Why Are Stereotypes Dangerous and What Can Be Done to Reduce Them?

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Why Are Stereotypes Dangerous and What Can Be Done to Reduce Them? Very often, in our everyday life, we tend to make certain generalizations about things and people around us. This is because we are constantly exposed to heaps of information, and in order to cope with the complexity of the world around us, we need to generalize and categorize.[1] Sometimes we do this on purpose, with some intention. However, very often we do this subconsciously, unaware of what we are doing. Many people generalize on others according to their clothes, profession, origin, way of speaking, and many other, outer markers. This sort of thinking could be very dangerous, and it can lead us to creating stereotypes. Stereotype is a term…show more content…
To prove this to be true, some of my colleagues and me had some people from our environment interviewed on this topic. It is interesting that most of them had similar answers, and almost everyone said the English were reserved, snobbish, and even evil. Americans were 'fat and stupid, self-centered.' Although none of them would admit to be stereotyping, they all somehow 'knew' this was 'true.' Many of them, when asked if they would ever live in these countries responded negativelly, because the people were 'bad.' Thus they had some prejudices formed against these people, and did not want to do anything to help them understand and appreciate the other culture. Discrimination When the stereotypes we have formed last for too long in our minds, they can grow and develop into something more serious than prejudice. This is when we start acting and treating other people in a different, often bad and inhumane way.[7] This is another possible danger of using stereotypes, which is called discrimination. There are many different types of discrimination, based on appearance, age, nationality, sex, etc. One of the most common forms of discrimination is based on a well known stereotype found in many movies, magazines, and even in cartoons. It is the stereotype of a 'dumb blonde.'[8] It is an image of a girl who is physically attractive, but 'lacks brains.' This stereotype is so powerful, that very often all blonde girls

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