Response Paper: The Impact of Cultural Stereotypes

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29 January 2012 Response Paper: The Impact of Cultural Stereotypes Studying language and why people stereotype others can help people understand where some of their feelings about language and culture come from and what they can do to avoid stereotyping people (Van Ginneken, 2007). Cultural stereotypes have a big impact on the daily lives of people, especially after a major event that affects a certain group or was created by people in a certain group. For example, one of the biggest stereotyping issues came about after 9/11, when Arabs and Muslims were stereotyped as all being terrorists. Of course that's not the case, but because some of the people in that group did something horrible, many Americans (and others) decided that all people who came from that group were bad and should not be trusted. Culture, language, and even a person's regional accent can create opportunities for stereotyping, but people generally learn their language and culture from other around them, and that makes them unique to their environment and culture - not "bad," but merely different, which provides a learning opportunity. What took place on 9/11 was very unfortunate for people in the Muslim and Arab groups who were just trying to make a living and who did not mean anyone else any harm. Even though it has been over ten years since 9/11 took place, the stereotype of Arabs and Muslims still exists. The odds are high that the stereotype will never go away, and that those groups will always
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