Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Oh Nasty Stereotypes

There are so many different forms of stereotypes that can occur in the workplace or at school which I am sure most of you have experienced. Many times stereotyping can occur even if you do it unintentionally because of ways you have been affected and captures a specific view in a cognitive sense. Stereotypes can be based on physical or intellectual aspects of a person. Most commonly it refers to your sex, age, ethnic background, and disabilities. Often times these judgments come from unfamiliarity to those different than yourself. Personal opinions that could potentially hurt a person should be set aside from the workplace. This is why standards such as equal opportunity employment as well as certain question regulations were developed to ensure that personal judgments will not interfere with the hiring process.

Even those with the most impressive talents such as Tiger Woods get discriminated throughout their life because of racial stereotypes. It is hard to understand why someone could say or even think such hateful things about someone they have never met. Wherever that hatred comes from it is unnecessary and undeserved by anyone. This stereotype can refer to many other things as well. Just as you might judge a Hummer driver because they affected you in a negative way once or twice in your life, you may develop a cognitive opinion of them which might translate in your behavior towards Hummer drivers. Same goes for racial, gender and ethnic stereotyping. The hatred is within all of us unfortunately whether we react or not it comes with everyday society. More often then not the media will use stereotyping to help you understand the message they are trying to convey.


  1. It's true that stereotypes are hurtful to whole communities, but it's important to remember that they don't materialize out of nowhere. Stereotypes exist (and persist) because they contain a smidgen of truth somewhere. Take for instance the stereotypes that elderly Asian women are sub-par drivers. I hate to say it, but I've been cut off by a disproportionately high number of elderly Asian women over the course of my life. That being said, it's very important to stay away from prejudice. I only begin to think of stereotypes when I get affected by one (like the example I gave). But we shouldn't pretend to be blind to what makes people different. Different cultures, genders, religions, and other personal factors lead to a diverse and capable workforce, and that should always be celebrated.