The Theory Of Stereotyping In The Bahamian Society

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“Stereotypes are belief about the characteristics or attributes and behaviors of members of certain groups. They are also theories about how and why certain attributes go together” (Hilton, von Hippel,1996 pg). Persons are assigned into different categories as a form of organizing society into simpler manageable groups. As it depicts the social attitude towards others that may or may not fit into another person’s standings, it can be positive or negative and can occur involuntary at times. Labeling is a social phenomenon that has been in existence from the beginning of time. Individuals that share similar interests, needs and characteristics generally socialize amongst each other as they share familiar experiences. However, society may further class them according to one characteristic, that isn’t shared amongst the group’s majority and may force members of the said group to conform to the stereotype given.
In the Bahamian society the prevalent of negative and inferior stereotyping are typical normal occurrences that often go unnoticed. Once the label has been applied it is then formed into minds and played out in scripts that are delivered. According to Lasorsa and Dai (2007, pg 282) stereotypes arise from the need for a positive social identity with an in-group which identifies an out-group with a relatively devalued contrast. These out groups are considered inferior and may be seen as posing a threat to those in the in groups. No one is born with the ability to

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