Does stereotyping and generalization help?

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what is stereotype?

Definition as per dictionary: a widely held but fixed and oversimplified image or idea of a particular type of person or thing.

In our daily life we use stereotypes so often that we do not even notice that we keep identifying a group / community by representing them as stereotypes. Often we use them in negative way to specify the behaviour patters or habits of a group of people through using a stereotype. It helps us in giving an image or idea about the character we are describing.

This is more rampant in movies as it is an visual medium which compresses a huge story into a capsule of hour or so time. In literature, movies and any other medium where a character has to be described, they tend to take help of this stereotype or generalisation so that viewer/reader can understand the ideology behind very easily. This is only advantage I am able to understand.

But in majority of the situations the stereotyping of people results in wrong identification and puts up unnecessary baggage on the mind. Generalising the behaviour pattern of a community, geographic unit or class of people tends to overlook the specifics and leads us into forming only a very hypothetical  view.

This kind of stereotyping tends to overlook the finest concept of God’s creation : “Every individual is unique “.   In a family itself each person may have different tastes, strong and weak points so on and so forth. So how can we tag bunch of people under the same umbrella?

The stereotyping of people’s food habits based on the region etc are acceptable because they come from a cultural and geographical and other physical associations. But stereotyping the mentality or behaviour patterns of people based on their geography or religion etc is highly not acceptable.

These stereotypes ignore the basic plot of human life.

 

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