Skip to Main Content

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,


figures of people representing a variety of stereotypes

Image Source: (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].


Crash Course (2014, November 3). Social Thinking  [Video File].

Related Guides

St. Louis Community College Libraries

Florissant Valley Campus Library
3400 Pershall Rd.
Ferguson, MO 63135-1408
Phone: 314-513-4514

Forest Park Campus Library
5600 Oakland
St. Louis, MO 63110-1316
Phone: 314-644-9210

Meramec Campus Library
11333 Big Bend Road
St. Louis, MO 63122-5720
Phone: 314-984-7797

Wildwood Campus Library
2645 Generations Drive
Wildwood, MO 63040-1168
Phone: 636-422-2000