What is a stereotype? A stereotype is a simplified image of a person, group, etc. Does stereotyping save us the trouble of finding out what the world is like? Are stereotypes damaging? Is there anything positive or helpful about stereotyping? Robert L. Heilbroner in, "Don't Let Stereotypes Warp Your Judgments" and Brent Staples in, "Just Walk on By: A Black Man Ponders his Power to Alter Public Space", make it clear on why people stereotype and the effect it has on others.
Judging others before you get to know them is very unfair and unkind. Especially judging them based on other people's opinions or just off of rumors. In Heilbroner's essay he quoted Walter Lippman's saying, "For the most part we do not first see, and then define; we define first, and then see". This is very important because it is pointing out a flaw that we as humans have in society. What we don't do is get to know a person first then make our judgments about them. What we do is look at how their appearance is, what nationality that person is, and listen to the rumors about that person and base our judgments on that. This is not positive at all because everyone on earth is different and have different tastes, style, interests, etc. So because their style, interest does not match your take on a successful and attractive person, you judge that person negatively. That is a problem in our world today. We judge people in negative ways without getting to know the person first. We put labels on how a certain person must look, act and talk. If a person does not meet up with those labels, the reason that they don’t are blamed on their skin color, ethnicity, background, etc.
Stereotyping can have a great effect on a person's life. One person can be such a sweet person that would not cause harm to none, but because of the stereotypes of their race and gender, they have to change their activities, the way they look, and ways of life to fit into society. Staples in his essay...
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