Essay on Effects of Stereotyping

1171 WordsSep 15, 20095 Pages
Effects of Stereotyping Living in America we deal with a lot of diversity, especially those in the criminal justice field where situations caused by religion can lead to a problem. Stereotypes are ideas held by some individuals about members of particular groups, based solely on membership in that group. Stereotyping is one of the biggest problems that we deal with, particularly in law enforcement. Stereotype threat can result in a self-fulfilling insight whereby a person comes to resemble his or her reputation, living up or down to social expectations. Over the years there have been many allegations of police officers accused of going after individuals and accusing them of a crime based on the sole fact of what their religious…show more content…
When profiling is practiced legitimately by police officers, the accuracy of profiling is very high. Profiling is fact based and is intended to increase law enforcement efficiently while avoiding bias and prejudice. Although many may think of stereotypes as being negative judgment, they can also be positive. Some people hold positive stereotypes of other individuals based on their professional group membership or religious beliefs. I believe that stereotypes are extremely harmful in the fact that they delay communication in at least four different ways that I have found. They cause us to assume that a widely-held belief is true when it may not be. A common example on how Americans view Arabs is that they are wealthy, barbaric, and terrorist minded (Jandt, 2003, p.78). Stereotypes also slow down communication when they cause us to believe that a widely held belief is true of any on individual, such as if a group is stereotyped as lying. That does not mean that any one individual in that group is lying.We tend to look at the big picture instead of the small one, such as just because an individual is a member of a specific group or religion may be they don’t share all of the same beliefs as the other members do. In order to provide effective law enforcement, agencies need
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