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In the essay “Don’t Let Stereotypes Warp your Judgement”, by Robert C. Heilbroner, he discusses how stereotypes cause us to prejudge the different types of people in the world before actually getting to know them. He writes about the types of stereotyping and how we do it without recognizing it, when we begin, and what we should do to try to prevent it. He gives clear examples of the many types of stereotyping. Every point that the author makes in this essay is valid. Especially the points about childhood stereotyping, how we try to make sense of the world, and what we should try to do to prevent ourselves from stereotyping so much.
Heilbroner writes, “ We begin to type-cast people in our early childhood.” This statement is true. Not only do we begin to typecast at an early age, our peers greatly influence how we are to typecast another peer. Kids can be cruel and hurtful even when it comes to a simple kickball game. When is comes to choosing teams, stereotyping is sometimes used. Some of the children who are fit and in shape might exclude and over weight child because they are thought to be slow or not athletic. Even if a child receives good grades, he or she might be typecast as a teacher’s pet. This child may not be liked by his peers just because he does well in school and he can be called names such as dork or geek. Things like this can scar a child mentally and even cause a low feeling of self worth. It takes us a while to realize that these simple assumptions aren’t always correct.
“Sometimes stereotyping can be used to help us make sense of this complicated world.” Heilbroner also mentions in his essay. Sometimes it can be hard for us to comprehend all the complexities of the world. There are so many different types of people that we actually put them into categories to try to help us understand them. Actually, putting people into categories kind of blinds us from seeing the true person. We categorize by race, occupation, physical appearance, and a variety of other things. Something that we most often put in to a category is race. Out of all the things we have to offer, the color of our skin and culture background we have seems to stick out the most. In the past there were certain hate groups such as the KKK, that showed extreme hatred towards any other race than the white race. The KKK would do violent things to them such as brutal beatings or even hangings. Now days stuff like this is very rare although hatred of other races is still among us. We have come to more of an expectance that the only thing different was the color of skin. It is a known fact that race has nothing to do with our personalities.
We know that stereotyping is wrong, so we should try to do things to prevent it. The author suggest that we become aware of the standardized pictures in our head and disregarded them and that we should begin with individualism rather than begin with a type. Doing so can help us know people for who they really are rather than what the world says they are. Even though getting the mental pictures out of or heads can be hard, it’s something that should be done. Another thing we can do to prevent stereotyping is to get out explore our differences in culture and make your own judgement. If we get out into the world, we can meet so many different types of people. Every person has a story behind him or her and every person has something unique about him or her.
Agreeing with all the points that the author makes in this essay we can see that stereotyping is something some of us do on a daily basis and we need to realize this. It seems as though it has taken over the world in some form. And it seems as though it does not help the world and it does not make us feel better about ourselves. Do we do this purposely? I would say probably not. Many of the things we hear and see while growing up paint those mental pictures in our heads and sometimes we prejudge subconsciously without even realizing it. That is why we should try to recognize these pictures and make no use of them. Maybe we should start with our children and tell them to get to know someone before excluding them in groups. They can expand their intelligence by trying to understand the diversity of everything. There is nothing positive to come of stereotyping. It only causes us to be blind to the world. The world is has so much to offer in it’s uniqueness and we should embrace it instead of judge it.
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