Pros And Cons Of Stereotyping

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When people hear the word stereotype they tend to immediately think discrimination, racism, and/or gender inequality. Naturally these are dreadful terms, however, stereotyping has drawbacks and positive aspects. For example, in law enforcement, it is important to hold certain stereotypes such as if an officer spots a group of people wearing all red garments, across the street, he could keep himself and others safe by staying hypervigilant and mentally categorizing the group as norteno gang members. On the other hand, if the officers’ response is too extreme such as pulling out his gun, pointing at them, and asking searching them with no real reason; further if the group happens to be composed of African-Americans he may come out as racist which would result in bigger problems. Evidently, stereotypes can be helpful but they can also be harmful. That is how when we first meet or see a person we create ideas in our mind about those people, even before they speak a word. Within these ideas, we categorize this person in a group, whether religiously, ethnicity, economic status and so on; we expect them to behave according to our beliefs of the group to which we assigned them to. Common victims of stereotyping are the members of the group of “immigrants,” they are perceived as lazy, criminals, and dumb, however, it is merely a stereotype because they have been found to be hard working, family dedicated, and wise. There is common confusion between the words “stereotypes” and

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