Stereotypes - Definition: generalizations about the...

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Unformatted text preview: Definition: generalizations about the characteristics of members of groups These generalizations are applied to the group members whether or not they actually apply or are accurate Any group of people may face stereotypical perceptions and judgments Examples Union members are lazy Black people are criminal White people cant dance Janitors are not intelligent Stereotypes are often thought of as negative, but they may also have positive or neutral content as well Asians are assumed to be hard-working, good at math Mothers are nice Where do stereotypes come from? The mind has a natural tendency to seek simpler explanations, to streamline the thinking and reasoning process Generalizations and simplifications are handy When I press the gas, the car goes When its gray outside, it is going to rain When I study hard, I do well Also using things you hear from others to develop generalizations is handy too Its dangerous in a park after dark Cigarettes will kill you So some generalizations are useful Stereotypes have (at least) two factual problems 1) Theyre not just based on personal experience, but also culturally received information.this is tricky Many Americans maintain racist stereotypes of Blacks and Latinos despite never having known a Black or Latino person 2) Even when based on personal experience, they are over- applied (by definition, they are generalizations ) So stereotypes based on personal experience are mostly wrong for over-generalization reasons Those received culturally from others likely include both sources of error Most stereotypes come from both personal experience and information you receive from others What is the difference between theories of status and theories of stereotypes? Status beliefs are shared by all in a culture, stereotypes may not be Status theories focus on competence and its association with different groups of people Stereotypes refer to all generalizations made about groups of people Status theories say white people are believed to be more competent than non-white people in our culture Stereotypes say more about the generalizations we make about whites. Whites are considered More competent More honest Into folk music  Not funk music Love mayonnaise  But not hot sauce, etc. Stereotypes have pervasive effects in everyday life, affecting Attitudes People may assume youre hostile because you are a young black...
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This note was uploaded on 07/17/2009 for the course SOC 150a taught by Professor Willer during the Spring '09 term at University of California, Berkeley.

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Stereotypes - Definition: generalizations about the...

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