Combating Intolerance, Stereotype and Prejudice

1346 Words6 Pages
In the modern world, it is easy to approach people from different cultures or different societies. Usually, we often react in two separate ways to those things we see differently. We can either accept them (tolerance) or oppose them (intolerance). This essay’s purpose is to clarify some issues related to intolerance and some ways of resolving it in order to help the readers have a more proper understanding of these terms. To begin with, it is essential to understand the definition of tolerance and intolerance. First, according to UNESCO’s Declaration of Principles on Tolerance (1995), tolerance is defined as “respect and appreciation of the rich variety of our world's cultures, our forms of expression and ways of being human. Tolerance…show more content…
To be more specific, it is the term to demonstrate the erroneous overgeneralization of other people based on a false assumption from media or from personal outlook rather than on facts. (Agius & Ambrosewicz, 2003, p. 32). Stereotypes convince people that if one society or a group of people shares some values and beliefs; every single member of that society will do the same. Furthermore, stereotypes can be a fixed and rigid notion that people believe in without questioning the authenticity of it. Consequently, stereotypes can become a huge social problem since they blind people to the uniqueness of each individual and to cause them believe that the false conception can be applied to everyone. To put it differently, stereotypes are “sets of convictions associated with a group, generalized to all its members” (Agius & Ambrosewicz, 2003, p. 33). For instance, Asians mostly think that Westerners are not able to use chopsticks. Nevertheless, this stereotype turns out to be inaccurate as many Westerners pride themselves in using chopsticks skilfully. “I cannot count the number of times I’ve been told I use Japanese chopsticks with skill and grace” (Wright, 2008). Furthermore, as said by Aliasis (2013), “it's true that chopsticks aren't our eating tool of choice, and many people in the West have never touched a pair. But Asian food, particularly Chinese food, is extremely…show more content…
Firstly, in the areas of decreasing stereotypes, focusing on the individual and having an open-minded attitude towards the uniqueness of different cultures may be beneficial to avoid stereotypes. (Agius & Ambrosewicz, 2003, p. 34) As stereotypes are unreasonable overgeneralizations of all members in one certain group, concentrating on the uniqueness of each individual might be helpful for people who stereotype others to recognize their misleading conceptions and to respect each individual of the stereotyped group. Additionally, being willing to learn more about the cultures and beliefs of people from different societies or different groups is considered an appropriate solution as well. When people stereotype others, they seem to hold on tightly to their stubborn beliefs and assumptions. Consequently, when people agree to learn more about different cultures, they will probably gain more knowledge about other people and other cultures, and from that point, they will perhaps become aware of their previous untrue perceptions and change their
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