Stereotyping can be defined as the general opinion someone has based on certain traits towards a group of people. Evidence shows that no room exists when dealing with the issue of stereotyping, and the only thing that exists is the assumptions towards traits of a group. Developing a given stereotype requires someone to have an idea, understand characteristics, and traits of the group referred. Studies show that stereotypes are things that are not permanent simply because they can be changed any moment. It should be noted that stereotypes are not always negative there are those which are positive. I will discuss three different stereotypes that I have encountered in life giving some of the effects they have towards others.
Gender role is one of the stereotypes that I have observed practiced in my family and the community I live. It is generally defined and practiced that men are the heads of the family where they are sole providers of their families and that women are supposed to stay at home and take care of the children. Traditionally, the aspect of gender roles should be observed and respected. Young men are raised in a setting where they are taught to shoot guns and hunt. It is the work of men to train and teach boys on how to become responsible people in the society. Boys are encouraged and taught on how to be active plus they are trained on how to provide security to their families when they grow up. Girls are encouraged to stay with their mothers where they are taught on homely activities.
The society does not encourage girls to participate in sports activities or anything that relates to athletic. The argument developed by the society for girls not to engage in sports activities is that girls are not stronger than boys plus they are the weaker sex. I my view, I see this as flawed reasoning because boys and girls have the same potential thus they should be allowed to pursue and engage in activities they want. The issue of gender role and participation has a negative effect on women because they feel discriminated although this issue is currently degrading, (Mossier, 2011).
The aspect on how people regard the homeless community is another type of stereotype that I have frequently encountered. The community I live has poor people who encounter or experience challenges in their life. ‘The Contributor’ is a publication published in our community, which is sold, by the less fortunate people on street corners. Purchasing this publication costs a dollar where sellers have a given percentage that they are allowed to keep. It’s my tradition to budget for the purchase even if am not going to read the paper. The main reason for this is to support the group so that they can try and meet their daily needs. In a recent discussion, we had with my neighbors I was amazed by their reaction after they realized that I support this people.
They believe that these people are lazy and they only beg money on street corners instead of looking for real jobs out there. In my view, there are many people who are homeless due to different reasons. My argument is that most of them are homeless not because they are lazy bums. Most people who do not support or fail to donate to these people have a notion that they are a drug addict, alcoholic, and lazy. Although this argument is valid, in my opinion I think they are those who are genuinely homeless and need our assistance. This notion may affect people who are ill, mentally affected, and those who lost their jobs because of many reasons. This kind of stereotyping can prevent the society from helping those who are not well and giving to charities, (Herbert, 2008).
Racial Discrimination and Prejudice
The last type of stereotyping I will discuss that I have seen is that of racial discrimination and prejudice. This mostly affects the African American community unlike in the other set of people. Recently we planned to go for a trip with my friends as it has been our tradition. One of our friends planned to come with his friend and the group had no problem with the friend’s thought. It was until we realized that the person to be invited was an African American that concern developed from all angles (including myself). The main problem was not that the person was black American but due to the fact that the place we were visiting is referred to be honky Tonk and we felt he would not love the kind of music played there. Everyone thought that the person would feel out of place and never enjoy it because the place only plays country music. It was not in order for all of us to think that he would not love country music because he was an African American person. The concern was innocent, but it eventually turned to be wrong simply because the person came with us and had the best time and enjoyed every second we spent with him, (Holmberg, 2010).
Herbert, W. (2008). The Neurology of Stereotypes. Retrieved from, http://www.pschologicalscience.org/onlyhuman/2008/04/neurology-of-stereotypes_24.cfm, On June 17, 2013
Holmberg, C.B. (2010) Stereotypes and Stereotyping. In Encyclopedia of American Studies. Retrieved from, http://www.credoreference.com/entry/jhueas/stereotypes_and_stereotyping, On June 17, 2013
Mossier, K. (2011). An Introduction to Logic. San Diego, CA: Bridgepoint Education, Inc.