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Negative Effects Of Racial Stereotypes

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Are racial stereotypes still a thing? The answer is completely, yes. Unconsciously or not, everyone has used these stereotypes. Racial stereotyping has been persistent throughout history and is still evident in our culture today. Racial stereotypes are aided by what airs on the news, and in the popular media. These harmful descriptions negatively impact people of different races, backgrounds, and ethnicities. Racial stereotypes are described as, “automatic and exaggerated mental pictures formed about all members of a particular racial group” (University of Notre Dame). Rather than getting to know somebody for who they truly are, we assume they are the same as people that look like them. Not only is this notion ridiculous, it’s effects can lead to even bigger problems such as discrimination and racism. Racial stereotypes are present everywhere. It is especially concerning when these stereotypes appear in our education systems, workplaces, advertisements, and social media.

These racial stereotypes are present everywhere we look. Systematically, racism is present in our school systems through standardized testing that’s made for dominant cultures. The predictability in test scores in itself shows us that racism is still institutionalized. There is no reason to assume that a certain racial group should perform better than another group just because of their skin color. Throughout school, “curriculum is very singular. If you don’t fit that box, then you’re an outlier” (Hassan). These cookie cutter ways only allow for a select few kids to excel, leaving other kids behind. There are plenty of negative effects that come from racial stereotypes in our education systems. Not only are there serious psychological problems that arise in the people being stereotyped, there are also problems in the fact that, ”If these stereotypes go unchecked, people will go their whole lives believing in them” (Hassan). A lot of stereotypes, racist beliefs, and misconceptions about people of color would be eradicated and or changed if people knew their history. It is very important to teach future generations about different ethnicities, usually, most schools go about this wrong. By learning how to properly educate the future youth, we are creating an environment less consumed by racial stereotypes and social expectations based on race.

Racial stereotypes are concerning when brought into the workplace. These stereotypes are not always apparent, “microaggression is the modern form of racism” (Hirsch). These subtle or sometimes unintentional stereotypes can cause people of color to question their belonging. Not only does it negatively affect the way the minority workers see themselves, it can lead to even bigger problems like discrimination. What starts off as a light hearted “joke” can easily turn into prejudice. These jokes imply a stereotype, whether we mean for them to or not. Using someone’s culture against them, coherently allows you to have power over them. If we are not careful, workplace stereotypes can lead to an overall bias about a certain race. If co-workers believe that someone isn’t as hard working because of their skin color, and in turn, takes responsibilities away from them, they are falling into these false ideations. Powerful companies need to be weary of this when hiring workers. I’m a recent case, Tesla has been accused of a racist work environment. Former workers, “depict a segregated factory hostile to black and Hispanic workers where the n-word was routinely used by employees, and minorities were passed over for promotion” (Coren). Not only are discriminatory words being used against them, they are also deprived of growth in the industry. Missed opportunities are a huge impact on many minorities, and will continue to affect them if we do not make it known that this treatment is not only unfair, but unjust.

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Social media influences the way we see people. Unfortunately, the media does a poor job at representing and advocating for people of color. Advertising has a long history of racism, “in the rare cases that black people were portrayed in ads, they were invariably depicted as subservient, ignorant and unattractive” (Robinson). Big companies tend to cater to the majority. Although not all advertisements are meant to be offensive, some indirectly are. In recent years, “companies have started to use cartoonish images of black people, and bleach and soap brands, like Pears, “jokingly” claimed their products could lighten dark skin” (Robinson). We’ve gotten to the point where it’s normal to see stereotypes in advertisements. This is evidently problematic. The way people of color are portrayed is a direct result of the broad generalizations made by the public. The more we see these stereotypes normalized, the easier it is to justify using them. Not only does it make it seem like it’s okay for adults to use them, it also affects our youth. Unknowingly to them, kids are filling their heads with these stereotypes. Thus creating a vicious cycle. Instead of looking at an individual, we just think of them as groups and then we assume everyone is the same in the group. So often, kids of color aren’t able to see themselves in the media. It is important that kids are able to see themselves in people from the past.

Not only do we see racial stereotyping take place in advertisements, these false images appear everywhere in the entertainment industry. Whether we know it or not, we tend to gravitate towards people who share the same views as us. We can describe this as, “a psychological phenomenon called group polarization, we try to communicate with people who are like us. This causes us to become more extreme in our views” (Prax). This can potentially cause people who are stereotypical only sometimes, to start to use stereotypes more often. A direct example of the stereotyping that takes place in the media is, “the racial and gender practices in Hollywood, which predominantly casts white men as heroes, while erasing or subordinating other groups as villains, sidekicks, and sexual objects” (Yuen). These common racial views can skew the way viewers categorize and understand people. Not only do these images cause misconceptions about certain ethnicities, it also causes confusion and questioning for minority individuals. The way the popular media depicts certain groups of people directly impacts the way youth of these groups grow and develop. If a child of color doesn’t see themselves in movies, or tv shows, they will begin to question their belonging in their community. If we do not begin to take the under representation seriously, people who are not minorities will begin to think they are superior. This could cause even bigger problems in our future.

We see racial stereotypes pop up everywhere in our daily lives. “Stereotype threat effects are very robust and affect all stigmatised groups” (Zawisza). Stereotyping begins at a young age. No one is born racist. No one is born knowing how to marginalize another group, they are taught it. Whether it be by parents who are unknowingly, or knowingly giving off subtle stereotypical images, or what they hear on the news. Whether you believe it or not, stereotypes float around touching almost everything and everyone in our daily lives. For some, stereotypes are a reality that they face every day. If you believe that you haven’t experienced being stereotyped, you may want to take a closer look at yourself. It could be you’re the one enforcing them. Stereotypes can cause trauma and other serious psychological effects. Increased aggression and anger towards people, and a lack of self-esteem are direct results of stereotyping. There are both long-term and short-term effects of stereotypes, all of which are negative. You may think racism is a thing of the past. Unfortunately, that is untrue. Although racism no longer takes place in the form ps segregation and discrimination as we’ve seen in the past, it is still present in our society. We see it in different forms today because, “racism isn’t always going to look like racism” (Atlanta). Whether it be the enforcer or the victim, racial stereotypes can damage the way we see ourselves or the way we see others. If we aren’t careful, stereotypes can lead to violence, racism, and discrimination. We have black and brown people in this country that have been pervasively abused by white people it’s become a natural response for them to mistrust. This learned behavior has natural consequences through what they have been taught time and time over by their ancestors.

There is no way to abolish racial stereotypes altogether, but can work to combat them in many ways. We can increase our awareness of racial stereotypes. By getting to know other people and their ethnicity, it can help erase the subconscious bias we have around people of that background. The more we know about other religions, the easier it is to depict what is offensive and what is not. We as a society seem to always tip for around the subject of race because we’re scared to ask. By asking people about who they are, it gives value to them, and is also a source of pride. We need to work on eliminating the stigma around talking about race and religion. By doing so, so many doors open, and with that, so many conversations. One conversation could change the way people view a certain group, and could in turn eliminate their use of stereotypes.

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Negative Effects Of Racial Stereotypes. (2021, September 29). Edubirdie. Retrieved February 4, 2023, from https://edubirdie.com/examples/negative-effects-of-racial-stereotypes/
“Negative Effects Of Racial Stereotypes.” Edubirdie, 29 Sept. 2021, edubirdie.com/examples/negative-effects-of-racial-stereotypes/
Negative Effects Of Racial Stereotypes. [online]. Available at: <https://edubirdie.com/examples/negative-effects-of-racial-stereotypes/> [Accessed 4 Feb. 2023].
Negative Effects Of Racial Stereotypes [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2021 Sept 29 [cited 2023 Feb 4]. Available from: https://edubirdie.com/examples/negative-effects-of-racial-stereotypes/
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