Wednesday, 13 June 2012


What is a stereotype? Stereotypes are qualities assigned to groups of people related to their race, nationality, and sexual orientation, to name a few. Because they generalize groups of people in manners that lead to discrimation and ignore the diversity within groups, stereotypes should be avoided.


All African American are good at sports.

Italian and French are the best lovers.

All teenagers are rebels.

Blond girls are unintelligent. 

Spain is a country made of gypsies dancing flamenco everywhere.

Old people are grumpy.

Any time you group races or individuals together and make a judgment about them without knowing them, this is an example of a stereotype. Racial remarks, sexual remarks, and gender remarks are the biggest stereotypes.

Stereotyping is not only hurtful, it is also wrong. Even if it is correct in some cases, constantly putting someone down based on your preconceived perceptions will not encourage them to succeed. 

Media stereotypes are inevitable, especially in the advertising, entertainment and news industries, which need as wide an audience as possible to quickly understand information. 

Stereotypes act like codes that give audiences a quick, common understanding of a person or group of people.
Stereotypes reduce a wide range of differences in people to simplistic categorizations. They can transform assumptions about particular groups of people into “realities”. They can be used to justify the position of those in power or perpetuate social prejudice and inequality.

In addition, stereotyping can encourage bullying behavior that children carry into adulthood. 

Stereotyping can also lead people to live lives driven by hate, and can cause the victims of those stereotypes to be driven by fear. For example, many gays and lesbians are afraid to admit their sexuality in fear of being judged.

More often than not, the groups being stereotyped have little to say about how they are represented.

We should educate ourselves and people around us that stereotyping often is the result of general ignorance of another person's culture customs and norms. We can avoid it by learning about differences and similarities between the cultures.


A. Find words in the text that mean:

  1. One of the main groups that human can be divided into according to their physical differences, for example the colour of their skin.                                    
  2. The practice of treating someone or particular group in society less fairly than others.                                                                                       
  3. The ability to make sensible decisions after carefully considering the best thing to do                                                                                       
  4. The main ways people receive information and entertainment as television, radio, newspapers, and internet.                                                                         
  5. A belief or feeling that something is true, although there is no proof. (PLURAL)                                                                                                           
  6. The bad feeling that you have when you are in danger or when a particular thing frightens you.                                                                           

B. True or false? Correct the wrong ones 
  1. We only stereotype people when we have known them. 
  2. Advertising, entertainment and news industries never stereotype. 
  3. There is no relation between stereotyping and bullying. 
  4. We cannot avoid stereotyping.
  5. We should know more about other people´s cultures.
C. Are these stereotypes or realities?
  1. Girls are only concerned about physical appearance.
  2. Only anorexic women can become models.
  3. Some teenagers are rebels.
  4. Girls are not good at sports.
  5. Chinese people always eat rice.
  6. If somebody wear belts, belt buckles, jewlery, sunglasses, and hats they are part of a rock band, they are depressed or they take drugs. 
  7. Some children don't eat vegetables.
  8. Men drive cars better than women.

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