Challenging Stereotypes (Online writings)

How can individuals and society challenge the dissemination of stereotypes; how can the circulation of images that normalize difference, that create the other, be challenged?  What sort of strategies do you see working in terms of counteracting stereotypes, daily jokes or in terms of circulated images within the media.

Last day to participate October 15

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15 thoughts on “Challenging Stereotypes (Online writings)

  1. We have a bunch of stereotypes in daily life even though they are visible and invisible. I guess that stereotypes are produced by others including media and friends. In other words, they are not made by a person because they are normalized by many people.
    For example, Italian Americans are stereotyped as Mafias because of the movie, “The Godfather”. Even if we don’t know about Italian Americans, we get the image of that they are Mafias by the movie. Especially, images have strong impacts on race.
    Also, we produce stereotypes by people’s experience. For instance, my friend came to the US when I was in my country. Then, she said that all Americans are not punctual. So, I thought Americans are lazy. However, in fact, when I came here, many Americans are punctual. It means that her story was a lie.
    I think that most of stereotypes are not true. Therefore, we have to see the facts by ourselves for counteracting stereotypes. In addition, we should have consciousness that some images and stories might not be true.

  2. For society to be able to make stereotypes disappear would be an incredible, yet almost unmanageable achievement. There are many stereotypes that are damaging, harmful and threatening, yet still exist. There are of course ways to fight back, and show ignorant judgers that they are wrong, but like most hardships in this world, the chances of getting every individual to forget the unconscious judgments already implemented in their minds would be difficult. It will take years and years to fully exclude all judgmental and stereotypical thoughts out of our minds, but by taking small steps, one can hope for a brighter future. We must fight these judgments by finding fault. Prove the stereotype incorrect. Having President Barack Obama as our president I believe gave many African Americans hope that several black stereotypes have been dismissed. Another step to challenge the bias opinions of certain groups would to be open-minded. To explore and experience these cultures and humans you previously judged. By living and understanding what others go through enables your ability to forgive, understand and appreciate what others deal with living with these preconceived notions. There are definitely some strategies that would be beneficial investments in order to fight against the stereotypes In order for people to really change the way they see things is to be scared. It happens in big cases and it happens in little cases, but fear will change a person. For a person who doesn’t wear their seatbelt, they may understand that they will get a ticket or pulled over but it isn’t enough to make them wear it. That is not fear. Fear is death. It is loosing a close one that wasn’t wearing their seatbelt in a car accident that causes change and allows them to adjust their lifestyle and choices. Fear is something that makes people see life in a whole different aspect and if people were afraid that their lives were on the line, change would come. The government is so dominant and powerful that a scare coming from them would really ignite something in people and I truly believe that. I think the media needs to gain limelight through stories that are factual. Stories of different celebrities who have life changing history that made them who they were. Stories and images of the damage stereotypes can cause on a person. I think to counteract a stereotype people must really gain strength in their own character and stand up for what is right. Every single stereotype should be challenged whether it is in a positive light or a negative one. When you aren’t fighting for what is right, you are agreeing with it. By letting it continually happen, it allows others to see that you are okay with it and the world is too. Stereotypical judgments will continue until every single person in this world says that it isn’t okay and I don’t think that is something everyone is will to comprise and agree with. I think it will always be something that is considered normal and something that people will continue to live with day in and day out no matter how hard people fight against it.

  3. To prevent the spreading of stereotypes people should acknowledge that they are not true and should not be said. The more that people repeat the stereotypes and spread them to other people, the more people believe them to be true. Images that normalize the stereotypes of difference like showing mostly pictures of black people as poor or white people as rich reinforce the stereotypes. If images are changed to really show the range of races instead of focusing on just one, then certain stereotypes would not be pinned on a certain race and for the example of poor people, society would see it as an issue that needs to be resolved. People are speaking up more than ever in my opinion. People in the past would have fears of people judging them for standing up for a certain race, which would prevent them from speaking their minds. I know that when my friends make racist jokes or remarks I correct them for it because I know that they will still be my friends after. An example of how people are counteracting stereotypes is by proving the stereotypes wrong. For example the stereotype that women can’t drive, yet Danica Patrick is a Nascar driver. Another stereotype is that black people can’t swim, yet Cullen Jones won the silver medal in the 50-freestyle at the London Olympics. Athletes like Danica and Cullen are talked about in the media for their accomplishments. When people hear about their accomplishments they start to eliminate stereotypes. If stereotypes continue to be challenged like this, then they will eventually not be used.

    • I agree in order to relieve this world of stereotypes we need to keep challenging them. Prove these judgments wrong.

  4. In my opinion stereotypes will forever exists because the ones that already exist are embedded in our mind already it’s too late to change it. But I do believe there is a way of proving stereotypes wrong. Take me for example I’m an African American female the stereotypes for me are I like watermelon, chicken, I’m suppose to have a big butt and lips, I’m supposed to be loud, and I should have nappy hair. Well I prove these stereotypes to be wrong because I hate watermelon I’m a pineapple person. I do love chicken but I also love fish and turkey to, and who doesn’t love chicken? I’m petite so the whole big butt thing skipped me and my lips are far from big. I’m not loud I’m actually very shy, and my hair isn’t nappy I actually have nice hair so these stereotypes are far from pinpointing me as a person. Stereotypes like white people are rich, Asians are smart, Italians are part of the mafia, Mexicans have big family’s, and all black people are good at basketball are all wrong. I know some trailer trash white people, and a whole lot of Asians that actually aren’t as smart as everyone thinks. Italians aren’t in the mafia, I know several Mexicans who are the only child and my African American boyfriend is horrible at basketball I am too. Even though these stereotypes exist we can prove them wrong everyday as a society. Everyone has to just be open-minded and realize wherever these uneducated guesses about certain races and how they act aren’t true. People need to stop spreading these judgmental thoughts around and then maybe stereotypes would die down. That’s just my opinion.

  5. There will always be stereotypes in the world no matter if they are true or they are not. Some people take stereotypes from heart and others could care less. So I feel like stereotypes will never not exist cause they will always be around.

  6. Stereotypes are in everyday life, and always will be. Whether its a good stereotype or a bad stereotype we hear them constantly. Stereotypes are so open to being jokes now a days people tend to not take them seriously. Until you are the one that is being joked about. I am white and even though there seems to only be a few stereotypes against white people, it happens more than you think. I have blonde hair and anytime someone cracks a blonde joke or says anything about being blonde, I always feel uncomfortable because I am blonde. I think to myself, is everyone around here staring at me because they think I am stupid? I also feels as if I would be ridiculous to say I take offense to that because it is known as such a joke. If I was to say anything people would just back it up by saying “relax, its just a joke” or “we are just kidding”. Stereotypes are so little to everyone it doesn’t effected, but to everyone it does effect it is a big part of their life.

  7. No matter what I believe there will always be stereotypes no matter what. Especially today in schools there are always jokes about different stereotypes of every race. All though it is a joke and a majority of the people take it that way, some people hear it so much that they embrace it and try to live by it. For myself I have always been called a big red neck because of how outdoorsy I am and how i enjoy hunting and fishing. That stereotype does not bother me, but when people assume that I am racist because i enjoy that lifestyle and call me a red neck bothers me. Especially the fact that people do not know that my mother is black and I am mixed. Some people believe stereotypes do not hurt others when in fact they can.

  8. The world is full of stereotypes that every day are noticed and acted upon. Although most stereotypes are demeaning and negative, there can be positive ones. This doesn’t make stereotyping okay. For instance, the stereotype that “black people are better at sports” could be seen as a positive thing because it almost compliments them. This stereotype isn’t true though and it’s not fair. There are negative ones such as “all Muslims are terrorists”. We all know these two stereotypes aren’t always true because there are men that come from other cultures that could be good at sports and there are blonde-haired blue-eyed terrorists. If society can somehow find a way to rid of specific stereotypes, it would ideal. When people are surrounded by others who stereotype, they are going to stereotype themselves. The environment has such an impact on not only children but adults. Adults, mainly, like to tell jokes when with their friends and crowd favorites are usually ones that stereotype. They may be “funny” but they influence so many people in so many different ways. As long as people keep taking stereotyping lightly, they will never disappear. Now, everyone is too accustomed to stereotyping. Even with a black president, there are still people in the KKK. There are people who take stereotyping very personally, like myself. I’m Muslim, so therefore I’m supposed to be packing bombs under my shirt. But there are those who don’t care what they’re stereotyped as. For example, one of my good friends is African American and SHE makes the stereotypical jokes about herself, such as her love for grape Kool-Aid. We can never escape stereotyping because we all grew up around it and it will be passed down from generation to generation. You can teach your kids that all people are equal and fantastic, but what they see on the news every night can make them think that all black men are trying to rob them. If everyone as willing to cut the shit and start fresh, MAYBE we could somewhat rid of stereotyping.

  9. I feel that getting rid of stereotypes will be impossible. Unless everyone suddenly changes into clones of each other, stereotypes (which consist of both physical and trend traits) will always be in society. We, as individuals can try to convince others to refrain from making assumptions about people of different race via the race’s stereotype. For example, black people are not the only ones who love fried chicken, there are some asian people who are bad at math, etc. Stereotypes do not cover every aspect of that particular race, and we should do our best to not make assumptions too easily. If we encounter images that are typically racist in nature but are circulated as a joke, we should not ‘like’ it on facebook, and neither should we share it. These images can be challenged by utilizing Jamie Utt’s guide, from 09/26 of the required readings, and have a conversation with the source and convince them that what they are doing is not a joke, but in fact racist and humiliating to the particular race.

  10. I feel the stereotypes are in everyday life and always will be. Whether its a good stereotype or bad stereotype we hear them in our life. So I think the stereotypes will never not exist because some people takes the stereotypes as serious but some people does not care. For example, one of my friend came to U.S before I came to U.S. He said, the american people are looks cold and just ignore the people if you are not friend with them. So I thought all americans acts that way. But when I was came to U.S people all so friendly and welcoming. So I think the most of stereotypes are not true.

  11. There are many stereotypes that still plague our society today and can be seen or heard on day a daily basis. Unfortunately many if not most stereotypes would be almost impossible to get rid of because of how long they have been a part of our society. I believe that it is up to us as individuals see and understand stereotypes that affect society and challenge them. This is no easy task because many stereotypes are almost engrained into our minds and are hard to try and challenge. But by trying to challenge ourselves to see stereotypes that normalize differences among people in our communities then we can then attempt to talk to our peers why they exist in our society. Many of the strategies that are used today use fear appeals through the central route of persuasion. But many of these media attempts do not change or challenge stereotypes but create more for people to argue about them or reinforce that they exist. I think the best way to change how people view stereotypes is to use the central route of persuasion and show them in our society and how people are challenging them each day. Showing people overcoming stereotypes makes people see that people live with them each day but do their best to look past them. Many media messages show people struggling to live with them and how they affect people in a negative light. This negative image creates a strong association with failing to over come stereotypes rather than seeing people succeeding under the pressure of stereotypes.

  12. In society today there are many stereotypes. They may not be verbally said, but people now can write stereotypical statement online and not be confronted about it physically. They can write statements, jokes, and post images that are offensive to different racial/gender groups of people. For example, in class this past month Dr. Leonard showed us a website that counts the number of words used on twitter every day that involves sexually stereotyping people. This website counted the words faggot, gay, homo, etc. I was surprised on the amount of times these words were used to describe an event or person’s personality. Some of these statements may use these words unintentionally, but others may have written these statements to stereotype or make fun a certain group of people. By constantly writing statements online that involves stereotypical words, jokes, or images it makes it the norm, and that is what people expect from a certain group of people. Even though people cannot confront others physically about these statements online, you can counteract the statement by speaking up, saying that the statement is wrong, and give proof why it is wrong. People will read the counteracting statement and realize that, not everyone in a certain group is defined by that particular stereotypical statement.

    I feel like stereotyping cannot be fully eliminated. There will always be that one group of people who has a negative outlook on a different group. Also, from my own experience and from observing others, I have noticed that humans will prejudge a person before they actually know them. They will formulate an opinion about the person from judging what they look like, what they wear, and what their name is. For example, an employer is more likely to hire an employee with a White sounding name than one with an African American sounding name. From this the employer is already prejudging what the person with the African American sounding name is like, even though they may be more qualified for the job than the person with the White sounding name. As I said earlier there are many stereotypes in the world and they are reinforced and normalized through statements, jokes, and images. Ways to counteract these stereotypes is by confronting these statements and prove that they are not true about each stereotyped group.

  13. Personally I believe that stereotypes are always going to be around. No matter how much we try to change things they will always exist. I think that it is pretty obvious that its impossible to get a large group of people to all think and act one way. It has become normal and easy to categorize people by the way that they look and the types of culture and behavior a certain group of people display. Most stereotypes are negative assumptions about a group of people that are portrayed in varieties of ways. There are video games, songs, movies, TV shows, clothing, posters, advertisements, mascots, almost anything you can think of can be tied to a stereotype. Although I believe stereotypes will never disappear, I do believe that there are some steps that we can take to reduce the frequency and amount of people that think it is okay to stereotype and put people down for a certain way that they act.

    One way that I think we can reduce the amount of offensive stereotypical media that we are exposed to is to simply protest it. If enough people complain about it, most likely there will be a change. I bet that people could even make a petition and have laws passed against racist and offensive advertisements. Another way that we can resist racist media is by boycotting it, refusing to buy products that have racist and sexist advertisements, refusing to watch TV shows that have racial jokes. On the other hand, as I just wrote that I realized how surrounded we really are by racist and sexist things in the media, they are almost impossible to avoid…

    Another way that we can fight racist and stereotypical media and jokes is by standing up to people who think it is a laughing matter. It is common that when a racist or sexist joke is made the person it is directed toward can become upset and then after expressing their hurt feelings the joker justifies it and says “Oh it was just a joke, lighten up!” After that the person who’s feelings were hurt don’t usually continue to protest and stand up for themselves because of the fear of looking stupid or weak for taking a “harmless joke” too seriously. I think that people just brush things off because one, they don’t want to draw anymore attention to themselves after a degrading joke was just made about them and two, because they fear that their friends will judge them even further. I think we can help stop these jokes by really expressing how we feel and explaining how jokes can really hurt feelings and that it isnt okay. If your friends dont care that they are hurting you and continue to do things that are wrong, then they arent really true friends at all.

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