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Why are stereotypes a good thing?


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#1 Hayesmeister5651

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Posted 23 March 2013 - 06:36 PM

My friend had to write a paper on why stereotypes are good...just curious as to how you guys would answer it.



#2 sirmethos

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Posted 23 March 2013 - 06:55 PM

Out here in the real world, they aren't.



#3 Hayesmeister5651

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Posted 23 March 2013 - 07:20 PM

That is how I would have answered it.

 

My friend felt awkward considering he is white and the professor is black.



#4 Ruinus

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Posted 24 March 2013 - 12:17 AM

Yeah, they aren't, because even positive stereotypes lead to negative ones. News stories have covered this before, but let's make an example.

"Women are better cooks than men."
This is a positive stereotype, it speaks well of the culinary skills of women. It all seems well, until you stop and realize that thinking women are good cooks, that all women make good cooks, could lead you into thinking less of women who aren't good cooks. Women are good cooks, so something must be wrong with that girl for being bad at cooking. Women are good cooks, so my wife will do all the cooking. Women probably aren't good at math/science because they've spent most of their time cooking. Etc etc. So it goes on and on that any stereotype, negative or bad, starts to reinforce other stereotypes.

"Black people are better at sports." Suddenly leads to "Black people are biologically different than everyone else." And we all know what road that line of thinking leads down to.

#5 silversurfer092

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Posted 24 March 2013 - 01:16 AM

Black people are biologically different. Kenyans? Eastern Africans? Yeah, they develop differently than regular humans. By that, I mean, they don't wear shoes and therefore develop appropriately for running.

 

The one benefit of being poor, I suppose.



#6 God-Speed_88

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Posted 24 March 2013 - 06:39 AM

The only good thing to come out of stereotypes is Hetalia. 



#7 Pseudonym

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Posted 24 March 2013 - 02:15 PM

They're grand for writing and stuff. You throw a big, softspoken black guy in a prison or something and everyone knows he's gonna be droppin some wisdom. It doesn't need to be shown as much that he's wise. It allows the audience to come to common understandable ground on who a character is much more quickly without exposition.

 

Also, it helps for jokes. Blonde jokes even though not all blondes are dumb. Latvian jokes even though not all Latvian's are starving and uneducated. Who would Dave Chappelle be without stereotypes?



#8 deojusto

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Posted 24 March 2013 - 04:56 PM

In what context was he writing this, what kind of project or class, and is there any possibility that he had to write something a little more complicated but for the sake of the straw man he told you that he had to write about how stereotypes are good? 



#9 force_echo

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Posted 24 March 2013 - 09:00 PM

Most stereotypes wouldn't exist if they weren't true to some extent to the layman. I think they're an evolutionary effect, a gut instinct, the brain forms predispositions based on what it's observed before as a defense mechanism-- sometimes you don't have enough time to get to know a person to form a split second life or death decision. They mostly have a negative effect now, since now the environment is different and stereotypes mostly just serve to estrange and alienate people, but back then they helped people stay alive.



#10 Hayesmeister5651

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Posted 24 March 2013 - 09:33 PM

In what context was he writing this, what kind of project or class, and is there any possibility that he had to write something a little more complicated but for the sake of the straw man he told you that he had to write about how stereotypes are good? 

He didn't tell me too many details, all he said was "I have to write a paper on why stereotypes are a good thing".






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