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Stereotypes: Myths and Reality

This guide provides resources to research cultural, racial, and national stereotypes and strategies to debunk myths of negative stereotypes.

About Stereotypes

Busting Myths around Racial, Cultural, and National Stereotypes: Research, Deconstruct, Discuss and Educate

A stereotype is a fixed, over generalized belief about a particular group or class of people. A key disadvantage of stereotypes is that it makes us ignore differences between individuals; therefore we think things about people that might not be true (i.e. make generalizations). Stereotypes are [often] not even exaggerations of real differences: They are fictions. 

Racial categorization reflects the process of placing people into distinct groups based on variation in phenotypic physical features of the face and body such as skin color, hair color and texture, eye shape, nose width, and lip fullness. Racial stereotyping, prejudice, and discrimination reflect the human tendencies to conceptualize and value certain configurations of phenotypic features differently, and act on these thoughts and feelings in our interactions with members of racial categories. Source: Rethinking Racial Stereotyping, Prejudice, and Discrimination, APA.org

 

figures of people representing a variety of stereotypes

Image Source: NationalStereotype.com (blog)

Key Terms

Predjudice & Discrimination: A Crash Course

"When stereotypical beliefs combine with prejudicial attitudes and emotions, like fear and hostility, they can drive the behavior we call discrimination." --Hank Green, Crash Course

Crash Course (2014, November 17). Prejudice and Discrimination [Video File]. https://youtu.be/7P0iP2Zm6a4

 

Crash Course (2014, November 3). Social Thinking  [Video File]. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h6HLDV0T5Q8

Transformations: Honors in Action Project Guide

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