Stereotyping is The New Black
Stereotyping is what has us ignoring the unique differences between one another, which can lead to misguided generalizations of each other. There are many different stereotypes that are used in the 21st century. The choice of music that you listen to is classified as a stereotype. Although stereotyping is bad, some people choose to be stereotyped in a certain way so that they can fit a certain look and have people perceive them as a certain type of person. Stereotypical people perceive where you live, who you are, what kind of person you are, as a stereotype because of assumptions and observations that they make. Stereotyping is harmful in today’s society because it is targeted towards race, culture, social groups and much, much more. It is demeaning, hurtful and lowers people self- esteem and self-confidence because of the social class stereotypical people classify them as. With so many stereotypes and stereotypical people, I need to make aware of the damage stereotyping causes in today’s society.
First impressions are the most lasting impressions. Within just three seconds, you have judged that person. The saying, “ Don’t judge a book by a cover” pertains to stereotyping. Most times, it can be confused with discriminating or generalizing, in result, can make someone come off as prejudice or racist. According to simplypsychology.org, “By stereotyping we infer that a person has a whole range of characteristics and abilities that we assume all members of that group have.” In other words, stereotyping is based off assumptions and observations. Some people like to feel apart of a group by giving themselves a social identity. They are known as social stereotypes. “ The stereotype captures the role expectations of a person of a specific type (Babin, 82).” A skinny teenage boy buys Hollister because all his other friends wear it would be an example of a social stereotype. Most of these stereotypes will try to be as similar to the stereotype as possible. Ultimately, the retailer, like Hollister, would also have an impact on stereotyping. Employees at Hollister stereotype all the time. For example, if an over weight consumer were to walk into Hollister, no employee would be likely to approach them. This is because Hollister fits a certain stereotype and does not want the overweight consumer classified as their stereotype. If you are going to be stereotyped, its better to find a social identity and be aware that you are with a certain type of stereotype. There is nothing better than to be with people that enjoy the same things as you do. The best place to discover yourself and people that have the same thing in common as you, are concerts.
Music is a great way to identify yourself. Concerts are great places you can share similar feelings about the music with the people that feel the same way as you. In the scholar article I read, they did an experiment on 80 British male fans, to research stereotypes among the fans for different genres of music. They hypothesized that individuals attribute similar psychological characteristics and social categories to fans of certain styles of music and those distinct associations are generalizable (Reuters, Sage journals).” In other words, people use music as a way to express themselves and identify who they are. Once they have discovered themselves and a group, they will then have a social identity.. The stereotypes they researched were strongly geographical. In other words, stereotypes were found in different locations. These are the “good” stereotypes because it is for a good reason, unlike observations and assumptions perceived by stereotypical people that are degrading and hurtful. Music is interpreted as a culture because it has been around so long and is apart of the human culture as well. “Conservatively it is estimated that the broad industry of music contributes over US$ 160 billion to global GDP( Shah, Thought Economics).” This not only shows how important music is in the world but shows how many people rely on music. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow once observed,” music is the universal language of mankind (Shah, Thought Economics).” This is very true because if you think about, music is apart of our everyday life. Researchers claim that music is in the top three things humans need to live. Music not only brings people together, but gives people that are stereotyped a social identity.
Cultural and racial stereotyping practically happens everywhere you go and is still a current issue for most races. Whether it is in your classroom or at your work, it is demeaning to stereotype someone based off his or her race or culture. People stereotype Hispanics by assuming that they are illegal. It is unethical to think that just because of their color or race, that they are degraded. My family descended from Mexico and for people to think that I am just Caucasian insults me. People always label me as white, and tell me that I am lying about being Hispanic. I am proud to be Hispanic because my family is full of hard workers and I am proud to be apart of it. The typical Asian stereotype is that they are very smart because they are of Asian decent. However, this is where the culture factors play in with race. Asians generally have a reputation of being incredibly smart. This is usually influenced by their culture and how they are raised. Asian Americans that have cultural expectations to be, smart, rich, hard-working, and spiritually enlightened are classified as the model minority stereotype (University of Texas, CMHC).” Well according to University of Texas’s Division of Student Affairs, “ 33% of Asian American Students dropped out of high school or don’t graduate on time. Also, Asian American students were more likely than White students to report difficulties with stress, sleep, and feelings of hopelessness, yet they were less likely to seek counseling (University of Texas, CMHC).” Asian Americans are just like anyone else. We all have our own problems, differences and characteristics that make us different from one another. Therefore, we should not stereotype, especially not because of what race, color, or what gender we are.
In conclusion, stereotyping is harmful and is used too much in today’s society. It is degrading, demeaning and is based only off of assumptions and observation. The Ferguson case is the best case to support my research on stereotyping. Cases like this, are harming today’s society because an officer stereotyped an African American because of his race. He had the assumption that he was dangerous because of his color. Fergusons relatives, along with many activists, concur that if Ferguson were white he would still be alive. Now, protesters are protesting everywhere in the nation because of the police brutality and racial injustice. There are three other recent cases just like this for the same exact reasons. In my opinion, it’s okay to have social identity, but it is not okay to be stereotyped because of your race, culture, how you look or whom you associate myself with. I always get stereotyped as “cocky.” Why? Because I’m good looking? 100% of the time I introduce myself to these people, their opinions change almost instantly because they see how nice I am. That is why my band is called First Impression. I believe first impressions are the most important and stereotyping leads to negative impressions. Stereotyping should only be for social identity, otherwise, it is only used to bring people down by lowering their self- esteem and self- confidence. With so many stereotypes and stereotypical people in today’s society, I made aware of the situation through my research, examples, quotes and experience.
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