What Does Word Stereotype Mean?

Have you ever thought about stereotyping and the stereotype definition? Nevertheless, stereotyping can be a real issue of the modern times. The primary aim of this essay is to determine what this term means and what influence it has on the modern world and people behavior.

Definition of this Term

If to believe the modern dictionaries, we can confirm that stereotype or stereotyping is a characteristic feature which is imposed on people because of their sexual orientation, nationality, race or other issues. Nevertheless, not always these distinctive features describe the whole nation.

For instance, if you meet a German man of portly habit with a glass of beer in his hand, resting on the sea bank of one of the modern European resorts, you may consider that all Germans are the same. One more example, the major part of terrorists comes from Arabic countries (they are Muslim). On instinct, you will always be keeping away from people of this nationality thinking that all of them are dangerous.

Nevertheless, stereotyping is a specific type of the generalization. As a general matter, it may result in the discrimination of some groups of people. You may wonder, but even positive stereotyping may be pernicious to people. Therefore, it is much better to judge a person according to the behavior but not by the affiliation with one or another country or a group of individuals.

Are the Terms “Stereotypes” and “Generalization” Similar?

Some people may confuse these two terms. Nevertheless, they are different. In sober fact, not each generalization is regarded to be a stereotype. Stereotypes are given to specific groups of people. For example, you may ask an ordinary American schoolboy which racial group is the best one in basketball; the answer will not be long in coming. There is one more example, ask an ordinary American man, who cooks curry best of all. The answer is indubitable! In other words, when you stereotype anything you just repeat the cultural mythology which is an integrant part of your society.

Generalization means absolutely different things. You may visit the foreign country and meet a friendly family. It doesn’t mean that all people living there behave the same.

Danger of Good Stereotypes

We know that stereotypes may be either good or negative. Nevertheless, good stereotypes may be even more dangerous. You may belong to the highly intelligent racial group, but you are not a genius. To keep up with your teammates at the university or college may be a problem for you (you may don’t like this particular subject), but your teacher will think that you are an ordinary lazy student.

As a conclusion, it ought to be noted that stereotypes are not always truthful. The main problem with stereotyping lies in the fact that society considers that some groups of people are prone to certain behaviors. Russians behave one way, Arabs – the other way, etc. Nevertheless, science doesn’t consider stereotyping to be normal. If a particular group of people is regarded to be experts in some types of activities, it doesn’t mean that the whole nationality is the same. They succeed in one or another activity only because they did this job for centuries and just know how to do this.

These days, it is impossible to refuse from stereotyping, but it doesn’t mean that you should judge people by their racial group or nationality.

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