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Stereotyping and Individuality

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#1
Vesper

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So, I had a new idea for a debate because that last one's been up there for a while. Don't know whether this'll work or not, but I'll give it a shot.

Many people see stereotyping in a negative light, they say that they don't want to be stereotyped into a select group or category. The concept of this is sometimes being confused with the idea of prejudice, and they are clearly not the same thing. Stereotype actually comes from the Greek to mean "solid impression" (thanks Wikipedia!) and it wasn't used in terms of people until the early 20th Century, having been a printing phrase before then.

Lots of us have been stereotyped in our time, and we do it ourselves every day in order to keep ourselves safe. You hear it on the news when little old ladies say they avoid gangs of youths on streets corners because they fear that they are dangerous. This is stereotyping (the old lady is placing these people into a group and categorising them in her head) but she is also prejudiced against the conclusion she comes to.

None of us like being stereotyped because we all like to see ourselves as individuals but in a world that is becoming more obsessed with making things quicker and easy, do you think individuality is being lost? We are the "facebook generation", do you think that leaves you much room to be yourself? (THIS IS SUPPOSED TO BE A STEREOTYPE) Is being an individual harder when you're a teenager, or when you're an adult? Does the world have time to view you as an individual, rather than in a category which in then judges you by? Is stereotyping useful? Can it truly be separated from prejudice?

Can a mod please pin this in place of the one already pinned that's been inactive for a while?
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#2
anarchistgirlscout

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Heh. There's a little stereotyping going on in this topic right off the bat. You say, "We are the facebook generation," but I'm definitely older than persons who would fit into that category. So, maybe you're stereotyping GDC users a bit?
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#3
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Heh. There's a little stereotyping going on in this topic right off the bat. You say, "We are the facebook generation," but I'm definitely older than persons who would fit into that category. So, maybe you're stereotyping GDC users a bit?


I was going to put in another one for the adult generation on here but couldn't think off the bat what to class you as without being intensely rude as the media often is. If you were to, shock horror, stereotype yourself, what would you be?

I am part of the facebook generation, not of the adult one, so I would be unable to class you without insulting some faction. Another problem with stereotyping.

#4
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I don't think stereotyping is a good thing. In most cases, it reinforces oppression as it allows people to judge others who fall into a certain "category." And who really can determine what category you fit in? Let's use bisexuality as an example. Bisexual people are still viewed as repressed, greedy, promiscuous or undecided. It's not the case at all, your skin colour, gender, sexuality etc. does not define you as a whole but when put under a stereotype people assume they have you all figured out. They dictate how you should behave or how others believe you should.

Usually, it is harmful. Using bisexuality as an example again, a bisexual person may find it difficult to be in a relationship because of the way they're viewed and there existing a lack of trust on them based on false presumptions.

Lots of us have been stereotyped in our time, and we do it ourselves every day in order to keep ourselves safe. You hear it on the news when little old ladies say they avoid gangs of youths on streets corners because they fear that they are dangerous. This is stereotyping (the old lady is placing these people into a group and categorising them in her head) but she is also prejudiced against the conclusion she comes to.

This itself can send a negative current though. What if a police officer does the same as those old ladies? That'd be generalising on an entire generation which may lead to charges being held against the wrong people. There are many situations where we decide that stereotyping is enough and not put our full focus on the person as an individual. It's not that individuality is lost but it is being repressed.
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#5
Radithor

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We are the "facebook generation", do you think that leaves you much room to be yourself? Is being an individual harder when you're a teenager, or when you're an adult? Does the world have time to view you as an individual, rather than in a category which in then judges you by? Is stereotyping useful? Can it truly be separated from prejudice?

Can a mod please pin this in place of the one already pinned that's been inactive for a while?

Personally speaking, I am not a member of the "Facebook Generation". At least, I certianly do not consider myself to be. I don't have an account as I wish to avoid Facebook drama. I don't even like being rolled into the "Technology Generation" generalization of my agegroup - Modern technology has altered many things I hold close beyond recognition. (Art, music, literature, language...) However, I still get rolled into the group of people who support this technology. So assuming we're all members of the "Facebook Generation", or at least assuming we consider ourselves that way is a stereotype in itself.

I have never had problems with being stereotyped as I do not concern myself with such labels. Sure, I've had people call me punk, goth, hippie, emo... but I don't give a shit. If people are more concerned with what box I fit into than who I actually am beyond that, they're not even worth my time being around.
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#6
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I don't think stereotyping is a good thing. In most cases, it reinforces oppression as it allows people to judge others who fall into a certain "category." And who really can determine what category you fit in? Let's use bisexuality as an example. Bisexual people are still viewed as repressed, greedy, promiscuous or undecided. It's not the case at all, your skin colour, gender, sexuality etc. does not define you as a whole but when put under a stereotype people assume they have you all figured out. They dictate how you should behave or how others believe you should.

Usually, it is harmful. Using bisexuality as an example again, a bisexual person may find it difficult to be in a relationship because of the way they're viewed and there existing a lack of trust on them based on false presumptions.


This itself can send a negative current though. What if a police officer does the same as those old ladies? That'd be generalising on an entire generation which may lead to charges being held against the wrong people. There are many situations where we decide that stereotyping is enough and not put our full focus on the person as an individual. It's not that individuality is lost but it is being repressed.


I agreed with everything in this. On the other hand don't you think it might be useful say, if you were at a concert and you saw a guy staggering towards you, you'd immediately see he was drunk and stereotype him into a category that you should avoid, therefore in defence?

Personally speaking, I am not a member of the "Facebook Generation". At least, I certianly do not consider myself to be. I don't have an account as I wish to avoid Facebook drama. I don't even like being rolled into the "Technology Generation" generalization of my agegroup - Modern technology has altered many things I hold close beyond recognition. (Art, music, literature, language...) However, I still get rolled into the group of people who support this technology. So assuming we're all members of the "Facebook Generation", or at least assuming we consider ourselves that way is a stereotype in itself.


It has and that does sadden me (particularly the literature part), but regardless of whether you put yourself in that category or not, do you think others do? And therefore, outside your group of close personal friends, is it difficult to show your individuality?

#7
Yussef

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I agreed with everything in this. On the other hand don't you think it might be useful say, if you were at a concert and you saw a guy staggering towards you, you'd immediately see he was drunk and stereotype him into a category that you should avoid, therefore in defence?

Why would you have to stereotype him though? I see that situation as quite different. It'd be pretty normal to feel unsafe depending on how the guy is approaching you, and being drunk already adds onto a certain instability in said situation. It's not that I view all drunk men as dangerous, just that possibly particular one.

Modern technology has altered many things I hold close beyond recognition. (Art, music, literature, language...)

Don't tell me you are referring to e-readers!
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#8
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Why would you have to stereotype him though? I see that situation as quite different. It'd be pretty normal to feel unsafe depending on how the guy is approaching you, and being drunk already adds onto a certain instability in said situation. It's not that I view all drunk men as dangerous, just that possibly particular one.


Actually I suppose you're right thinking about it. I don't view all drunk men as dangerous...

So do you suppose that's a confusion between self-defence mechanisms and stereotyping? And do you reckon that goes on in society?

#9
Radithor

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It has and that does sadden me (particularly the literature part), but regardless of whether you put yourself in that category or not, do you think others do? And therefore, outside your group of close personal friends, is it difficult to show your individuality?

Others certianly do roll me into that group. However, it doesn't matter to me what-so-ever. The lables and stereotypes people put on me are literally meaningless to me. If they can't see me for who I am because I inherantly "should" be a certian way, then their opinion on me instantly receives no regard. I don't think I have problem showing my individuality at all. I dress outside of the accepted norms anyway, so I doubt people look at me and think "this person has an iPhone and goes online with it constantly." Whatever they do think apon me may or may not be correct. If I perchance talk to these people and they think something of me, I'll correct them. But no, I really do not feel it infringes on my individuality at all. I am who I am and I will do what I wish. If anyone puts me into a group because of those things, it is their problem and not something wrong with my own individuality.

Don't tell me you are referring to e-readers!

Maybe. *innocent face*
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#10
Yussef

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Actually I suppose you're right thinking about it. I don't view all drunk men as dangerous...

So do you suppose that's a confusion between self-defence mechanisms and stereotyping? And do you reckon that goes on in society?

I think there is a confusion between when self defence mechanisms should be used because many people still can't quite grasp that discrimination in the form of sexism or racism exists. Which..I suppose ties in with stereotyping too. I don't know, I'm tired and you confused me slightly. :p
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#11
Vesper

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I think there is a confusion between when self defence mechanisms should be used because many people still can't quite grasp that discrimination in the form of sexism or racism exists. Which..I suppose ties in with stereotyping too. I don't know, I'm tired and you confused me slightly. http://www.greendaycommunity.org/public/...


It's alright. :p I think I'm beginning to confuse myself! :)

#12
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Maybe. *innocent face*

We definitely need a debate on this. Oh my god.
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#13
Radithor

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We definitely need a debate on this. Oh my god.

I could debate that one topic for hours.

#14
Floyd Pinkerton

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Stereotypes can suck my dick. All they really do is offend people and cause harm.
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#15
Yussef

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Stereotypes can suck my dick. All they really do is offend people and cause harm.

WHY WOULD YOU WANT SOMETHING OFFENSIVE AND MEAN TO PLEASURE YOU HOW HYPOCRITICAL
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#16
CaesarSalad

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i'll pin it up :) thanks for starting a new debate, bryony.

i'll come back with thoughts when i'm awake.

#17
Amanda

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I'm gonna get this one in before a certain non-stereotypical ginger pikey




#18
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Stereotyping definition is actually - "something conforming to a fixed or general pattern". What's harmful about that? Surely it's only harmful when people confuse it with prejudice?

#19
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Stereotyping definition is actually - "something conforming to a fixed or general pattern". What's harmful about that? Surely it's only harmful when people confuse it with prejudice?

This is very difficult to apply to real life because you are grouping a person within a certain category based on assumption. Which in most cases is harmful. I think stereotypes arise from prejudice. Such as grouping gay men with flamboyancy , bisexuality with a lack of commitment, or low pants with vandalising.
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#20
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or low pants with vandalising.


Or being kicked off planes. Sorry. Had to be done.



My parents stereotype people who where there jeans round their knees as idiots, but is that harmful? Because to be honest, I don't want to see their off-white underwear...
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#21
Amanda

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*
POPULAR

My parents stereotype people who where there jeans round their knees as idiots, but is that harmful? Because to be honest, I don't want to see their off-white underwear...


I stereotype these people as being likely to have cold arses in winter.
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#22
CaesarSalad

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My parents stereotype people who where there jeans round their knees as idiots, but is that harmful? Because to be honest, I don't want to see their off-white underwear...

that's not stereotyping; that's fashion sense. stereotyping would be if you automatically assumed that person is going to mug you because they're obviously a gangster because people who wear their pants around their knees are all gangsters.

#23
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Or being kicked off planes. Sorry. Had to be done.



My parents stereotype people who where there jeans round their knees as idiots, but is that harmful? Because to be honest, I don't want to see their off-white underwear...

What about people stereotyping blondes as stupid? It all comes down to being verbal abuse which hurts too. So it is harmful.
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#24
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What about people stereotyping blondes as stupid? It all comes down to being verbal abuse which hurts too. So it is harmful.


In that case. Can anything be done about it? In a larger sense of the word?

Spoiler


#25
melissawebster

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Others certianly do roll me into that group. However, it doesn't matter to me what-so-ever. The lables and stereotypes people put on me are literally meaningless to me. If they can't see me for who I am because I inherantly "should" be a certian way, then their opinion on me instantly receives no regard. I don't think I have problem showing my individuality at all. I dress outside of the accepted norms anyway, so I doubt people look at me and think "this person has an iPhone and goes online with it constantly." Whatever they do think apon me may or may not be correct. If I perchance talk to these people and they think something of me, I'll correct them. But no, I really do not feel it infringes on my individuality at all. I am who I am and I will do what I wish. If anyone puts me into a group because of those things, it is their problem and not something wrong with my own individuality. Maybe. *innocent face*


Yeah, that's exactly how I see it. It's their problem and not mine, so I don't really worry about it. And I'm stereotyped all the freaking time just because I'm from Alabama. It ranges from racist to uneducated to misinformed to Republican/conservative. Oh wait, that's redundant. Sorry! :D

And this isn't just from people who live outside of the South. Even Southerners stereotype each other. It's pretty common for a racist who doesn't know me to tell a racist joke to me because they assume I'm a racist too just because I'm white and therefore "one of them." And OMG! You should hear the stuff they say about President Obama around me. When they realize I'm not laughing, I'm quickly shunted to the side as a "librul." Ditto for my political views. The people I encounter on a daily basis are offended by them and completely intolerant, but it doesn't even occur to them that their own political views offend me, so I'm subjected to them quite regularly and have to be the diplomatic one. Oh wait, I'm also stereotyped on religion. Like I must have one, and I must be pretty militant about it.

I get that a stereotype is what it is because there is some truth in it, but I try to see beneath the surface of who the person is inside, because I had to fight pretty hard and on a daily basis to attain individuality and be comfortable with not fitting in. So I have to figure other people are complex and probably had to do the same, or at the very least, deserve the benefit of the doubt until they prove me wrong.

Edited by melissawebster, 29 September 2011 - 10:38 AM.


#26
fukingcounterstrike

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This is very difficult to apply to real life because you are grouping a person within a certain category based on assumption. Which in most cases is harmful. I think stereotypes arise from prejudice. Such as grouping gay men with flamboyancy , bisexuality with a lack of commitment, or low pants with vandalising.

We can't do much in life without making a couple of assumptions first, as long as we keep our head on straight to realize that that is not how things will particularly play out. If it is on such a minimal scale as person to person, yeah, stereotyping really doesn't fit the bill because one is capable of having the one on one interaction and it is not necessary to make assumptions cause you will be capable to form your own opinion through your own interaction. I see stereotyping as I guess to say beneficial, when larger numbers are involved and one doesn't have such an intimate interaction because one really can't go on much else.

Your list of stereotypes I really haven't heard before honestly, thus I can't really consider them a stereotype. I have often found in general most stereotypes are true, but it's only when one is able to get on a more personal level that you are able to pick around more and more details.

#27
GreenRanger

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I think there's a difference between stereotyping and disallowing respect. I could care less what you call me or consider me, as long as you're respectful to me when it counts. I don't think that stereotyping is always a bad thing, especially since there's no way you could properly get to know EVERYONE you ever see regularly. Since we can't do that we do need a way to kind of generalize our views on people. The bottom line is respect though. You can sort people however the hell you want as long as you're not an asshole.
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#28
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I like the idea for this debate :good:
I've never seen stereotypes in a favourable light, and I mean that kind of stereotypes like "you're Italian ==> pizza, pasta, mafia!" so many people do links like that, so i use to see stereotypes as a result of ignorance. I could be a victim of stereotype as well, a lot of people point at me saying "the freak Green Day fan!" and that could be a great thing, cause I'm proud to be so, but on the other hand is restrictive...obviously I have other passions, hobbies, I have a character, though the "Green Day fan part" is one of the biggest and maybe most visible part of me...I'm taking this just as an exemple...
I don't know about the Facebook argument, I could be part of the F generation but I don't have a FB account, and right now I don't want to have it...but I can't see how it should help us being ourselves...at the contrary, I see people who are one thing on FB, and another thing in the real life...

#29
Amanda

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Old lady needs magnifying glass to read the above post.

Edit: thank you, now I can see it :)
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#30
Disapperingirl

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Old lady needs magnifying glass to read the above post.

Edit: thank you, now I can see it http://www.greendaycommunity.org/public/...

:D



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