Stereotype is a simplified view of a particular social group or a particular member belonging to it, as well as objects, phenomena, or situations. According to the definition, a stereotype must address a single trait, such as age, sex, creed, nationality or sexual orientation.
The term “stereotype” comes from the Greek word “stereos” and means concentrated, hard. The stereotype attributes to other traits, social roles of members of a social group, and thereby blurs individual traits and differences between members.
The stereotype has many negative traits. First of all, it’s hard to change, it oversimplifies life, often formulated based on unverified, false data. However, it’s useful to know that the stereotype can also have a positive tinge.
Characterization of stereotypes
Stereotype is often formed from generation to generation. They are divided into positive and negative. For example, a positive stereotype is the belief that Japanese people are hard working and speak English perfectly. However, stereotypes are most often spoken of in a negative context.
Formulated simplistic characteristics critical of a particular social group can do a lot of damage. Negative stereotype often becomes grounds for discrimination and biases. Media or public figures contribute to the popularization of negative stereotypes. An example of a negative stereotype is the perpetuation of the negative image of Jews, their greed and avarice.
Stereotypes can be separated by gender. For example, it is believed that a woman is a weak, frivolous and passive being, with low intelligence. In fact historical examples constantly say otherwise. Men don’t cry, they don’t talk about feelings, they have to pay women’s whims and in everything give in to the ladies. But is that fair? Men also feel, let their level of emotion lower, but it is. And surely they should not always concede in everything, without talking about someone else’s whims.
The stereotype is cognitive, value-emotional, steady, consistent, verbal, characterized by subjective confidence.
The stereotype performs several functions:
- adaptation — creates a “cognitive map” of the environment;
- communicative — facilitates communication in a group dominated by stereotypes;
- provides a sense of security — gives a sense of control, facilitating orientation in society;
- simplifies cognitive processes;
- facilitates predicting behavior of others;
- facilitates manipulation.
Such stereotypes are very convenient for boilerplate personalities. They don’t feel like thinking and are easier to follow public imposed opinion. The boilerplate personality does not hear his wishes and tries to fit himself to the expectations of those around him to get their approval. For example, if a woman has to wear dresses, then she will wear them even in crackling frosts.
How to fight?
On a general scale, it is impossible to combat the past years, or even centuries, stereotypes. Over time, they may well be replaced with others, but it’s just as long a process. It is possible to minimize their impact on themselves.
If an individual is self-sufficient, independent of someone else’s opinion, it will be easier for her to move away from imposed stereotypes. It is important to understand how this stereotype affects your behavior. For example, the stereotype that men are less than women. Statistically, there are more of them born, but because of the higher mortality rate by 18-20 years of age this amount is leveled off. And it is only after age 50 that the female population begins to prevail, again because of earlier male mortality. It turns out that every bride is sure to find a groom. However, already in childhood, the girl is forced upon the need to get married as early as possible, until all the “scarce” men are sorted out.
Then it is necessary to give birth while young, there will be a bunny, there will be also a lawn. In the end, many young people are simply not prepared for the responsibility that is gained in marriage. And with the birth of the baby, the promised lawn doesn’t show up. Moreover, having become accustomed to living for themselves, the young family is simply not prepared for income cuts and financial difficulties.
Often people with stereotypical thinking have low self-esteem. They are the easiest to manipulate. If there is a problem with this, it is important to visit a psychologist and identify blocks. A self-confident person responds less to destructive criticism and is less likely to be manipulated.
Many stereotypes are not only outdated, but dangerous to modern man. The only way to avoid influence is to not follow imposed installations.