Multicultural Law Enforcement Stereotypes

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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…show more content…
The book Multicultural Law Enforcement defines stereotyping as follows: “to believe... People will conform to a pattern or manner with all other individual members of that group…” (32). Indeed stereotypes do come from some truth, however, these truths undergo through excessive exaggeration which in turn results in the formation of a stereotype. Stereotypes can be negative and or positive and helpful or inapt. On the other hand, misconceptions are based on false information and are assumptions made merely because a person belongs to a certain group. Another mistake regarding misconceptions is referring to them as prejudice or discrimination. Prejudice requires an attitude, it involves mentally creating judgments of someone before getting to know the facts (which are usually negative). Discrimination requires an action. Regardless of the differences between all these concepts, every group undergoes through them and it is important to discuss them and their drawbacks in order to reduce their…show more content…
In a Psychology Today 's’ article, the author Annie Murphy Paul informs that in the past in the field of psychology, it was believed that only certain biased people held stereotypes. Recent research, conducted by Mahzarin Banaji, a psychology professor at Yale University, showed that we all hold stereotypes just as we do prejudice. In fact, the research showed that we are highly stereotypical at the unconscious level of ourselves, which is described to be as serious as holding “...as many biases as a neo-Nazi skinhead…” (3). The cognitive approach has also argued that we all categorize people and things, and within this process stereotypes are formed (9). Another explanation is the view of social psychologists of in-groups and out-groups; this idea states that people perceive their in-group (the group to which they belong) as better in every aspect than out-group members (members of any groups to which they do not belong) (10). Stereotypes have proven to be apart of all humans, whether the person thinks they hold prejudice or not. Whether or not a person belongs to a minority group they are stereotyped. A common resulting problem of stereotypes is the effect it has on the individuals that are stereotyped. In some cases, self-fulfilling prophecy may occur. For example, young individuals are commonly stereotyped as being lazy and always being in the streets, in

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