Stereotyping is a widely held but fixed and oversimplified image or idea of a particular type of person or thing. According to the stereotype content model adapted by Susan Fiske, there are four stereotypes: paternalistic, admiration, envious, and contemptuous.
It is the most common and conventional thing we observe in our day to day lives. There are numerous stances of stereotypes we witness now and then. Each of us can easily relate to this topic as it is one of the most conventional things. Human beings tend to stereotype everything, from human behaviour to a non-living things, which is a form of generalisation.
The problem of stereotyping is that it is getting intense day by day. Being outspoken doesn’t mean that one doesn’t respect somebody who deserves respect. Getting a tattoo doesn’t stop somebody from being a ‘sanskari’.
In Indian society, not making round tortillas is a certificate for your non-eligibility to get married, but that doesn’t mean that you are less worthy. Speaking fluent English does not prove your talent. There are endless such examples we can quote.
Generalising things is normalised in a way. It is not considered a negative source. It can do damage to such an extent that no one can even imagine. Whenever we talk about people from a particular region, we assume that a person from a so and so place would be arrogant or selfish. Now without visiting that specific place, how would one know about people belonging to that particular place. The only question that arises here is how someone can be sure that they pass comments on the whole region based on meeting an individual or a group of people.
Every human being is born with their individuality; however, it cannot be proved. Their behaviour should also be based on their belongingness to any country, race, class, ethnicity or sex.
The primary reason for such conclusions can be that human beings are social beings, and they get influenced by each other and therefore perform in a certain way. Indeed, it is not factual and is merely opinions. It is good to have opinions but not releasing when to stop imposing views on others as facts is the need of the hour.
Bhawna Mehlawat is a researcher and writer from India.
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