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Essay About Stereotyping Essay

Chimamanda Adichie uses the phrase “The Danger of a Single Story.” She states “it robs people of dignity. It makes our recognition of our equal humanity difficult. It emphasizes how we are different rather than how we are similar”. Adichie was referring to stereotyping or is what she calls “The Danger of a Single Story.” A single story is an oversimplified, usually pejorative, attitude people hold toward those outside one’s own experience who are different. Adichie says “The single story creates stereotypes, and the problem with stereotypes is not that they are untrue, but that they are incomplete. They make one story become the only story.” When she stated that it brought me back to my childhood because I remember as a young African American girl growing up with a bunch of Caucasians. I used to get judged because I was black and many kids thought that I came from Africa and that I wasn’t smart or that I didn’t have the ability to read or write because I was African American. They were basically calling me dumb and were grouping all African Americans in that category and I just thought oh they were just joking around, but I came to realize that they weren’t joking.

They were kids who were saying things that they have over heard about in their household or have been taught growing up. Stereotyping is still an issue in society today and I feel as though everyone stereotypes. There are many different viewpoints from every individual in the world from their race, background, gender, as well as their age groups. According to Joi Downing, stereotyping is formed many different ways and for many different reasons. Joi states that “stereotyping is formed to describe a person or to make judgments about a person.” She believes they are formed by social media and what people where taught when growing up. Downing says she doesn’t believe that they were formed in today’s time but that they have evolved from the past. She believes the only reason people stereotype is because that is how they were raised and/or they are just doing what they saw when they were growing up. She states “I’ve seen this happen in front of my eyes and I know many people like this.”

Downing has reasons and is certain that most people just stereotype because they see other people doing it so they do the same and then there are others who are just doing what they were taught. Although Anthony has the same views as Joi, they differ in many ways. Anthony argues that most people do not intentionally mean to pass judgment on people, however others do. He states “Personally, I think it is part of human nature to place things into categories. But, over time, we as people have learned how to classify people and things into certain groups depending on color, race, size, or economic stability.” He says that most people simply and innocently assume that due to similarities between individuals or things, they can be automatically categorized. Anthony states that “Sometimes we end up placing them into a category that has nothing to do with them, but because they seem to look or act similar to something, we automatically assume they are the same.”

Anthony believes that everyone automatically stereotypes no matter what, but don’t mean to. Joi and Anthony have just about the same views on single stories, but their views are a little different in some aspects. Anthony argues that people do not intentionally mean to pass judgments on people, but Joi thinks a little differently. She believes that most people just stereotype because they see other people doing it, so they are intentionally meaning to judge or stereotype others. As Anthony being an older Caucasian male, he has different ways of looking at stereotyping than Joi being a young African American female. There are different viewpoints abut stereotyping from many races, age groups as well as gender.

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