May 21, 2012
The first situation involving stereotyping I was involved in was racial. I am Asian and sometimes I face racial accusations and comments. Though I do not pay much attention to comments, they still do bother me to a degree. For example, one day my wife and kids were walking with me through Wal-Mart and a group of people passed us making Asian jokes. When they walked passed me they started mimicking and trying to talk Asian (making fun Asian dialect.) My wife said something; I just kept walking as usual and paid no attention to the event. However, the comments did bother me. Later on in the store, the same people mimicked me because I was looking at the electronics. They assumed because I am Asian, that I am good with electronics. Well I am very good with computers and I receive stereotype in a negative way sometimes because of it. I believe this specific type of racial stereotype would be an example of an Inductive reasoning. Inductive reasoning involves generalizations including types of stereotyping. For example, “If a person comes to the US for the first time and encounters a few rude people. They can generalize and stereotype saying that All American people are rude.” Of course, this is false and cannot be correct because one person is creating a hasty generalization based upon a few first time experiences. The same for me being Asian; just because I am Asian and I am good with computers, I am also an expert of electronics as well as math. I get jokes from people and comments like “of course you are good with computers, you are Asian.” While this may not always be a negative stereotype, it is still wrong to assume something based on a race or religion. It is like the old saying of “judging a book by its cover.” One cannot understand what an individual does or thinks just based on race, looks, or gender. A second type of stereotyping I was involved in was based on my size. This was a stereotype based on my race in a more negative way. I am short; my height is 5’1. I receive jokes because I am short and all Asians are short. How can I do “man” things when I am so short. Like being tall makes you manlier. I am not tall and stocky. This affects me to a certain degree. Again, this is an Inductive argument. This is because Inductive arguments are based on the generalization or assumption of probability versus certainty. These types of examples are inductive but inaccurate. These stereotypes are based on negative encounters or negative experiences without enough supporting data to back up the reason for the stereotype. There are a few errors in judgment in this situation. It is like saying all Asians are skinny, or all Asians are short. While statistics show that a great percentage of Asians are short and skinny, this is not all. In fact, the world’s tallest man was actually Asian. There are obese Asian individuals as well. Any characterization of groups complied of opinions are not relevant and are just mere stereotype. Some stereotypes are good and some are negative. Stereotype allows individuals to know something familiar. A stereotype characterized a race or a specific mood of people into groups. For example, when we hear gothic; most people think black, cold hearted, chains, heavy metal music. In actuality gothic is just a sense of style and expression. Not all people that dress in all black are gothic. Not all people who are Gothic are sadistic and cold hearted. These hasty generalizations can hurt people in the long and short term. In a positive aspect, African American’s are stereotypes as being good basketball players. Well just because someone is African American does not mean they have a basketball court in their backyard or watch the game weekly. This type of generalization is not really negative and harmful to a person; however, this assumption is still not good. Any assumption is unhealthy unless...
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