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In a World of Stereotypes Essay

What is a stereotype? Stereotypes are characteristics ascribed to groups of people involving gender, race, national origin and other factors. (Nadra Kareem Nittle. Para 1). Most of these characteristics are over exaggerated opinions of the groups. The next few paragraphs in this paper will identify three examples of a stereotype one may encounter in their everyday lives, an argument that may support the stereotype, and any mistakes that may be found in the argument.

One stereotype that is very common but a lot of people may not consider a stereotype is age in the work place. This may sound a little ridiculous but there are “persistent negative perceptions pertaining to older workers” ( Ostroff & Atwater, 2003, p. 729; see also Posthuma & Campion, 2009). An employer might think that a younger worker would have more energy or stamina, less health issues, and more of an open mind when learning new technologies. An older person might be considered stuck in their ways rather than a fresh young employee right out of college.

Nonetheless an older person in age might have more experience that would require a higher paycheck, as where a younger person may take less money in order to gain the experience. Although some of these arguments may make sense to the average person reading this, the same feelings can go for someone in the younger age groups. “Young adults might also feel stereotype threat in the workplace, as younger workers are often perceived to be less reliable, less committed to the organization, and less socially skilled” (Nadra Kareem Nittle. Para 31).

Moral of the story is that there are good points and there are bad points for any worker no matter what there age. These are all assumptions of an age group instead of the true characteristics of the person themselves. An employer may not higher a sixty year old man who has a better work ethic than a twenty five year old man and he will never know because he judged the older man based on a stereotype and vise versa. As a result to stereotyping he will continue to go through employees during his entire career.

Here the employer commits the fallcy called a Hasty Generalization as well. Drawing broad and very general conclusions based on insufficient evidence can therefore lead to harmful results, not only for the victim of the stereotype but also for the person doing the stereotyping. ” (Mosser 2011, para 33). The next common stereotype is called a racial stereotype. In 1933 Katz and Braly did questionnaire method research using American students on racial stereotypes. The results are quoted as follows: “There was considerable agreement in the traits selected. White Americans, for example, were seen as industrious, progressive and ambitious.

African Americans were seen as lazy, ignorant and musical. Participants were quite ready to rate ethnic groups with whom they had no personal contact. ” (McLeod para 15). Although this kind of behavior could be very well just plain human nature t stereotype a group of people based on their race, the face just aren’t there. Look at President Obama for example; he is by far not a lazy man just because he is a black man. A lazy man would not have the ability to run a country. Yet he is black, so he must be pretty lazy. Fallacy? The last stereotype to address in this paper is sports stereotypes.

Some may say that only men play sports like football, wrestling, or hockey and women only play volleyball, tennis, and badminton due to how much physical contact women should have verses men. (Million Views para 1). One would say these stereotypes do not seem to far fetched because football is a very rough sport and most men are bigger and stronger than a woman so if she were to join the football team she may very well get hurt. But why cant men play tennis? Does this make him girly? Or not a man? Some would say yes because the sport is less aggressive and a man needs to act in rough sports if they want to be considered a man.

There are women wrestlers today and plenty of men play tennis without losing their so-called manhood. These things we all do everyday, sometimes without even realizing it. We are all categorized in some sort of stereotype more than we would like to admit. But the bottom line is that we all bleed red, we all breathe the same air, and we all have to die one day. We are human. Instead of being separated into generalized groups based on or age, religion, race, etc. we all should be as one in the same group of humans. Because weather we like it or not, we are human.


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