Cultural Stereotype Essay
Human beings are unique and different in many ways. However, people from other countries may also have certain similarities in character and perception. Cultural differences give people an idea on how to describe or identify a person who belongs to a certain group. Most of the time, people give a preconceived or oversimplified generalization about another group of people. The world is full of different groups of people that make up the whole of the society. These groups, however, have their own classifications based on how people perceive them.
Stereotyping can sometimes be positive, but it may also bear a false assumption toward a certain group or person. Stereotyping is definitely inevitable because this is one way of giving a certain group an identity for them to be easily recognized by the people who share the same perception towards them. In most cases, stereotyping affects the way the society views a certain group of people, and worst, the image and perception that the society has towards them may be considered as reality rather than just a representation of that group.
For example, the society looks at women as oppressed and vulnerable while the teenagers are perceived as aggressive and carefree individuals. The politicians are viewed as cheaters and liars while the loner people are stereotyped as weird or geek. These kinds of perception are stored in the minds of other people until they get to know one person from the group and prove that not all people with the same color, interests, gender, and designation have the same characteristics.
Most often, however, stereotypes are wrong and negative which instill a permanent image or representation of an individual who belong to that cluster. The world might have been changing but the stereotyping remains as old as the culture that each country or each group has reserved for the past centuries. It is a manifestation that stereotyping can never be avoided or eradicated for it is part of the lives of the mainstream. Oftentimes, stereotyping offends the person or the group because of exaggeration in naming and injustice in giving information without proper evidences.
Unfortunately, a certain group that had been rendered a stereotyped judgment tends to create an image which would remain inculcated in the minds of the people in the society. The impression that a group leaves to the people around them would be the same impression that would be gained by the other group which looks, acts, talks, and even shares the same beliefs with them. It has been said that mass media is one of the strongest factors in creating a stereotype judgment toward a person or a group.
Apparently, people pattern their views based on how media portrays a specific group on media sources. The media does not teach the society on how they should perceive a group but their portrayal of that group on television shows, magazines, newspapers, and radio would give people an idea on the characteristics of the individuals that certain group has. Sadly, the media most of the time, tends to overlook the consequences of negative depiction of a certain group. On the other hand, stereotyping makes a certain group distinct from others.
Because of the image that the society created pertaining to them, a group would be easily recognized and would gain a unique identity. Stereotyping may be favorable to those that have been having a good image representation because the society may not easily notice their negative sides. However, it would be unfair for those who already have a negative judgment from the society because people may perceive them only based on what they have learned and heard about that specific group. Every individual believes and practices different cultures and these may affect the way people view one another.
However, making themselves familiar to the culture and beliefs of others may somehow lessen the negative impact of stereotyping. As stated in this article, not all stereotypes are bad and damaging for a group of individuals who share the same perspectives. Rather, it is the ignorance and the refusal of another group to know more about the culture of the other that makes it offensive. People should evaluate first the image that they have conceived from other people or from the media in order to avoid the negative perceptions caused by stereotyping.