The Risk of Stereotypes

In our daily lives, stereotypes will always exist. Usually, people think that we shouldn’t have stereotypes about something concerned with our lives, because they think that stereotypes cause misunderstanding or discrimination. However, I think whether stereotypes are helpful in our life or not depends on the situation. Of course it is a fact that everyone uses stereotypes in their daily life, because there are stereotypes within everyone. It is hard for a person to see the individuality of each person. In the article “The Stereotype of Stereotypes” (Bruce Bower, Science News, June 29, 1996), psychologist Yueh-Ting Lee says, “The most effective way to improve intergroup relations is to admit and to discuss frankly the existing differences at the same time explaining that there is nothing wrong with being different.” It seems true. Clearly stereotyping requires more study in order to live comfortably in the world as it is. First of all, when people apply stereotypes, the information that they end up with is limited. A strong opinion about anything makes for a person to learning new information. For example, the stereotype that smoking a cigarette is bad for our health may make a person not smoke. However, there are pros and cons in everything in our lives. Smoking a cigarette may be unhealthy, but it is true that by smoking a cigarette, a person can feel relaxed and relieved of stress. Without trying out smoking, there is no way to understand that concept. The stereotype that society creates can limit the experience which is open to everyone. Second, a stereotype about anything can be very emotional. Stubborn feelings disturb a person’s emotion. An example would be when police abuse a black man. By our stereotype that a black man can be harmful, seeing one abused can make people feel safe. However, there is no way to know if the police were just doing their duty. There may be a situation when the police is defending him…

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