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Do you believe in stereotypes?

I don't consider myself a racist, however I do believe in certain stereotypes. I usually give people the benefit of the doubt until they prove me wrong, however I worked in an industry where I dealt with people on a very personal level and I gotta say, I was hardly ever proven wrong.

How do I get over being jaded by my industry? I love all people regardless of their ethnicity or religion, etc. but I can't seem to stop stereotyping after I've met someone and shared dialogue with them.

Tue. Jul 10, 8:42pm

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Of course I don't believe in stereotypes. At least you're a big enough person emotionally to admit you do. But the fact that you're not blaming the individual people, or even the industry itself, for "proving" these stereotypes to you is alone hyper-judgmental and, frankly, ignorant. Wanting to be a loving, open person and actually being a loving, open person are completely different things.

I'm not trying to attack you, I'm just trying to spin this so you can see how it looks from the outside.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007, 9:26 PM

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I don't think you need to get over your stereotypes. I think stereotypes are there for a reason. I know the word is sooo taboo, but think about it. We devepope instinct with experience, and the past determines the future. We learn how to react and interact with people based on past experience with them. This is nature's way of allowing us to adapt to different things and different environments. It prepares us for future esperiences. Accept your stereotypes, especially if they are hardly proven wrong.

For instance, let me give an example. A stereotype of a black man in baggy clothes is that he is dangerous. If I am walking down a dark alley and such a man is following me, that stereotype may save my life by encouraging me to be afraid and walk faster to a more busy street.

I know I will get sooo much criticism for saying this. But streotypes are there for a reason.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007, 9:43 PM

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Hey 9:43

Any person following you in a dark alley is someone to be wary of male or female, black, white, asian, hispanic, arab, martian, whatever... that's common sense.

You're getting criticism right now because you're obviously a moron.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007, 11:08 PM

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stereotypes are based on cultures or should i say some people's perception of certain cultures. granted there are times that some of the stereotypes just seem to always ring true, but as humans we can help but to judge people the instant we meet them. Animals are the same way...until a dog can sniff another dogs but, he doesnt know anything about him, but he assumes that he can be a potential enemy because he's a dog and they are known to bite. Look at it from the human perspective - you dont know a person until you actually spend some time with them, and smell their butt (hee hee).

Tuesday, July 10, 2007, 11:23 PM

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Stereotypes help build these nifty walls around your perception! It's soooo cool! You know? Like looking through a tunnel!! You know? Tunnel vision.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007, 12:13 AM

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I love the poster who put "Of course I don't believe in stereotypes."

Why not, I wonder?

From an anthropological point of view, stereotypes are critical. Ever seen the movie _Gung Ho_? It includes a hysterical scene in which an American businessman makes a complete idiot of himself because he thinks the Asian businessmen he's meeting with are just regular guys. Which they are, but they aren't regular American guys, and he makes mistake after mistake because he doesn't understand cultural differences--which, incidentally, are described in stereotypes.

Whomever said "A smile is the same in any language" didn't understand much about cultural differences, either. In some "languages" a smile is a threat, and in others it means someone doesn't quite trust you. These are cultural perceptions and behaviors that we can describe as stereotypes that will help us understand those of other cultures.

I'm not saying all stereotyping is good, but demonizing it is denying the ways in which it helps us negotiate the wider world. Knowing what generally makes people from certain cultures uncomfortable, and what generally makes them comfortable, what they consider rude and what they consider important, gives us a starting point for relating to people from other cultures--even if the stereotype doesn't hold true for every single member of the culture.

So I stereotype the British as having a large personal space, and I try not to get in it, even though most Americans have a smaller personal boundary. And I recognize that most Middle Easterners have a very small personal boundary, so I try not to be freaked out when my Arab friends (I had a lot of them in college) stood right in my face to talk to me. I avoid mussing the hair of Indonesians. I always tried to be more than usually polite and quiet around my friend Joanie's parents, who were first-gen Japanese Americans--at first because of a stereotype of what I thought Japanese culture was like, and later because I realized it really *did* make Joanie's mom nervous when I bounced in all exhuberance and didn't take care to acknowledge her and her husband properly.

Stereotypes can and are misused all the time, but being able to make general statements about a culture can be a good step toward being able to exist within that culture without making an idiot of yourself.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007, 12:49 AM

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I believe the OP was making a generalization about a race of people and using the word "stereotype" to avoid the word "racism."

Wednesday, July 11, 2007, 1:38 AM

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Stereotypes are learned and is not an instinct. It creates fear and unecessary boundaries.

The fact that you believe that you are never proven wrong shows how strongly you believe in those stereotypes. It shows that you look for clues to support what you believe instead of trying to get to know that individual person. Stereotypes are a generalized and extremely limited view of groups of people. And I don't think stereotypes are the same as cultural differences.

everyone makes judments, it is human nature, but get to know someone before you categorize them.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007, 5:12 AM

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stereotyping is a tough word, and they exist to be broken. I was walking in SoHo in New York a couple years ago and three black youngsters in baggy pants, gold teeth and chains approached me to ask a question. They were dressed like the Wu Tang Clan. I was very nervous, given other experience I had had to be honest. They walked up to me and one of them asked "excuse me sir, could you tell me where the nearest Commerce Bank is?"

Wednesday, July 11, 2007, 8:20 AM

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Love that!

8:20, great comment, lol...

Wednesday, July 11, 2007, 10:36 AM

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