Many would agree that stereotyping can be seen as an individual’s preconception about another individual depending on race, color, gender, or religion. Once an individual has built a stereotypical opinion he or she would view the communication and actions individuals of a different race, color, gender, or religion with prejudice. Racial stereotyping is an extremely detrimental facet of stereotyping. It actually paves the way for outright racism, which can cause communication barriers on multiple levels.
For example, a stereotypical individual feels that some people are more intelligent that others due to their race, or the color of their skin. Racial stereotyping can lead to the suppression of the minority population in an area by the dominant culture, and this hinders societal development. The practice of racial stereotyping through the use of the media has been used throughout history by some members of society to attain various goals.
The most effective way to get peoples reaction about an issue is through the media. Racial stereotyping is perpetuated highly through the film and television media, so it is important for people to mind what they watch, and how sincere the materials are being represented. In addition, a lot of movies are racially stereotypical. For example, in the movies members of gangs are most times, big black guys. This can be misinterpreted as showing that black people are usually gang members, which is not necessarily true.
Furthermore, when a particular group is stereotyped, they will begin to internalize the inherent negative image, and might actually mimic some behaviors that have been portrayed in the negative imagery. The fact that they are already being criticized, can lead people to actually portray the action in reality. As mentioned above, the media can affect the way people react to certain matters, so when people are stereotyped negatively, they could change themselves in response to what is shown in the media.
Ronald Takaki observed that “the pressure that the majority puts on a minority being stereotyped is high because their upward mobility will not reach equality” (Takaki, Ronald 1990 p. 101). This can cause people who are being stereotyped to feel isolated and can lead to a barrier being created between communities. In addition, a common reaction to stereotyping and criticism is that people become extremely defensive. This is a natural reaction, which most people tend to do when they feel trapped or scared.
Racial stereotyping occurs between different races because many people are scared of being seen as different. For example, when a black or Hispanic family moves to a place like Canada, some people around might be initially reluctant to interact with them due to their racial difference. Hence, a communication barrier might be built between them. Stereotypical people are afraid of the idea of being different, and this is why they try to criticize others. They might also try to persecute the minority in the community, so that they would feel unwanted and eventually leave their country.
As Anna Lisa Raya indicates her experience of having to define her self as what others thought in the article “it’s hard enough being me”. Overall, the idea of racial stereotyping will always be in our lives. However as time goes by we become more humanism because people are learning to not judge others by their race, gender, or religion. Therefore, we shouldn’t be afraid of being different and we should allow more cultural diversity into our lives, as stereotyping can lead to the suppression of minority populations by the dominant culture.