People are All the Same
Thesis: Stereotypes have many negative effects such as inducing a discriminative movement, having an impact on the psychological identity of a person, and leading to prejudices.
I. Stereotypes may induce a discriminative movement.
A. Fat persons are not hired in some companies.
B. Stereotypes tend to prevent people from learning real facts about an individual. C. Generalizations can induce false accusations.
II. Stereotypes may have an impact on the psychological identity of a person. A. A little boy who grows up in a minority group restrains his own achievements because of negative stereotypes about his group. B. The persons in a minority group tend to fall into an unsafe or negative behavior. C. Stereotypes can promote success in the majority of groups. D. An individual can feel lost as he or she doesn’t match the stereotype attributed to the group. III. Stereotypes lead to prejudices.
A. All Arab people are considered as dangerous.
B. The media provides a lot of negative images about Arab people. C. The negative images may prevent friendship.
People are All the Same
Soren Kierkegaard said once: “Once you label me you negate me.” Indeed, people tend to judge all the time the people that they consider different from them. Our brains are simply wired to stereotype others by some basic generalizations. People categorize the persons every day by race, gender, religion, ethnic background, and so on. However, it is when people overuse these generalizations that the danger can appear. Stereotypes have many negative effects such as inducing a discriminative movement, having an impact on the psychological identity of a person, and leading to prejudices.
First, stereotypes may induce a discriminative movement. A good example is when any company wants to hire a fat person. Indeed, these companies focus only on the physique of the person who is applying for the job instead of looking at his or her real skills. The physique of the fat person acts as an obstacle to the other persons. In other words, it stops people from learning real facts about the subjected individual. People usually see the fat persons as lazy, not healthy, incompetent, or even as handicapped. This generalization allows people to believe that fat persons don’t have a legal right to be hired when in fact, they do have this right. Also, based on other negative generalizations, people may be accused for example for criminal facts without having any credible proof. As Alane Michaelson explained in his essay ‘stereotyping Consequences,’ they tend to accuse them just because of their race, their religion, or any other characteristic that make them belonging to another social group. Thus, discrimination is one of the greatest risks associated with stereotypes. Second, stereotypes may have an impact on the psychological identity of a person. When a little boy grows up in a minority group where the people are always seen as incompetent, he may start to believe on these critics and, consequently, start to restrain his own achievements unconsciously. Hearing perpetual stereotypes about a group may cause the persons belonging to this group to believe that all the stereotypes that are said out by the minority group are true. Therefore, as Julie Moore mentioned is her article ‘The Effects of Stereotyping,’ the persons in minority tend to fall into an unsafe or negative behavior. Consequently, children cannot grow up properly with all these stereotypes that surround them in their daily life. However, the impact on the identity of the individual can have an opposite effect when it comes to positives stereotypes in the majority groups. In this case, instead of limiting their achievements, people improve their skills until they reach the generalized fact. In this manner, these people will feel that they are “true” participants in the group as they fit to the stereotype. In contrast, some people may also feel not appropriate to the group that they belong as they don’t belong to the stereotype attributed to the group. Thus, generalizations made about a group can have an important impact on the identity of the persons belonging to this group.
Third, stereotypes lead to prejudices. In her article ‘The Effect of Stereotyping,’ Julie Moore explains an example that is related more or less to the main idea of the first paragraph: when a white female person doesn’t approach an Arab person who is next her as she believes that all Arab persons are dangerous. Thus, the female judges before meeting or speaking with the man. Obviously, this prejudice doesn’t come from nowhere; it is actually partly the result of the media effect that tends to throw a lot of negative images about the Arabian people. They always project images of Arab with weapons in a manner to show to the world that they are dangerous. Also, because of these negative prejudices that people usually make, building relationship with new friends can often be a big obstacle. If the white woman knew that the Arab man was in fact a rich famous surgeon in America, she would directly establish a conversation with him. Thus, prejudices can often lead to surprised result.
Yet another example related to prejudices is Brent Staples’ experiences. Through his essay ‘Night Walker,’ the black man explains how people, especially girls, are afraid of him when he walks behind them in a dark and empty street because of his skin color and the way he dresses.
Consequently, while stereotypes appear as a natural fact and help people to understand certain groups as a whole, they don’t include and allow individual differences. By creating stereotypes, people promote more discrimination, prejudices, and a significant impact on the individual’s identity. Therefore, to prevent all these negative effect of stereotypes, people should take into consideration that even if every individual belongs to a certain group, it doesn’t mean that a person is like all the other members of the group. People should dare to approach the persons that are different than them by letting go the negative images and learning about each other as special individuals. Finally, creating relationship with people that are totally different would be like a benefit that may lead to a rich and interesting life.
Aronson, Joshua, “The Impact of Stereotypes.” BU Today. Science & Tech. 28 Mar. 2008. Web. 13 Apr. 2013.
Michaelson, Alane, “Stereotyping Consequences.” eHow. Culture & Society. 13 Jun. 2010. Web. 13 Apr. 2013.
Moore, Julie, “The Effect of Stereotyping.” Mental health. Yahoo. 4 May 2007. Web. 13 Apr. 2013.
Staples, Brent. “Night Walker.” The Short Prose Reader. Ed. Gilbert H.
Muller and Harvey S. Wiener. 13th ed. New York: McGraw-Hill 2013.