Stereotyping in modern society
According to the dictionary, stereotyping is to make a stereotype of something or someone, or to characterize or regard as a stereotype. This can be done so by regarding someone by age, gender, race, religion, etc. This concept or action has been done and heard of in our society for many hundreds of years and it includes the entire world. No country in the world, i would say, has never experienced stereotyping before and is not constantly in battle to fight against this unfair action. Not many people know this, but stereotyping can be positive too, as majority of the population thinks only about the negative stereotyping.
Due to this unfortunate fact, i want to start off by giving an example of a negative stereotype in our mass media. Although, before we start off with our example, i would like to state that one of the most heard of and affecting stereotypes happen in the media, mainly due to the fact that it is a big part of our society. Also because of the fact that millions and millions of information is in broadcast in all sectors of the media nowadays, influencing and affecting the society in many different ways, even if people don’t realize or recognize it.
As we have talked a lot about gender stereotyping in our class, i would like to mention this negative stereotype first. Gender stereotypes have been part of our society probably since the world was created with our early civilization creating roles for women and men, where men would work to pay the bills while women would stay at home and clean the dishes and the house. This is one of the most known stereotypes in society and is still constant in our modern world today. We can see this a lot with toy companies, where a company will only produce toys like dolls, houses, kitchen toys, etc only for girls with more female like colors. In the other hand, boy’s toys would have more male colors with a darker tone and only on toys like action figures, toy guns, toy cars. Basically these companies are influencing people to believe that girls will only like (or like more) toys that have more pink and light colors, and mainly enjoy toys like doll houses, dolls, etc. while boys will like more cars, toy guns, action figures, etc. that have darker and more “manly” colors. The popular toy company Hasbro, for example, on their website have a section for girls and for boys where you can see that they have defined that they have action figures, toy guns, etc. and you can not find these in the girls sections. Subconsciously implying what boys and girls should like.
For my next example, I would like to take some time to talk about my home country, Brazil. In my country, there is a country wide exam taken by approximately 10 million students every year, and the grade you achieve in this exam is the grade used to enter public universities, which have the best education in the country. In most,if not all, public universities there is a race quota, which basically states that 50% of the available spots for students are strictly reserved for black people and the required grade is lower for these people. This not only implies that black people need help getting into these universities by reserving the spots but also implies that black people in Brazil have less of a capacity and are less capable, mentally. This matter first came to appear in a forum or blog written in Brazil and later became a petition throughout the entire country and was voted on, through the internet by a big part of population. Back in the day, people voted yes in order to help the underprivileged in Brazil but later understood the mistake they were doing by not only subconsciously undermining the black race of Brazil but also by stereotyping that the black people of Brazil were poorer and “dumber”. A new digital (via internet) petition was put forth a few years later but was shut down, until this day, it is a problem that the population talks about a lot and is still pending any change.
When it comes to stereotyping in the media, no matter what platform or sector of the industry it is, they will always be present in people’s lives, either subconsciously or straight forward and easy to detect. In my opinion, a way to fight it or face it, is by educating the society in how to identify it and what are the impacts or influences it is trying to pass to the population. This way, people will be able to react to it how ever they feel is necessary or better for them in order to not let it impact negatively or even influence that person in a way in which they did not want them to.