Home Discussion Forum How would you end stereotyping?

How would you end stereotyping?

This comes on the heels of my “Should Calif. become it’s own state” question…there are A LOT of misconceptions about Californians…like we are ALL a bunch of Homo-sexual Tree Hugging Liberal Super rich Celebrities…(MA legalized same sex marriage & not CA… it is only sanctuned in SF City not the whole state!). But this problem of stereotyping goes much farther than our gross generalizations of how each state’s inhabitants are perceieved…such as the stereotyping of races and religions etc.
How can we get people to open their eyes and minds to the differences each person has and quit the negative effects of stereotyping?
If possible…or is it just impossible?


  1. Most people fail to realize that although stero-typing is ”wrong”, each stero type exist for a reason. Think about it.

  2. Yeah, I don’t know that I would end sterotyping. Our police officers are taught to stereo type as a mater of crime fighting and safety proceedures. And we all do it, it’s called common deduction and general assessment and I think it’s necessary. Someone walks down the street towards me wearing their pants hanging off their a$$ and with that swanky gait and glaring eyes, I make an assessment right there, before the person even opens their mouth to speak to me. 9 times out of 10 of the people who open their mouth prove the stereotpye correct. I need to make this general assessment of the person walking toward me so I know to be guarded or not. Now if someone walks towards me in a suit and is walking with straight posture, I make another assessment and am less guarded. Can both the suit and the homey hurt me or steal my wallet? Yes, of course. But which is more likely?
    These are first impressions and when they are proven correct so many times, they become generalizations, or stereotypes. There is a reason people are afraid of the guy walking toward them in the baggie pants with the gansta walk… and we make these generalizations out of common sense and sometimes basic survival instincts. It’s not to say that I wouldn’t give the guy in baggie pants an ear if he wanted to talk to me and did so in a non-threatening or pleasant way, ’cause I would. You make the generalizations first and you go from there. If someone proves that they’re different from the category they originally appear to fall into, great. But again, 9 times out of 10.
    As for the tree-hugging liberal super rich stereotype, well… I haven’t heard too much of that one – from what I know, people tend to think of CA as what it’s like in LA – rich, stuck-up, etc… but not tree huggers. They think that if they know of Nor. Cal, but when grouping as a whole, the LA version is what tends to stick out in people’s minds and it doesn’t match with the Nor Cal version. And why do people think that? Well, because we have Hollywood and they’ve made such a name for themselves that it overshadows the rest. Hollywood is in people’s face all the time, just as are the activists, but to a lesser extent because people aren’t as interested in the tree huggers as they are the celebreties so they judge us based on what they see on T.V., movies, and the magazines…. how else can they judge us? This is the message that is reaching them. And how do we Utah folk? Backwoods ignorants, bible thumping folk… because that is what we’ve seen the most of from there. It’s not to say they’re all like that, but it’s what’s most shoved in our faces… lots of Morman issues so too many people here think that if you live in Utah, you must be a Morman and have at least three wives.
    Back to your original question, how do we stop it? I think it’s kind of one of the necessary evils in most cases. But I also think that if we all kind of melt together a little more – take a little back country, a little hollywood, a little S.F., a little Berkeley, etc. we would have more well rounded individuals in this country. If we all were able to understand eachother better and see why we are each as we are – a day in the life of blank – we would be able to come to a better unified understanding, and if we communicated with eachother – bridge the cultural gaps we have here, we would all influence eachother. I think it all comes down to making the individuals in this country more well rounded. Too many of us have a little too much gangsta or too much prep… if we were more well rounded, we couldn’t really place eachother in these categories. Same as a lot of people in America can’t tell you what ethnicity they are, or if they can, it’s multiple. In the end, most of us are just American muts… it’s a melting pot over here when it comes to race… so what if it were so with the other factors?
    We have too much separation, too little understanding and communication. I really think that our children should have more and better cultural awareness classes in our schools. But I also think that the internet is helping us in leaps and bounds to achieve this. Now if we could just get those back wood folk and gansta’s on the net! JK… well, kind of!

  3. Stereotyping is difficult if the people involved actually get to know one another. Suddenly that stereotyped person has a face and name and feelings and worth. Typically, they become the exception to the rule. In this case familiarity might NOT breed contempt.


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