The Child 's Brain : What Makes You Think Your Thoughts About A Particular Person Or Place? Essay

Decent Essays
Have you ever considered where your thoughts about a particular person or place originates? What makes you feel the way you do when you see an image of a particular type of person? Many scholars are in agreement that most of our ideas about others stem from what meaning our culture has placed on people of that demographic (Hall, 1997). These meanings are not always communicated in an outright way but subtly over extended periods of time and frequent exposure. For instance, there was not a time when your parent pointed to a picture of a squirrel and said, “nut” or “tree”. What typically happens is that every time a child sees a squirrel, they are forging for seeds or running up and down a tree. After witnessing a squirrel involved in this action two or three dozen times, the child begins to associate the squirrel with those particular actions. As the child’s brain begins to organize information for easy access the image of the squirrel is placed into a mental box with trees, seeds, and warmer weather. This process provides the child with a conceptual idea or representation (Hall, 1997) of a squirrel in order to know how to conduct herself when squirrels are around. As shown in the above example, we subconsciously assign meanings to everything we encounter without much thought. This innocent process can become very dangerous if one is not cognizant of the meanings they are attaching to different groups, especially groups delineated by race and ethnicity. As pointed out by
Get Access