What Exactly is a Stereotype?

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Stereotypes

A stereotype is a bias against a specific group of people or a specific place. You as a reader need to be attentive to when someone is using a stereotype. Again, a stereotype is a bias against a specific group or place, and stereotypes are usually a generalization.


A generalization is where you look at a specific group of people and you take what is true for some of the people and apply it to everyone. Take for example if I said, “Everyone in Nebraska is a corn farmer.” Now, there are many corn farmers in Nebraska, but not everyone there is a corn farmer. I took what was true for a few people and applied it to everyone in Nebraska. That’s a mild case of a stereotype because most stereotypes are negative.


You may have heard some negative stereotypes towards specific cultures, ethnicities, and religions. Any time you as a reader notice a stereotype, recognize that that means the author is ignorant and not curious. In other words, they may not be willing to look into the details. They see something that they think is true, and so they state it as fact.


That’s why they are not very curious and why they are also ignorant, because they may be aware that they are using a stereotype, but they may not care. They’re ignorant about that, which means they’re also going to be ignorant about other things. As a reader, be attentive to when a writer is using stereotypes.



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Last updated: 06/27/2018
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