WE ARE ALL A SOME KIND OF A STEREOTYPE!
The origin of the word stereotype comes from the French word stéréotype, here does stéréo-, from the Greek word stereo together with the word type from the Late Latin word typus. A stereotype is “…a fixed, over generalized belief about a particular group or class of people.” (Cardwell, 1996). That was the topic of our last last CTS lesson, we talked about which stereotypes we know, if we were accosted with a stereotype in the past and if we think if it is something positive or negative.
Stereotypes influence our daily lives everyday, we judge people based on their gender, culture or group they belong to (for example age group) and to draw our conclusions from things we do not actually know about. ‘Typical’ stereotypes for,
- Men are strong and because of this they do all the work.
- Men are the “backbone” of a family
- Women are not as smart as a man.
- Women can not do a job as good as a man.
- The women is at home with the children while the man works
- All Jews are greedy from nature.
- All Asians are good at math and eat rice to every meal.
- All Irish people are alcoholics.
- All blonds are unintelligent.
- All teenagers are rebels and do not go to school.
- All children hate healthy food.
The problem with the term stereotype is that we associate it with something negative, yet is stereotyping nothing else than labeling or naming things. It is the nature of the human being to name the unnamed and this is totally ‘okay’, as long as no one gets hurt.
‘Naming is the act of best knowing a name, of labeling, of creating an identity. It is a means of structuring reality. It imposes pattern on the world that is meaningful in the namer’ (Hope A. Olson, 2002, the power to name).
Cardwell, M. (1996). Dictionary of Psychology. Chicago IL: Fitzroy Dearborn.
Katz, D., & Braly, K. (1933). Racial stereotypes of one hundred college students. Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology, 28, 280-290.