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In this paper, I will be exploring the role stereotyping has on the development of cultural identity. Specifically, on the role, it has had in the United States. I am interested in how history has shown that the cultural stereotyping has affected not only the cultural identity of entire groups and communities of people in the country but how it inevitably creates a lack of cultural competence within Americans, because of our different cultures. Keywords: Lorem, ipsum, dolor Stereotypes are fixed and widely held ideas about a particular person, group, or thing.
They exist in the form of ideas that emanates from the mind. The major concern about these stereotypes is that the future generations pull from these facsimiles as truth.
The aboriginal people of the United States which are highly diverse and ever-changing are also faced with the same problem. During the nineteenth century and twenty century when the Americans were under transformation, there was an increasing rate of immigration, corporations, industrialization, women integration, urbanization, ethnic and minorities seen among the workforces which made American culture filled with cultural and racial stereotypes.
Stereotypes affects the intercultural competence of the nation. In American culture, Anti-Semitism and racism are powerful forces which affect the political spectrum. Those immigrants of the minority races like the Jewish America that enter the United States during the nineteenth/twentieth centuries were the most prominent objects for stereotypes. Stereotypes can lead to moral distortion due to the cognitive distortion that is involved. These moral distortions include refusal of regarding people of that group as an individual, moral distancing, failure of seeing diversity among the group.
Though more of the stereotypes of either social or historical context are negatives, and so have undesirable characteristic attached to them.
Stereotypes are, therefore, cultural entities generally accepted by people in the society in question which is widely recognized by individuals that may not hold the stereotype themselves. Therefore, the stereotype in this sense is cultural stereotypes. In the history of American, stereotyping came in two forms which are positive and negative stereotyping. Positive stereotyping include: Generosity; the positive stereotype of the United States is that they are very generous. This is based on the fact that that the united states are charitable enough to supply or render aid to the developing or under developing countries of the world. In 1835, De Tocqueville first discovered how Americans help the needy. According to the report from the charity aid foundation, Americans were the fifth country that willingly donates(Crary, 2010). Secondly, Americans are seen as being optimistic ( The American-Western European Values Gap) which is the reason they are successful.
Also, Americans are regarded as to be very hard working people in anything they are doing. The negative stereotypes are that Americans are obese and eat a lot of fast food; they are too greedy’s and care about nothing less than money. They judge all things using their economic value and regarding those with lower socioeconomic status as useless (Confronting stereotypes of culture). Also, American are seen to lack cultural awareness. They are seen to ignore any other countries culture order than their own. This is most especially seen in school, and a result of their lack of intelligence, they find it difficult in understanding other people’s culture, lifestyle, and places (Liz, 2008). American people are portrayed as being racists in a sense at they discriminate at any slightest change against their minority. In American history, there is a high rate of discrimination and segregation against the black and minority race. Also, there is a stereotype that Americans are ignorant of the environment. They pay no attention in the preservation of the environment which made them be lavishing and therefore resulting in an increase in pollution, and climatic change. After China, the united states is the second country with the highest emission of carbon dioxide. Americans are known for their arrogance, and they possess nationalistic behavior; they are obnoxiously patriotic. They are arrogant, insulting, dismissive, and egomaniacal.
When it comes to these stereotypes we place on each other, a lot of the time, we succumb to the stereotypes given to us. And our cultural identity is shaped by these expectations and labels others give us. That is why the negative stereotypes sometimes become true for a whole group or community. When it comes to cultural identity, the book states that stereotyping has an impact on the identity you form for yourself. In the beginning stages, you are in the unexamined cultural identity stage(Lustwig,95). This is when you have a lack of awareness of cultural differences and your own culture. Usually as young kids, you have this lack of awareness. The first information you get of your culture is what others think of it. You get exposed to it in movies, tv shows, media etc. You get ignorant comments from friends at school, or even adults These outlets, especially in America, usually show cultures in a very generalized and negative way. These images are ingrained in our brain from a very young age, and before you know it you have a simplified and stereotyped idea of who you are and what your culture is. Some people don’t ever get a true understanding of their culture growing up in America, until they go back to where they’re family is originally from. America tends to americanize the cultures in their country. We all enjoy the good things about other cultures like Mexican food, italian food, cinco de mayo, etc.
However, we do not educate ourselves on the culture itself. They are not appreciated or acknowledged the same way as non-minorities. And this is why a lot of Americans tend to dismiss their cultural identity when they grow up in America. We are all Americans, but not all part of the same culture, and unfortunately we treat each other differently for that. We separate ourselves from one another and are placed in groups that only includes people who are also like us. This is why we are so ignorant about each other and this is the lack of cultural competence. The effect of stereotyping on the United States intercultural competence is also very much. But before then, we would have to understand what intercultural competence is about. Intercultural competence is one’s ability to function effectively, think and act appropriately, communicate and work well across cultures (Leung et al., 2014). It is an assessment for increased globalization, and it is shaped by values, experiences, and beliefs. Based on our discussions above, the effect of stereotyping on the intercultural competence of the united states is as follows: Americans as a result of their arrogance, racism, and cultural ignorance find it difficult to accommodate their colleagues especially the ones from the minority race. This is because they lack the motivation to interact with penile making their intercultural experience a negative one.
They are more rigid in understanding cultural differences, and they fail to acquire and evaluate new cultural information that will change their belief thereby making their actions toward other people of different race hostile. Because of their close mindsets, they take a longer time to bridge the cultural differences to be able to work together. According to Klafehn, Individuals with motivation and zeal to associate with other cultures and get opened to different or new ideas have the higher tendency of seeking and using information that makes them easily adapt to the environment (Klafehn and Chiu, 2013). The ability for the Americans to improve in their intercultural competence is through sensitivity to intercultural difference, being able to adapt to different cultural environments, being aware of cultural influences on ones behaviour and thoughts (Chao, 2011).
Cultural metacognition which is having awareness of distribution of cultural knowledge is a very vital tool to improve the intercultural competence. It has two parts cultural knowledge of the distribution of knowledge within and across cultures while the second involves higher mental process which involves having accurate knowledge of culture. In conclusion, the negative stereotyping of the united states have so many was it does affect the intercultural competence of the country. Bearing in mind the concept of cross cultural competence through focusing individuals mindsets for more creative,, proactive as well reflexive usage of the knowledge of cultural competence, the negative effect of the stereotype in the Americans can be minimized.
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