What is a stereotype? Well, according to Merriam-Webster, it means: (noun) an often unfair and untrue belief that many people have about all people or things with a particular characteristic (usually associated with race or religion). Racial/cultural stereotypes. (Adjective) A stereotypical representation/idea/approach.
He’s the stereotypical absentminded professor. [=he’s a professor who is absentminded in the way that people often think of professors as being]. Stereotypes are usually negative. In the table below stereotypes vocabulary in English are given, you can use these words beside your own words.
Stereotypes Vocabulary in English
|ethnicity||noun||Of or relating to races or large groups of people who have the same customs, religion, origin, etc. People of different ethnicities [=people who belong to different ethnic groups]|
|generalize||verb||To make a general statement or to form a general opinion especially: to state an opinion about a larger group that is based on a smaller number of people or things within that group. She tends to generalize.|
|racism||noun||(Disapproving): Poor treatment of or violence against people because of their race. Have you experienced racism? A protest against racism.|
|culture||noun||The beliefs, customs, arts, etc., of a particular society, group, place, or time. A study of Greek language and culture.|
|intolerance||noun||(Disapproving) : Not willing to allow some people to have equality, freedom, or other social rights— often + of. Intolerance towards/to outsiders fighting the forces of racism and intolerance.|
|assumption||noun||Something that is believed to be true or probably true but that is not known to be true : something that is assumed. I made the assumption that he was coming, so I was surprised when he didn’t show up.|
|preconceived||adjective||Always used before a noun: formed before having actual knowledge about something or before experiencing something — often + about or of. I didn’t have any preconceived ideas/notions about/of what the job would be like when I first started.|
|false||adjective||Not true or accurate, especially : deliberately untrue : done or said to fool or deceive someone. False testimony. False accusations/statements.|
|prejudice||noun||An unfair feeling of dislike for a person or group because of race, gender, religion, etc. The organization fights against racial prejudice. — often + against. Evidence of prejudice against women and minorities. Religious, racial, and sexual prejudices.|
|hatred||noun||A very strong feeling of dislike : hate. He had an irrational fear and
hatred of foreigners.
|misunderstanding||noun||A usually minor argument or disagreement. An unfortunate
misunderstanding between old friends. We had our little misunderstandings in the past but we managed to clear them up long ago.
|segregation||noun||The practice or policy of keeping people of different races, religions, etc., separate from each other. Racial/religious segregation. They fought to end the segregation of public schools. The segregation of men and women.|
|oversimplify||verb||To describe (something) in a way that does not include all the facts and details and that causes misunderstanding.|
|verb||(Disapproving) : to unfairly think of or describe (someone or something) as belonging to a particular group, having only a particular skill, etc.
She likes to perform different types of music because she doesn’t want to be pigeonholed.— often + as. She doesn’t want to be pigeonholed as a jazz musician.
Whenever we don’t have a good understanding of a subject, say, of people or countries, then we tend to make assumptions about them. A stereotype is nothing but those assumptions that have become common agreements. Whenever you make judgments about people without knowing them, you are stereotyping them. Stereotyping makes people generalize things. Because these assumptions are made with very little true knowledge, most often they are false. Though there are both positive and negative stereotypes, a majority of them are offensive. People generally stereotype out of bias against a particular group of people or religion. Stereotyping becomes a way of conveying their dislike. Of course, stereotyping stems from a commonly held view of a particular group or race. This view may arise from an incident or false assumption, and then may be used to color the entire community with the same brush. There are various types of stereotypes. However, the most common ones are racial stereotypes and gender stereotypes. Race, nationality, gender and sexual orientation are the main factors of stereotyping. Stereotyping must be avoided at all costs, as it leads to treating groups as a single entity. Given below are examples of stereotypes that people commonly use.
Examples of Stereotypes
• All blond women are dumb.
• All politicians are philanders and think only of personal gain and benefit.
• Girls are only concerned about physical appearance.
• Guys are messy and unclean.
• Men who spend too much time on the computer or read are geeks.
• All librarians are women who are old, wear glasses, tie a high bun, and have a perpetual frown on their face.
• Girls are not good at sports.
• Men who like pink are effeminate.
• All Blacks are great basketball players.
• All Asians are geniuses.
• All Indians are deeply spiritual.
• All Latinos dance well.
• All Whites are successful.
• Asians have high IQs. They are smarter than most in Math and Science. These people are more likely to succeed in school.
• African Americans can dance.
• All Canadians are exceptionally polite.
• French are romantic.
• All Asians know Kung Fu.
• All Muslims are terrorists.
• All white people don’t have rhythm.
• All Blacks are lazy.
• All Jewish people are greedy selfish money hungry people.
• Caucasians can’t dance.
• Russians are violent.
• All Americans are cowboys.
• All Italians are stylish and sophisticated. They are usually painters, sculptors or fashion designers.
• Germans are Nazis or fascists.
• All Asians are Chinese.
• All Middle easterners hate America.
• All Italians are good cooks.
• All Italians are mobsters or have links to the mob.
• All white people are all racist.
• Chinese will eat anything.
• All Asians are Communists.
• All Australians are bullies, racists, drinkers and constantly uses swear words. They are also portrayed as lazy and stupid morons.
• People from the Indian subcontinent are generally portrayed as shopkeepers and motel owners.
• All Egyptian women are belly dancers.
• The Japanese are engineering geniuses.
• All South Koreans are gaming nerds.
• Irish are alcoholics.
• All Hispanics are illegal aliens.
• All Indians and Chinese are cheap and live a frugal life.
• All Latinos are on welfare.
• In the US all South Koreans are stereotyped as dry cleaners and all Mexicans as gardeners.
Every race, culture, country, religion and a community has a stereotype. It is a way of oversimplifying groups of people. It is one of the easiest ways of establishing identity. By conforming to a fixed or conventional image, the identity can be recognized and understood. And, herein lies the problem. It’s hard to be objective if one doesn’t reject stereotypes. So, it is better not to use any stereotype and pass judgments only when you are familiar with others.