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Unformatted text preview: Module 2 Cheat Sheet Stereotype versus prejudice versus sweeping generalization? There is no fixed difference. One source notes characterizes stereotypes as "oversimplified images of people, issues, or events" which can lead to prejudice "judgments based on stereotypical image". It cites a definition of prejudice by Gordon Allport as an attitude in a closed mind. In a closed mind, an attitude is cut off from new information. At its least dangerous level, prejudice is a filter that keeps one person from seeing beyond a stereotypical image." Source: Peace Corps Looking at ourselves and others, p. 83. The same source also makes the following distinction: stereotype: a preconceived belief that is applied to all members of a specific group. For example, a statement such as Lets get Kyle to play on the basketball team. Hes the tallest kid in the class expresses a stereotype. The speaker assumes that all tall people like to play basketball. sweeping generalization: a statement like All tall people like to play basketball. This suggests all members of a group are alike. For purposes of this course, stereotypes are oversimplified ideas about or images of another group of people . These ideas are often negative or potentially harmful, although some stereotypes may be positive or seen as neutral to the group in question. Common examples of stereotypes include ascribing traits to certain ethnic or national groups, or to members of a particular region or social class. Stereotypes are often inaccurate because they often: ascribe a certain trait to every member of a group they focus on one or a few selected traits and associate them with a large group of people (a nation, an ethnic group, a religion) they are often not based on first hand experience but rather on hearsay, mass media images, etc. and if based on experience are often based on very limited experiences and on a very selective reading of that experience (e.g. you were robbed in Mexico so you conclude that Mexicans are violent or thieves) Thus, stereotypes prevent us from accurately understanding individuals from different cultures, and the complexity of different cultures. Because they shape our perceptions of other people, stereotypes also influence our interactions with people from other cultural backgrounds. Stereotypes may lead to a false sense of understanding of the other person, or they may offend a person when we base our interactions on that stereotype (for example, we may offend a sophisticated Mexican executive by assuming that because he is Mexican he will not expect people to show up on time for meetings, or assuming he likes to drink tequila and Mexican beer when in reality he may prefer to drink fine French wines)....
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