, how they look, or what they should do with their lives are unfair because all genders should be allowed to do what they please while not having to conform to society’s ‘laws’, and without getting judged by their peers and elders.

For example, in the 2017 film Beauty and the Beast, Gaston is presented as a tall, attractive, and strong man in which all the women in the village are madly obsessed with because this is what they look for in men. On the other hand, Gaston’s wingman, Lefou is portrayed as a short, overweight man who is not liked by many women, even though he is much nicer than Gaston. This shows one of the most common stereotypes where men are expected to be strong and handsome, which shows your ‘manliness’ and that this is the only way women will follow you around and fall in love with you. This is unfair because many males cannot achieve that appearance and this lowers many male’s self-esteem that does not look like Gaston or any other film character that Hollywood portrays as an attractive man.

Furthermore, women are meant to be loving, caring, and beautiful as Belle displays in the film. She is a sweet and selfless girl who loves the world and everyone in it but also wants to do things for herself because she is an independent person. As a woman, she is expected to stay home to take care of her father while he works. This is because the common gender role in the working environment, past, and present is that women should stay home while men go out and work because men are more superior to women. This is not fair because women should be able to achieve their dreams just like men and not be considered selfish by others when they want to pursue their own life. Everyone deserves to fulfill their own self-potential and not be held back because of their certain gender.

At last, men are considered selfish and cruel because of the stereotypes modern society teaches us. For example, in Beauty and the Beast, Gaston sees Belle more as an object, than a woman and thinks she is someone who will do anything for him, just like the other girls that are following him around town. On the other hand, Belle is an independent woman who will let no man take control of her. This displays the common stereotype that men are more attracted to the physical aspect of a woman than their personality, while women think the opposite. Another example, Prince Adam, or ‘the beast’ throws castle parties and only wants the most beautiful people to attend the dance.

Also, when the old and poor lady shows up at the castle to gain shelter from the storm and offers the prince a rose, the prince laughs at the lady and declines. This shows the stereotype that men are unkind, cruel, and have ‘no love in their heart’. The last example of men showing cruel personality is when the Beast gives the cold shoulder to everybody and is intimidating to others. In conclusion, gender roles are still a big part of modern society, and movies do not do a good job in trying to eliminate those gender roles. There are many different kinds of gender stereotypes from certain colors to personality traits. No matter the gender, each person is unique in their own way and should not have to conform to society’s thinking and rules. This is an unfair issue that needs to be resolved or it could get worse for future generations to come.


Example #9

Stereotyping In Education Stereotyping is when you treat people unfairly just because they have characteristics of a certain group (Merriam Webster Dictionary). In education stereotyping is something you come in touch with every single day, it is so common we don’t even know it is happening. In everyday life Stereotypes are used, they are directed towards ethnicity, gender, and education. “In ethnicity, we have the ideas that each race is a certain way” (Aronson. The impact of stereotypes).

Here are a couple of examples for blacks, they all can run fast, and that they are all about the welfare system. “For Hispanics, they are stereotyped as being crazy, loud, lazy, drug dealers, illegal immigrants, and slutty” (Typical stereotypes of Hispanics). The stereotypes of ethnicity are causing an uproar of students in school. At school, if you have a stereotype it is shown that students stick with it, and do not change their minds. Another way we stereotype in school is through gender.

Gender stereotyping comes down to just that, boys and girls. “Of all stereotyping, gender is the most pervasive in American life” (Calvanese. Investigation gender stereotypes). In education, we see girls as being better at reading and writing than boys. Another example is that “guys do not become nurses, and women do” (Ehrlich, Stereotype within). We see gender stereotypes in education because we see certain classes for males such as science, economics, history, and math and for females cooking, sewing.


Example #10 – interesting ideas

Stereotypes are generalizations about a group of people whereby we attribute a defined set of characteristics to this group. These 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 easily be recognized. This is why people of color, police, and women are so easily stereotyped. People from stereotyped groups can find this very disturbing as they experience an apprehension (stereotype threat) of being treated unfairly.

1. Bookkeeping model: As we learn new contradictory information, we incrementally adjust the stereotype to adapt to the new information. We usually need quite a lot of repeated information for each incremental change. Individual evidence is taken as the exception that proves the rule.

2. Conversion model: We throw away the old stereotype and start again. This is often used when there is significant disconfirming evidence.

3. Subtyping model: We create a new stereotype that is a sub-classification of the existing stereotype, particularly when we can draw a boundary around the sub-class. Thus if we have a stereotype for Americans, a visit to New York may result in us having a ‘New Yorkers are different’ sub-type.

We often store stereotypes in two parts. First, there is the generalized descriptions and attributes. To this, we may add exemplars to prove the case, such as ‘the policeman next door’. We may also store them hierarchically, such as ‘black people’, ‘Africans’, ‘Ugandans’, ‘Ugandan military’, etc., with each lower-order inheriting the characteristics of the higher-order, with additional characteristics added. Stereotyping can go around in circles. Men stereotype women and women stereotype men. In certain societies this is intensified as the stereotyping of women pushes them together more and they create men as more of an out-group.

The same thing happens with different racial groups, such as ‘white/black’ (an artificial system of opposites, which in origin seems to be more like ‘European/non-European’). Stereotyping can be subconscious, where it subtly biases our decisions and actions, even in people who consciously do not want to be biased. Stereotyping often happens not so much because of aggressive or unkind thoughts. It is more often a simplification to speed conversation on what is not considered to be an important topic. Example. Stereotyping goes way beyond race and gender. Consider conversations you have had about people from the next town, another department in your company, supporters of other football teams, and so on.

How is gender stereotype formed?

Answer. A stereotype is when you put everyone into a category based on some type of criteria. They sometimes are true but they are mostly NOT true. A cheerleader is always clueless, blonde, and bubbly. Every High School football QB is a mean jock. etc, etc… These are stereotypes. Sure you may meet one that fits the stereotype. But most would not fit the stereotype.

A gender stereotype is when you do this to an entire gender. An example would be if someone said that only men can be doctors and only women can be nurses. Or it’s the man’s job to provide for the family and the woman is supposed to cook and watch the kids. These are gender stereotypes. Stereotypes are formed and enforced by society.

Do I have to make a narrative paragraph about an experience in which I was stereotype? But I don’t really understand what is exactly STEREOTYPE means, can you give me an example.

Answer. Stereotypes are assumptions we make about an entire group based on observations of some members. We attribute observations to all members of the group whether it really applies to them or not. Very often, they are racially or ethnically based, and very often, they are incorrect. If we say “all Asians are good at math” we have applied a stereotype of Asians. Certainly, some Asians are not good at math. Similarly, we could say “all black people are good at athletics” and we know this isn’t true – all aren’t, some are.

Some stereotyping is more hurtful than others. Some people might say “all fat people are lazy” when the reality is that there are many reasons someone might be overweight and not exercising is only one reason. “People who wear glasses are bookworms/smart/nerds/etc…” is another example. Most people that wear glasses simply have poor eyesight. We sometimes say that “all jocks are stupid and take easy classes” when we know there are many athletes that are very bright students.

It’s not the social, ethnic, or racial group label that is the stereotype but instead the qualities we assume that all members of that group display. A simple example is “all blondes are dumb” – blonde isn’t the stereotype, that we ascribe being dumb to blondes is the stereotype. Almost everyone has experienced some form of stereotyping either as the one doing it or the one being stereotyped.

Gender stereotyping is everywhere. A common stereotype might be that guys have to be strong, muscular, and tough. Another common stereotype is that women can’t drive. These stereotypes are not backed up by any statistics or research. People may pick up these stereotypes from the media. Movies, for example, usually have the guy being all muscular and good looking. This makes people think that all guys are like this and are not normal if they are not. I think that gender stereotyping is unnecessary and should be stopped. There are way too many sexists that assume that gender is not as capable or worthy as the other.

Although there are many gender stereotypes, our society has gotten better than before (when women were considered less worthy than men) but it will never be perfect. Personally, I have never had any experience with gender stereotyping but I have seen many instances of it. The most common one I have heard is when boys make fun of girls for having small breasts. Since boys are used to seeing women with huge breasts in movies, they think that everyone else should too. We are all unique and should not be harassed or treated differently because of our gender.

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