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Stereotype and Prejudice

Part I

Define the following terms:

Term

Definition

Stereotypes

Stereotypes are conventional, untrustworthy and overstated conceptions surrounding an entire group and applying them to an individual despite an individual’s personality.

Prejudice

Prejudice is an adverse outlook that leads to the rejection of an entire group.

Labeling theory

Labelling theory is a theory that is based on the impression that conducts are deviant only when humanity labels them as deviant.

Part II

Select three of the identity categories below and name or describe at least 3 related stereotypes for each:

  • Race
  • Ethnicity
  • Religion
  • Gender
  • Sexual orientation
  • Age
  • Disability

Category

Stereotype 1

Stereotype 2

Stereotype 3

Race (Asians)

Crafty

Conniving in business

Unscrupulous

Age (Teens)

Do not obey any principles.

Arrogant

Do not own up for their mistakes.

Religion (Muslims)

Extremists

Terrorists

Oppressive to their women.

Part III

Answer each question in 100 to 150 words related to those stereotypes:

  • What are the positive aspects of the stereotypes, if any?

There are a few positive aspects that are related to stereotyping. This can only be true when the stereotype is affirmative. It makes people develop trust in the members of that particular group, giving an assurance that that they can confront them in any matter. This in turn makes the members of that particular group assertive and eases their co-existence with other people in the community. It enhances having open minded individuals who will influence others in doing noble deeds for the community. It also fosters understanding and one can get to know more on the particular group. This creates co-existence.

  • What are the negative aspects of stereotypes?

Stereotyping tends to build more on the negatives compared to the positive. Most people end up being hurt and interrupts their interactions with others  due to the label of the larger group in which they belong for their personalities differ with the widely spread notion.  This dangerously breeds a narrow minded community where people fail to be rationale (Macrae, 1996. p.114).  It diminishes one’s self-esteem and respect is degraded enabling growth of hatred and misunderstanding between individuals. In some cases people make rules that govern others and oppress them because they are minority. Being a stereotype does not make that person better than the others but actually builds onto ignorance since that person doesn’t look beyond what he sees or perceives to be true. It also demonstrates fear in someone thus label him negatively so as to make yourself feel better.

Answer each question in 150 to 250 words related to those stereotypes:

  • What is the difference between stereotyping and prejudice? Use examples to illustrate the differences.

Stereotyping generalizes members of a particular group by giving them positive or negative traits. On the other hand, prejudice refers to having a negative attitude towards an entire group. An illustration of a stereotype is when all blacks are perceived to be athletes since most African-Americans do well in sports and are known to thrive in sports that require resilience. Another example of stereotype is when one assumes a Hispanic man is lazy just because of his race and by looking at the area he resides in. A case in point of a prejudiced thought is being wary of security since a Black American is in the midst. This negative trait perceived to be typical of all blacks and any black is a suspected criminal especially in crime prone areas. Stereotyping can have both good and bad impacts on an individual depending on the nature of the traits they attach while prejudice only affects people negatively.

  • What is the relationship between stereotyping and prejudice?

Stereotyping and prejudice have a similarity in the sense that they both target a whole group. They tag the trait that is observed or perceived in a few individuals in a group to everybody that happens to be a member of that group. Both of them are based on assumptions because people harbour ideas and thoughts even without coming into contact with the group. They both build on hate and pessimism making individuals with characters opposite to what is perceived of them in a large group to be on the verge of giving into the perceptions. Some are pushed to the limits and within no time are seen to practise the vices associated with their groups because either way no one trusts their personality. The two strengthen each other in the sense that stereotype creates an unauthentic base for prejudice while prejudice significantly points towards stereotype. They both apply to be root causes of discrimination.

  • What can be done to prevent prejudice from occurring?

Prejudice can be prevented from early age by teaching children the progressive co-existing. This can be expressed in encouraging the community to speak up on any injustice that occur as and any act that may be leading to prejudice. Activities, competitions, which foster unity among the oppressed and the oppressors, should be highly encouraged this will enhance co-existence (Pincus & Ehrlich, 1998. p. 203). The minority should be inspired to support each other in being self-reliant and aim at boosting each other’s self-esteem. Cultural studies should be incorporated into the school curriculum so as to enable people make informed choices. Most social convergence areas should be free for all so that people from diverse backgrounds should come into contact at social levels. At workplaces diversity trainings should be an on-going activity which keeps reminding people on the existence of people from different backgrounds so that they learn to accommodate each other.The activities that are done to fight prejudice should aim for long term achievements so that there will be no relapses on the efforts made. To sum it up the leaders of every category whether it is political, religious, social or academic should be the ones championing for togetherness since they have greater influence on the majority.