of inequality; whether regarding age, sexual orientation, religion, physical
ability, ethnicity, race or gender, stereotyping of individuals and cultures
has become a major concern. This issue has caused unprecedented suffering to
millions of people, not to mention its impact on cultural beliefs. With the
centrality of this issue, various researches have been conducted digging deep
into the subject matter. A case in point is the study by Dixon1, which correlates
stereotyping with an attitude maintained by individuals towards a particular
group or class of people basing on sets of information, which may be false or
inaccurate for that matter.
study is an attempt to address stereotyping of individuals and cultures, different
forms of stereotyping, when and where it occurs, what kind of people or
cultures encounter it the most, what causes it, why it is important, what
impact does it have, and how it can be stopped.
Different Forms of Stereotyping
The thoughts of
individuals are thriving grounds for the creation of stereotypes. It follows
that categorizing individuals into distinct groups is based on past
experiences, which provides clarity on perception and other related issues. For
some reasons, these categories elaborate the sense of perception to a level
that goes beyond worldly concerns. To put it another way, individuals tend to
look at the social and physical world concerning categories, without creating
provisions of what the actual attributes say about the person2.
There are points in support of categorization. Firstly-
examining key features that prompt a given kind of classification. Secondly-
creating commonality between such features and classes of people. Thirdly-
justification of poorly established prejudices about stereotyped groups.
Stereotypes can take the following forms:
stereotyping: Here the emphasis is more on femininity versus
masculinity. This issue is a common practice in workplaces where in most cases;
distribution of roles is based on gender. Another key point to remember is that
the current world regards male people to be with superiority and intelligence
while the females always come second. The matter is real in work environment;
the males take on responsibilities that are highly ranked as compared to
stereotypes: Many states in the US have found it viable to
legalize gay practices, yet other countries think of it as a violation of
morality. Everything considered, whether straight or gay, individuals tend to
find some sense of belonging through categorization4.
based on Culture: Cultural beliefs tell more about a group or a
class of people. Time and again, social media and the entertainment industry
have proven to play significant roles in cultural perception. Cultural
stereotypes are explicitly created out of races and ethnicity, among others.
Certain cultures are portrayed to have definite traits according to past
experiences. Black men, for example, are linked with all sorts of violence5.
When and Where Stereotyping Occurs
It is a common practice among individuals to a group, quantifies,
classifies and categorizes things. This is because the world feels simplified
with such practices in place. Then again, the convenience of being able to
predict some issues basing on such categories is somehow guaranteed. For these
reasons, stereotyping is a common practice:
environment: This is where specific groups of people
receive less treatment according to their race, culture, and gender. As a
result, productivity is greatly affected, while at the same time demoralizing
to stereotyping, well-talented students of specific groups experience
discrimination at every level hence a hindrance to performance. In most cases,
this happens during normal learning routine, where opinions of others are
portrayed to have more relevance than those of stereotyped groups7.
Vulnerability to Stereotyping
The question of the kind of people who encounter stereotyping
the most is quite debatable, according to
Coupled with literary evidence, the blacks versus the whites situation have
been painting compelling views of racial discrimination over the years. Racism
has affected the blacks and most Latinos adversely. It follows that the blacks
depict a picture of unintelligence and laziness. Correspondingly, social media
is leading a perception where black men are linked to violence-related cases in
Americans account for approximately 14% of the American population.
Surprisingly, most Latinos who have established roots in the United States are
believed to be breaking the law due to illegality. This makes them quite vulnerable
to stereotyping. Here, categorization is based on cliché sequence of events,
which may or may not be the case at the moment. In this very note, it’s implied
that social media is a leeway that elaborates racial discrimination10.
superiority complex can be traced back to the golden days when women were
supposed to stay at home and address household needs. This is still a factor in
the millennial era since the male species are highly regarded concerning work
opportunities as compared to females. Workplaces stereotyping is a factor that
cripples development in various ways. In some instances, employees, due to less
motivation, may end up resigning11.
Causes of Stereotyping
According to Galinsky12, there
have been relentless attempts to equalize people with regards to gender, race,
ethnicity, cultural beliefs and sexual orientation. All the same, the big
question is; what are the exact causes of stereotyping?
need of maintaining consistency or doing things correctly: A closer
look at psychology implies that individuals portray behavioral patterns
according to routine practices and past experiences. In that case, stereotyping
is just one of the characters that develop as a result, hence a more elaborate
way of conducting things in order13.
need of taking the easiest way out: With millions of people
making up the overall population across borders, it is much easier to embrace
social identity through classification. Right from identifying an individual,
all the way to knowing which group the person belongs to, categorization is
applicable. Race, sex, language spoken, religion and hair color, not only
identifies a person but also gives very detailed information of the person in
Importance of Stereotyping
While it is clear stereotyping is a negative thing, there
are some individuals who actually believe it’s not all bad. The question of
whether stereotyping is important or not, has encouraged public scrutiny.
Notwithstanding the limitations, stereotyping has its better sides according to
Duguid & Melissa15, which
include: Stereotyping provides a clear understanding of the social and physical
world. In this case, it appears that individuals like familiarity; one of the
most simplified ways of handling situations, without necessarily going outside
the comfort zones. In other words, it is much easier to liken something to
another issue, or to talk of something with reference to another related thing.
In this case, stereotyping provides a clear understanding of the social and
physical world. Equally, it has become visible that individuals tend to react
surprisingly to the unfamiliar16.
stereotyping has enabled cognitive effectiveness and efficiency. About cognitive psychology, categorization is
based on the internal mentality that links specific characteristics to certain
groups, which in turn generalizes larger groups of similar traits17. This
is to say that with stereotyping, it is easier to know who is who and why. Then
again, categorizing individuals is quite effective and efficient in the sense
that, the chances of time wasting over the same are reduced to the lowest level
Stereotyping justifies ill-founded prejudice with regards to group comparisons. The findings of who is better than whom,
are borne by a number of researches. These researches shed light on the
significance on underlying factors that relate to racial discrimination in the
United States. For some reasons, the whites believe that they are more
intelligent and superior in comparison with the blacks. For that matter,
stereotyping has a way of making specific groups feel better than others19.
The Impacts of Stereotyping on Individuals
Stereotyping is the
reason why individuals perceive and treat other groups differently. In that
case, some aspects have risen to extreme pronounced heights over the same.
Discrimination, for instance, has and still is a major concern in the United
States, notably in workplaces. Given the above, the ways individuals think
create stereotypes, hence categorizing individuals into distinct groups20.
The prejudicial aspects in support of stereotyping have led
to: Ill-founded perception of individuals; stereotypes are given less relevance
according to what they are and their abilities. Secondly, low productivity;
stereotyping in workplaces drive down productivity and employee morale.
Thirdly, negative influence on performance; well talented and learned figures
have been discouraged from advancing career levels due to discrimination,
example racial stereotyping21.
How to End Stereotyping
Over the years, researchers have long sought
ways of preventing stereotyping from rising to prominence and reduce the
effects. This, however, has not been so fruitful given that, the implementation
of related findings still leaves pronounced levels of racism. It is, however,
illogical to disprove what has been done so far in order to counter this
problem. Doing away with all forms of narrow-mindedness, as far as stereotyping
is concerned will require implementation of strategies that are geared towards
encouraging cooperative interaction, cognitive training to help promote
internal motivation against discrimination, creation of awareness on the
dangers of prejudice, and encouraging more interpersonal and intergroup
interaction in work places22.
Over the years, the issue about stereotyping of
individuals and cultures surfaces as a significant barrier to development. This
matter has attracted possible lessening strategies geared towards maintaining
low levels of the negative effects of categorization. In approaching social
psychology, stereotyping confines social perception to a level that defines
people’s personality based on who they are, their origin, or the language is
spoken by them. In other words, societal perception about groups or classes of
people may depict some traces of inaccuracy.