Any informed and educated person would know the damage that stereotypes and prejudice can cause to society. But on the other hand, can you imagine a society that works without any cliche or pre-conceived notions?
Why Should A Person Avoid Stereotyping Others?
Working with certain hackneyed ideas or conventionalizing someone or something can have dire consequences. Starting from our inability to appreciate someone’s individuality to harboring discriminatory and selective attitudes against others, stereotypes have their own range of disadvantages and dangers.
The oppressive institutions accommodating racial bias, crime against women, attack on the minority, jingoism, and supremacist agendas result from centuries of stereotypes, ultimately leading to authoritarian and harsh treatment of the outnumbered.
Studies have shown that small and seemingly insignificant biases that one may have or face can transform into outward behavior if one does not keep a check on them.
These are the conscious ones. The unconscious ones tend to surge at the most unexpected moments, for instance, situations of crisis or extreme pressure.
What About A World Without Stereotypes?
Many of us would love to live in a world without bias or prejudice. But is it even possible? Stereotypes, as we know, compartmentalize oversimplified images of a person or thing.
People prefer it because it saves them the time and labor to actually process more information to be able to picture a less prejudiced image.
And we love shortcuts, right? Is it not easier to assume things about your new classmates or workmates than to talk to them before forming any judgment about them?
Moreover, we are conditioned by our environment most of the time. So more than an intellectual bias, sometimes the stereotype emanates out of your surroundings, which then, over time, leaves a mark on our impressionable minds.
Unless and until you can make a conscious effort to remove that bias, you are pretty much stuck with it for the rest of your lives.
Besides, the hierarchical and elitist society that we live in does not allow us to do away with biases. Stereotypes are one of the many effective ways to keep the pyramidal structure of society in place.
It allows them to bear prejudice against the unprivileged and perpetuate a vicious cycle of economic and social injustice. Because once the upper strata of the society gets rid of the historical bias against their social inferiors, that would mean wider opportunities for them and the possibility of their upward mobility in the social hierarchy.
Biases and prejudices have served the political vendetta of the majoritarian attitudes many times in history. So much so that we have still somehow not been able to disassociate ourselves from it completely.
Therefore, a world without stereotypes seems more like a utopia to me. However, it is possible to be mentally and socially conscious and keep our stereotypes in check. As members of a global society, we must try to rise by lifting others and not bringing someone down.
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Sources: Blogger’s Own Opinion
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The post is tagged under: stereotype, gender, race, prejudice, social, economic injustice, inferior, politics, propaganda, free from stereotypes, bias, caste, class, hegemony, short-cuts, cultural surroundings, mental faculty, oppressive institutions, insult, unconscious, stressful situations, oversimplification, judgement