RTM Final Exam - Chase Fisher RTM Professor December 15,...

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Chase Fisher RTM Professor December 15, 2008 RTM Final Exam Question 1: Why and how do tourists develop and/or resort to stereotypes while traveling away from their home environment? Why are stereotypes often inaccurate? Why are stereotypes helpful? Why are stereotypes dangerous? How can we modify and/or eliminate stereotypes? Stereotypes are our concepts of other groups of people. Their values, their attitudes, they way they live, the kind of society they have created, etc. It is a way for us to summarize and ultimately evaluate a collection of people who differ from us. For a tourist visiting a foreign nation a stereotype offers two principle benefits: it allows us to make educated guesses about the experiences we are likely to have vis-à-vis our hosts, and it also informs us as to our own conduct – how we should, and will be expected to act among them. The positive and helpful aspects of this are readily apparent. Having formed some basic ideas about the society that we will be visiting, we can better understand, interpret and predict the behavior we encounter, while at the same time allowing us some basic rules of conduct that will help us to better acclimate and harmonize ourselves with the society we’re encountering. On the other hand, our stereotypes can often be inaccurate. Not only are such learned stereotypes not based on first-hand experience, but they are necessarily filtered through the cultural lens of every person who has helped create that stereotype. They are also subject to our own personal biases, cultural viewpoints, and ethnocentrism, as well 1
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as to limited information, so the actions of another group may appear to us to be strange or negative, or perhaps even unfairly positive, because we don’t have the information or understanding necessary to evaluate the action within the appropriate cultural framework. A stereotype can also be unduly influenced by government or tourist board propaganda or literature that can give visitors an inaccurate basis for judging an entire culture. An incorrect, or misunderstood stereotype can thus orient our thinking about people in ways that do a disservice to our hosts as well as to us. One famous example of a stereotype
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RTM Final Exam - Chase Fisher RTM Professor December 15,...

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