Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Stereotypes

Please answer the following questions; I would like you to respond to/question one another within your own responses.

Considering our last two lessons on stereotyping, what have you learned about the power of words and the assumptions behind those words? How does this harm you? What can this teach us about tolerance? Will you change any of your language or behaviors as a result of this excercise? Did this excercise give you any new ideas? If so, what are they?

27 comments:

Tabitha M said...

The judgements we make towards eachother maybe just as jokes can really affect the person it's said about. We can really bring people down with our words and hurt them badly even if they don't show it. I'm affected by how I stereotype people. By my nature I give someone a look-down and stereotype their background just from what they are wearing. I hate when people judge who they don't know, but I tend to also do it without even meaning to. I think we all do, because we hangout with people who share common interests and dont mingle with people who have different interests. I definitely will change my behavior in how I interact with certain people. Instead of shutting them out before I even know them. I don't want to characterize everyone for the rest of my life by race, body, gender, or background before I even know them. My goal is to see everyone as people equal in every way.

Maria A. said...

Stereotypes is a very harsh broad topic. It can be a way to classify a group of people and group them within that name or to make fun of that group and have something to talk about. I agree with Tabitha, that we can bring people down badly by these stereotypes and the things we say about each other even if it is in a joking manner. This could harm me from judging where my ancestors came from, since my dad came from Greece and my mom is a mix of all the Swedish, Polish, Irish, Check and all that. I guess it would harm me more in a making fun of people that I know than just making fun of me alone. I feel that if they make fun of just me that they have some sort of insecurity deep in them. Tolerating these types of people who stereotype many other people, you just gotta look deeper in why they would be doing that or move on, it's not that important don't listen to it, let it blow over. Changing yourself because of learnings about these stereotypes, I don't really stereotype so I couldn't see anything about changing myself, but for those who do and see that it hurts others, they can mellow down a little. Going in deep thought about stereotypes from these two exercises in class, I feel that I didn't really realize how harsh this really is.

lliley131 said...
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Lauren L said...

Stereotyping is not a good way to judge people at all. Everyone is different and if you stereotype them from their outside appearance, it really doesn’t even give you the chance to get to know the person. People just judge you on your race, where you live, what your hobbies are and other things. I believe we should get to know people for the people they are inside before we can judge them and put a label on them. Stereotyping really plays into if you even want to get to know a person in the first place. If you see someone who is dressed really weird and you automatically put a title on that person, that factor might prevent you from getting to know a person. I know we all do it, at least I know I do. I wish I didn’t stereotype people or judge people but its really part of human nature. A lot of the time stereotypes are bad as well. I just don’t think is fair to say all of these negative things about a whole group of people when you don’t know any of them individually. I would really like people to stop putting labels on people and start getting to know people.

ashleighm said...

In our discussions about stereotyping, I have learned that the words you use to portray or generalize someone has a lot ot do with the way you encountered someone similar. Words are very powerful; what you say can either make, or break someone. If you are constantly telling someone that they are capable of doing anything they put their minds to, then they will believe you. But if you are always telling someone that they aren't good for anything, then they will believe you regardless of what they make think of themselves. I think in a lot of areas in society we need more tolerance. However, I think that having too much telorance will only cause more harm. Some things that are acceptable in society need to be such as cultural diversity, and appreciation of new ideas and thinking. But at the same time we cannot accept things that may be harmful in the future.
I think that we can all change our language and behaviors. We sometimes don't realize just how negative or discouraging we can be with our words because we may be used to it. I think that I will try to think twice about what I say and think about how it will not only have an affect on me, but others around me.

verrettaa said...

I believe that I large part of the stereotypes we have for other is from experiences we have had with people. However, I think that stereotypes are very unfair even though they can at times be accurate. The correct way to judge someone is by getting to know them. You have to realize that they are individual and unique, and everyone is different. Once you have got to know a person, then from your experience you can determine the kind of person they are, whether or not it matches the stereotype.
These stereotypes can harm us because if we judge people before we know them, other might do the same to us. Also, when we judge other before trying to get to know them, we miss out on getting to know someone that may have been really awesome. I try to always not judge people before I make an effort to get to know, them and I will continue to do this because I want people to treat me the same.

Kelsey W said...

We are all judgemental, whether we relize it or not. Most people hate it when they are judged with out being giving a chance to prove who you really are. Just like Tabitha says, although, we hate it, we all do it. Some judgements can be possitive, though most arent. I think that because its just human nature to make assumptions, you should at least try to get to know the person to see if the judgements you are making are true. Its only fair.
Since I am a cheerleader, I know how it feels to be stereotyped. It used to bother me a lot, but now I just blow it off. I have learned that it is best not to let it get to you. This teaches us about tolerance because when you get it all the time you learn how to cope with it. It is hard to learn, but its a good thing to be able to do.
I have gotten better at not stereotyping people, but I still could improve. No one likes rude people, and I think stereotyping can be very rude. Some of the stereotypes we have gone over I have never really thought about until brought to my attention. Like when we were talking about asians, I never really have stereotyped them as a group.

casey o said...

Stereotyping is a natural, yet extremely harmful consumption of other human beings. Stereotyping goes on everyday, you might not even realize that you are doing it, but we all do it. It can/ is an hurtful tool, often used for bulling. We stereotype others by the way they dress, who they hang out with, how they act. However, most of these stereotypes are not even true yet we assume these things. These words hurt the soul, causing anger, frustration, sadness, humiliation, and betrayal to those whom they are said. We need to tolerate our stereotyping, thus not downing others on how they are. If we tolerated our stereotyping we would all be much happier with the others around us. Its ok to stereotype, just not to the extent of the person finding out and getting hurt. I will try to limit my stereotyping, but it’s a natural behavior and often is uncontrollable. This exercise made me think about how many people stereotype others and probably don’t even realize that they are doing it. When I think back I can think of millions of times when I have stereotyped someone, when at the time not even realizing I was doing it.

Tyler said...

Steryotypeing is natural in the world that we live in, but can bring you and the others around you great pain. Even if the people who are steryotyped don't show it, it doesn't that the people who we do it to aren't affected by it. I hate it when people judge about a person right away, when they won't even get to know that person and what he may be like. This can teach us all that even if you're from a different race, culture, or country, if you just get to know that person you may find out you both have common interests. Even though I haven't really steryotyped anyone so I can't see changing myself, but for those who do steryotype others then I would suggest learning these two lessons. These lessons taught me that I don't want to characterize anyone by race, body, gender, before I really get to know them. My goal is to see everyone as equal in everyway possible.

Chelsea R. said...

Words and assumptions can really affect the people and the people around them that it was said about. When I see somoene, I know that I am really quick to judge what type of person they are. I know it is wrong but it is human nature to do that. There is that saying that you shouldnt judge a book by its cover and that goes along with judging people. Our society is too quick to judge people when we first get to know them. I think that is our biggest flaw as humans, we don't get to know someone before we decide what time of person they are. I think that we really need to break that habit. I think this exercise really helped me see that I should stop judging someone by the way they look and i need to get to know them before i decide who they are because that is what i want others to do to me. Sterotyping can harm mentally because they don't get to prove who they are when others just look at them and decide what type of person they are. This can bring their self confidence down and their spirits

Tiffany F. said...

I have learned that our words and assumptions can really hurt a person with out us really knowing the harm. Words to us might not seem very powerful but when someone hears them they are very powerful and can hurt them inside. Before we speak we need to think about what we are saying and make sure it is not mean or judgmental. This harms me because it is not right of me to judge a person, we are all children of God and God loves and accepts everyone with no judgments. This teaches us that the people we stereotype become tolerant to our comments directed at them or thought about them. They learn that they are a good different and learn to accept the fact that people talk about them. Well I know I am stereotyped and I do not like it but I learn to blow it off and not let it bother me. Yes, I will change my language and behavior as a result of this exercise because I do not like it when people stereotype me so I will work on being better about not stereotyping other people either. Everyone is stereotyped in the world that is just people’s opinions of other people, but I do wish we could avoid it all, if possible! This exercise did give me a new idea. Next time you see someone you usually stereotype instead of saying something negative in your head say something positive about that person. You could even go the extra mile and say the positive comment to the person, I am sure they would feel great and so would you!

I totally agree with Kelsey in knowing how it feels to be stereotyped since we are both cheerleaders at AHS. Like Kelsey I learn to blow it off and forget about it, it is not worth wasting sleep over the comments!

rachel b said...

I learned about how dangerous stereotyping can be. It really doesn't do anyone any good. It is a hurtful way of judging a person before getting to know them. Its also very unfair to everyone. If I chose to stereotype someone, I am giving up on an opportunity to get to know them. I could be missing out on a great friendship. Also, it is not fair to the other person because they are being judged and they might not even know it. It can harm me because I could become known as a very judgemental person and I wouldn't want that. Realizing how quick we are to stereotype has made me want to be better than that. I would rather get to know a person on the inside than judge them from their oustide apperance. I have found that sometimes the nicest people are different than what we would consider normal, different isn't always bad.
I want to try to be less of a stereotypical person in my everyday activities. When I walk down the halls at school, I will just give people the benefit of the doubt.

Strahan K said...

Over the last two lessons I learned that words do have more power than I previously thought. They lead you to conclusions that in some ways are true but in others they aren't. It also made me realize that the way we use our words has a big effect on how people respond to them. If a person is using a term in a degrading way or saying it like its a bad thing then people might will probably get upset about it, as they should. But if u are saying it in a more light hearted manner, or are saying the words in a way that doesn't make it sound bad then I think that people have should not be offended. I know that if someone says something to me in a degrading way I get mad and don't respond posativly to that person. But if they aren't saying whatever words they are in a way to put me down then usually I can see where they come from. I think that this teaches us about tolerence in a few different ways. For starters it should show us that the way you say something to someone, the tone you use ect. effects the way they take it and that if someone is wearing something you think is wierd that you shouldn't say anything bad about it, you can think it but don't say anything about it if it could be taken offensivly. Just put up with it and don't let it bother you. Be tolerant. But then it also teaches us to be tolerant of what people may say. You can't let them get to you with words especially if they weren't said in an offensive manner. Again, be tolerant. I don't think this activity wil really change the language I use because I rarely use language that is offensive, nut it will deffinately change the way I say things to people. I'll try to make my scentences come across in a way that can't come across as a put down. This excersise made me realize that there is a difference between racist, and racial. Racial is basically based off of truth. It is something that the majority of a group of people does and therefore becomes a common idea, or picture in peoples minds when they think of these people. For example if you see an old beat up car thats all rusted and looks like it is barely running, and inside this car there is so many people that you can's see through to the other side, it is safe to assume that they are a hispanic immigrant. Because that is something they commonly have to do. It's not a bad thing that they do it, its just something they are known for doing. Its not racist to assume that they are immigrants or to assume that they are from mexico. It would be racist if you hated them for it, if you tried to insult them because they can only afford this one car and they have fit as many people in it as they can. It would be racist if you pulled up next to them and started pointing and laughing at them. The difference between racist and racial is the actions you take when you see them in their car. So in the end it all comes back to your actions as an individual.

Trent W. said...

I believe sterotypes are extremely hurtful depending on the context. And usually it's the sterotype that is opposite of what the person is. Like a white man making fun of a Hispanic, referring to them as wall jumpers or whatever the case. Sometimes it is just poking fun. Since i'm partially hispanic i poke fun at myself and others, but when i do it, others join in and it gets out of hand. Sometimes i have to stand my ground, swallow my pride, because i opened up a can of worms, since it can also be hurtful to me. So words can hurt, especially when we live in a society that thinks first impressions are everything. If we sterotype them automatically, some people are not as strong as others emotionally, or others might take it hard on the inside. So the power of words, is amazing, especially how they are interpreted. A lot of the people who sterotype, have not really, to there knowledge been sterotyped before. No offense to any one, since I'm half white also. But they are generally the ones who sterotype since America is prodominately white. Throughout history, it's the white who've had the power. So when other races or nationalities appear they stand together and i'm not sure why probably just preference, the other races get the lower blue collar jobs. We can't necessarily leave all sterotypes, but we can strive not to make them. Personally, i don't know how i could hand a job to a white than a black or hispanic or vice versa based on color. Or even to a man rather than a woman. It just puzzles me how they do that or rip them off giving them significantly lower pay. The exercise i don't think really changed my views, but it was nice for other to get a feel about it.

Joyce B. said...

I have learned that stereotypes are just harmful assumptions that people make about each other based on others appearances or who they hang out with. Often these stereotypes are just extreme cases and are way off base. I think I’ve gotten most stereotypes from movies because everything is made to the extreme. Stereotypes can harm people in many different ways. I think I have been harmed by stereotypes, because I have avoided certain “types” of people in the past because I assumed that I wouldn’t like them and/or they wouldn’t like me. I also believe that I have been harmed by stereotypes, because I am in band so some people assume that I’m a geek. I will be the first to admit that I’m weird, I do the most random things some times, but that does not make me a bad person. I’m usually very nice and it would be a shame for some one to avoid me because of what I do or who I hang out with. I want to work on avoiding stereotypes now that I have realized how bad they can be, I plan on not judging people on their appearances and getting to know more people for who they truly are. I think that Tabitha made some great points; I agree that people can be hurt by stereotypes even if they pretend not to be. Also I agree that stereotyping is just human nature, most people do it with out even realizing it. I hope that from these lessons I can learn to change my ways and be more aware of my thoughts.

AndrewA said...

Every word has a definition. Words are defined for us but different experiences with certain words give us our own definitions. Words are also open to interpretation so everyone has assumptions as to what these words look like. Based on how we're raised, we develop an idea as to what words are hurtful and what aren't. What may seem appropriate to one person may be very disrespectful to another. Although some words may be an accurate description of one's outer appearance, their inside may not reflect that. Therefore we must tolerate others enough to get to know eachother and to form an accurate opinion of one another. We all judge people in the back of our mind based on sterotypes, but there's a difference between thinking about something and actually acting upon your thoughts. Everyone deserves a chance to show who they are and what they stand for. The problem with society is that we treat individuals based on stereotypes of their ancestors. Skin color, country of origin, parents, living conditions, are all uncontrollable things that differentiate between different stereotypes. Since they are out of the individual's control, there's no reason why people should have the right to stereotype.

kaylab said...

When we stereotype people, we label them and it changes how we see them. I think our words can both affect the person being stereotyped, but also the person who is stereotyping. When you stereotype a person, I think that people have a very hard time getting past what they initially thought and really getting to know them better. It can harm me because of the result of stereotyping someone, I could miss out on getting to know some really great people that I was uncertain about when we first met. I think that we need to get better at tolerance and acceptance of people so that they can do the same. I am definatly going to try to change my behavior and be more open and willing to meet new people because everyone should get a chance. I think that if everyone tried to be better at not stereotyping people, we will have a much more accepting world to live in and people wont be as afraid to show people who they really are.

HRiepl said...

Excersizing this activity really opened up my eyes when it comes to having opinions about people off a first impression bases. Next time I put someone in a category, I will think twice about if it would hurt the person and if it is just another man-made stereotype I got caught up with elaborating on. When I think about people placing me in a group, it takes away my feelings of individuality, pride, and frankly causes me to feel extremely self concious. Pleasing other people is not a way to live ones life although on the other side of this controversy, assuming things about people should not be emphisized either. I am proud to say I have learned alot from our discussions.

Gereon H. said...

I didn't really learn a lot out of this exercise, because I already had this topic in Germany. But the way I was confronted with it this time was a lot different. I I did much more thinking on my own. Maybe I mostly just thought about what I already have learned but there were some thoughts which were different. In Germany (as much I know) you think more about the world and why it is what it is. Here in the USA you focus on the I in the world and the nature. The base is mostly the same but there are a lot of things which are different.
Normally all stereotypes are generalizations, we pigeonhole all kinds of people, although all people are different. So all people who are at the extremes of a stereotype are mostly wrongful called like the stereotype says. So we describe people with words which don't fit on them, an this mostly just because of the look.
I admit I use stereotypes a lot; like any other person on this planet. If there wouldn't be any stereotypes you would trust many people from the beginning of the first second you see them, but do you want to trust anybody?
Maybe stereotypes are unfair to other people but often they can protect me. I think other people also do it with me and I accept it, because they don't know me.(!)

David H. said...

Stereotyping is the wrong way of knowing who someone is. When you stereotype people, you think you already know who and what the person is about. The truth is that there is not one person exactly like another. Stereotyping can hurt someone being stereotyped very much because they aren't getting a fair and real judgment by their peers. You can't actually know someone until you talk to them and spend time with them. When you stereotype others, there is always a negative quality to the person and not many positive stereotypes. When we stereotype, we see the differences between us and the person when we should be looking at the similarities. Through the past few days talking about stereotyping, it really helped me to think before I say something and to not let the stereotype be the only source of my knowledge of the person.

mitch w said...

Judging people by a specific trait about them is not right but we do it all the time. Society has put us in a position to find the weakest part of someone and expose it. Although sometimes it may just be for fun words can really hurt. Generally characterizations are something that creates a perception of a whole group of people being the same. For example the word redneck creates an image in the mind that is automatically applied to all people that live in the rural south. It is hard to fight these perceptions because society exploits them for entertainment. In the future I hope to use less of these generalizations towards others and actually find out who the person is before judging. I also hope that eventually the media understands that these stereotypes are not ok and realize how they impact people as a whole.

Amy W said...

I feel like people constantly under estimate the power of words and how a couple words or phrases can impact us. The two lessons that we did in class really opened my eyes on just how automatic and easy it was for me to make assumptions on people i don't know anything about besides their name or job. It seems like judgment and making assumptions based off things we think we know and have been taught our whole lives, when really all that is just perspective, we dont really know any other way to look at things.
Making assumptions and judging people based off of some silly stereotypes hurts me because i could really be missing out meeting someone that could maybe make a difference in my life or show me a different way of things because im to busy assuming. This teaches us a lot about how important tolerance is because if it werent for the ability to tolerate those who we may not understand then we'd never get the chance to learn to look at things through a different perspective.
I realized that although i think of my self as pretty open minded and try not to make remarks that directly target a certain group i know i do it and more often than i thought, and i realized how much over hearing me say some of these things could hurt other people even if i mean to say it in a joking matter.

LiaWH said...

Words are just a couple of letters put together and yet they carry so much meaning and emotion. “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me”. I’d love to say I live by that, but realistically words do hurt. I would say words hurt more than sticks or stones, because sure you might get a bruise from a stone but a nasty comment can stick with you forever. Our world is made up of negatives, I didn’t get an A, I can’t make varsity, and I’m not good enough to get into that college. We focus on the bad that happens, so even though twenty people might compliment you, if one person says you look bad then that will be the only thing that you’ll think about or remember. So when someone stereotype or uses words in a bad way it will stick and hurt. I hate being classified as the white girl. Lives in suburbia, has nice clothes, hair make up always done, nice car, nice house, ignorant. Sure some of that has a lot of truth but there is so much more to me than the stereotype. So when someone “classifies” me then I just wonder if they can and will see past the stereotype. I don’t think it really has anything to do with tolerance but more acceptances. It’s about accepting who a person is and looking beyond the stereotype and seeing the individual characteristics that person has. It’s given me a lot of perspective on the whole issue. To make sure that I see people as individuals not stereotypes and to be wary of my vocabulary because words will hurt.

mcohn said...

I thought it was a little weird with some peoples responses of the names and their jobs. Just some of the jobs that we pinned on some people were kind of true. like the name that was some what mexican, we all i dentified that person as a hotel made or a waitress. i find it a little mean that we all did that but i hate to say it but its kind of true. this harms me some times because since im jewish everyone thinks that im really rich and i get everything that i want. that is not true at all. i have to work for everything that i want. i had to save up all of my money so i could get a car. there was no way my father or mother was going to just buy me a car. they said if i want a car i have to work for it and that is exactly what i did. i don't think i will change any of my language because everyone does it and people do it to me everyday. why should i change the way i think about people if it happens everyday?

Roy C said...

Words have the power to break down someone mentally and lower their self esteem. Also capable of other things. People should be tolerant because if they want other people to be tolerant of them.

lMeyer said...

Words are the most powerful things that humans possess. Words, in the right combination, can make a person overly happy, sad, angry, powerful, meek, they can make you cry; words have in their power the ability to evoke every sensation. With that tremendous power, comes great responsibility of those saying the words.
Stereotypes are definitely in the category of words with tremendous power. Stereotypes may have a general truth of the groups they are categorizing; however I believe they are rarely true of individuals within the group. I think why stereotypes seem to always have a negative connotation, is because they are describing groups of people that are not like you. It seems that today, and throughout history, if a person or group of people isn't like you, they are seen in a negative light and are lumped together, just like stereotypes do. This is because people naturally think that the way they live and behave is the best way, and if someone is different than you, then they must be inferior because they don’t do it the way you do. These quick assumptions are what give stereotypes so much power. With this kind of power usually comes harm to the receiving end, even if it was unintended. The only way to reduce the harm and power of stereotyping is to not use it, and form your opinions on people only after you have gotten to know them.
The other day I was introduced to someone. I was told their name beforehand, and went into the situation with a picture already in by brain of what I thought they would look like, and act like. I was completely wrong. If I take anything away from this exercise it will be that, in the future I will try to keep an open mind, and not try to predetermine what a person will be like before I meet them.

Victoria Z said...

I think that words have a strong power over emotions. People base their opinions on things like media, friends, and even family. I do not agree with basing MY opinions off something someone else says. Growing up in today's society we need to learn to get to know everyone. Not by the types of clothing they wear but by their personality. This exercise opened my eyes to see that I need to not be so quick to judge people based on things I hear or things I think I know. In the end I need to be more open to hearing what people say versus judging them on their looks or their clothes.