Stereotypes Jeffrey Hill, April 2005
Dictionary definition • “A fixed general image, characteristic, etc. that a lot of people believe to represent a particular type of person or thing.” (Collins Cobuild Dictionary)
Stereotyping • When someone claims that members of another culture all share the same, often inferior or offensive characteristics.
Types of stereotypes • racial e.g. Red Indians in cowboy films are seen as bloodthirsty savages • gender e.g. women are bad drivers • age e.g. old people are said to be very forgetful • religion e.g. Catholics families have a lot of children • profession e.g. all lawyers are greedy
Heaven and Hell • Heaven is where the police are British, the cooks are French, the mechanics are German, the lovers are Italian and it is all organised by the Swiss. • Hell is where the police are German, the cooks are English, the mechanics are French, the lovers are Swiss, and it is all organised by the Italians.
Where do stereotypes come from? • Parents and family • The media • Friends • Education (school, university) • Travel • Laziness • Fear • Envy • A sense of superiority • Lack of experience of people, etc.