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[Answered] What do you understand by Stereotyping? Critically examine why stereotyping is so common in society today.

 

Demand of the question

Introduction. What is Stereotyping?

Body. Discuss why stereotyping is so common in society today.

Conclusion. Way forward.

 

Stereotyping is a situation when one judges an individual or a group of people based on his/her own and others opinions and experiences. Stereotypes are characteristics imposed upon groups of people because of their race, nationality, and sexual orientation. Stereotypes are not always accurate and even if positive, can be harmful.

 

Why is stereotyping common in society today?

  1. Illiteracy: Lack of education and awareness has led to stereotyped mindset about particular group or sect. E.g. Many people think that rain is caused by Gods. Thus for good rains they do puja and havan. They don’t know that rain is monsoonal and depend upon its variation. They end up wasting money and time on havan.
  2. Socialisation and upbringing: People are socialised to adopt the same stereotypes. Stereotypes are usually acquired in early childhood under the influence of parents, teachers, peers, and the media. E.g. A child who sees his friend smoking and being branded as cool by others, would associate smoking with coolness and would develop stereotypes for the same, ultimately smoking.
  3. Societal Environment: Stereotypes are the result of a common environment that stimulates people to react in the same way. People are highly similar with each other in how they describe different racial and national groups, although those people have no personal experience with the groups they are describing. E.g. Muslims are commonly branded as terrorists without any discrimination.
  4. Patriarchal mindset: Prejudice and bias about women as weak has led to development of stereotypes in human minds, which is deeply ingrained. Although women have come forward breaking shackles, still discriminatory behaviour has kept stereotypes alive. Many women today prefer to become housewives in spite of having good educational qualifications because they think they are made for house work.
  5. Alienation: Alienation of the particular subsection leads to the development of stereotypes against the government or the whole Individuals who are discriminated against might develop a feeling of stereotyping that a particular sect or government is against them. E.g. Dalit often see upper caste as oppressor and develop stereotypes against them.
  6. Social division: Division on the basis of religion, region, race, ethnicity etc. has deeply affected the psyche of individuals and developed stereotypes against certain sects. E.g. Muslims are commonly branded as terrorists without any discrimination.

 

Prejudice and social inequality are unavoidable in a multicultural society like India. The need of the hour is to encourage such depressed sections through affirmative action, stricter implementation of anti-discrimination law like that against untouchability, gender harassment. On analysing the society we live in, one can say that transition from industrial to modern and postmodern society up to now has led to a change of the roles well established by our society, namely women perform men’s tasks and they get jobs which seem specific to them. Removing stereotypes in society need strong efforts and readiness for change.

 

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