Nov 8, 2017 in Sociology

Stereotypes

This paper presents an essay on some stereotypes within societies. Stereotypes are commonly held beliefs by the community, society or country regarding some groups of people or aspects. It involves generalizing of an aspect on certain issues based on prior knowledge and judgment regarding the aspect in consideration. Sometimes, they could be correct while in some cases they are wrong. Stereotypes are mainly based on gender, race, sex, age, religion, and social status or class. In this paper, it is held that, stereotypes are incorrect and lead to false judgments.

The first part of the essay covers racial stereotypes. This entails beliefs, which are held on grounds of race. Some people easily conclude about certain persons by focusing on their race. They can tell more about the subject persons by merely relying on knowledge of the race to which they belong. For instance, there is a belief that white Americans tend to be obese, dull, and lazy. This implies that all or the majority of such Americans posses the mentioned traits. This can be correct to some extent but certainly cannot be true to all the white Americans. There is also a general view that African Americans are good in sports especially in athletics. This can be depicted during sport events such as long distance races. Whenever some participants who are not African-Americans or Africans register impressive performance, it turns to surprise many. This is because many people associate such races or competitions to the Africans or African-Americans. This is therefore an example of stereotypes that are based on race.

There are also gender-based stereotypes. These constitute common beliefs held about persons or actions on grounds of gender. In almost all the societies around the world, there are perceptions that some jobs are meant for men. Women are not supposed to engage in certain tasks. For instance, jobs that entail physical involvement tend to be male-dominated. Women too stay away from such assignments. This means that the society holds the beliefs depending on gender. In some African societies, the girl child is often sidelined in accessing education. Their roles are limited to family chores. It is their male counterparts who are advantaged in the pursuit for education. This shows a huge disparity in the way societies bring up their young ones for the future roles. Unfortunately, these approaches discriminate against the other gender/sex hence creating a stereotype.

The third category or form of stereotyping is based on cultures. Certain beliefs are held on various cultural backgrounds. Some traits or behaviours are associated with persons who come from certain cultures. For instance, the belief that all Mexicans are lazy is based on their culture. Therefore, whenever one meets a Mexican, what comes to his or her mind is about laziness. The cultures of Muslims and Arabs reflect a tendency of being involved in terrorist activities. In the recent past, there were a considerable number of news about some Muslims being arrested on suspicion of being terrorists or planning to engage in the criminal activities. These are some of the examples that constitute stereotyping on the grounds of culture and consequently discrimination against such individuals.

Other stereotypes also often appear on the grounds of social class or status. There is a general belief amongst people that politicians are driven by greed and personal gain. In undertaking of their roles and duties, there is a feeling that some suspicious activities are executed. For example, in the deliberations regarding the formulation of laws regulating operations of some multinational companies, some politicians engage in activities that compromise their independence and objectivity in the process. It is such underhand deals that create the general view on the politicians. However, this does not reflect the true character of all politicians. Therefore, it is a stereotype to view politicians as individuals with stakes and guided by greed.

Beliefs that girls are only interested in their physical appearance, that teenagers are rebellious towards their seniors, and that children dislike healthy foods are all stereotypes based on uninformed thinking.

The other form of stereotyping is the beliefs based on one’s sex. The society holds the opinion that men who seem to be feminine are gay. Women who portray masculine characteristics are also considered lesbians. The views of the majority of the society members towards the abovementioned groups entail the feeling that their activities are immoral and against the societal norms. The persons who engage in such acts therefore shy away from admitting the reality for the fear of discrimination. It is, however, a fact that not everyone who depicts such traits of feminism or masculinity is really a lesbian or gay. Some of the lesbians and gays may also not portray the above characteristics. Hence, it is a stereotype to make a conclusion about someone based on his or her appearance.

Conclusion

This essay discussed some popular stereotypes. As it has been shown from above, these are beliefs commonly held regarding some class of persons or issues. They are mainly drawn on the grounds of gender, race, and social class. It is inappropriate to accept stereotypes since they have harmful effects on the victims. It can lead to bullying and, in some cases, illegal detentions on grounds that one is suspected to be a terrorist. It also subjects the victims to psychological torture due to discrimination. It is hereby recommended that efforts be made to abolish or reduce the instances of stereotyping in societies across the globe.

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