An Argument Against Stereotyping

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Date Submitted: 11/18/2012 04:24 PM

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An Argument Against Stereotyping

Most people do not intentionally mean to pass judgment on people, however others do. 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, economic stability, etc. We call this act stereotyping. Most people simply and innocently assume that due to similarities between individuals or things, they can be automatically categorized. 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. The technical definition of stereotyping seems to be universal. Wikipedia defines stereotypes as “a belief that can be held by anybody about specific types of individuals or certain ways of doing things, but that belief may or may not accurately reflect reality.”

I see stereotyping occurring every day around me. Sometimes it is easy to point out. Other times it happens subliminally, going without recognition. I have been stereotyped before. The most recent time that comes to mind is when I was in county college a few years ago. We were having a conversation in our Fundamentals of Speech class about parenting. A girl in my class made a comment directed towards me because I had my nails manicured and polished saying that young mothers who “wasted” their money on stupid things such as getting manicures and pedicures were not good parents.

The girl in my class tried to support her argument by stating that younger parents could not adequately financially support themselves and a child because they are too young to establish a good paying career. Instead, she just stated her argument without any factual evidence. She was stereotyping me into a young mother who did not have the ability to financially support myself nor my child, simply due to my age. She did not know but...