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Are stereotypes unfairly stereotyped?

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Think you know what stereotypes are?  If you're relying on definitions from mainstream dictionaries, you're probably, well... guilty of stereotyping.  But don't worry.  That might not be a bad thing.

Here's the definition from

"a standardized mental picture that is held in common by members of a group and that represents an oversimplified opinion, prejudiced attitude, or uncritical judgment"

This definition clearly reflects the popular perception of stereotypes as inaccurate and negative overgeneralizations.  The only problem is that this popular perception, much like the image below is mostly inaccurate.

illustration by Allan Lorde by Allan Lorde

Sure, there are people like the follow in the cartoon, but most of us who have stereotypical thoughts (which is to say, all of us) have very different notions of groups we stereotype than the stereotyped stereotype-holder above. I wrote up the specifics for an edited book on race and ethnicity, but only have permission to post it on my Psychology Today blog. 

Please click here to read the full article.
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Mikhail Lyubansky, Ph.D., is a member of the teaching faculty in the Department of Psychology at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, where he teaches Psychology of Race and Ethnicity, Theories of Psychotherapy, and a graduate-level restorative justice practicum based at a youth detention center. An autobiographical essay of Mikhail's interests in race relations and basketball is available here.

Since 2009, Mikhail has been learning, facilitating, evaluating, and supporting others in the U.S. in learning about Restorative Circles, a restorative practice developed in Brazil by Dominic Barter and his associates. In addition to conflict and restorative practices, Mikhail also has a long-standing interest (going back about 20 years) in race and (more...)

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Stereotyping is all the proof we need to continue ... by Ned Lud on Wednesday, Dec 14, 2011 at 9:49:43 AM
This blog post appeared as an entry in the Routled... by Mikhail Lyubansky on Wednesday, Dec 14, 2011 at 10:16:53 AM