The term stereotype derives from the Greek words στερεός (stereos), “firm, solid” and τύπος (typos), “impression”.
It comes from the printing trade to describe a printing plate that duplicated any typography. Outside of printing, the first reference to “stereotype” was in 1850, as a noun that meant “image perpetuated without change“.However, it was not until 1922 that “stereotype” was first used in the modern psychological sense by American journalist Walter Lippmann in his work Public Opinion.
Do you know that in psychology- Stereotype is supposedly discussed in connotation with words such as prejudice and discrimination?
In a much larger context, stereotype is also understood as an offshoot of peer pressure.
When earlier yesterday, on a bright Monday (blue) afternoon, I asked this question:
What is the worst stereotype that you have been tagged with based on your gender, caste, religion, etc?
— richa singh (@richa_singh) June 6, 2016
The deluge of replies that appeared in my notifications tab revealed the weak nerve that this tweet touched of many.
While mostly the ladies in the house cried foul over being judged for their driving skills, others specifically mentioned communities, castes as basis for peers to pass judgments. From profession to language to even competency levels, we heard it all.
And not to anyone’s surprise, there was no one who mentioned stereotyping as a happy emotion. At best the most neutral sentiment we extracted was ‘disbelief’.
Despite this, day in and day out, we hear and see stereotypes in our heads, conversations and even newspaper headlines.
Why else did we see esteemed Telegraph, reaching out to its millions of readers through this front page:
Why do we stereotype?
Ease of conversations. Ease of dismissal. And more importantly ease of being accepted.
Tonight, keeping it short and real we ask you to open your hearts and mind and tell us one stereotype you hate. And if you are in mood to get going then do tell us that one stereotype you often exercise against a set of people.
P.S while sifting through the search this rather ancient tweet flooded my screen. One of those super rantish twitter moods (which is almost forever now 😀 )
How do you dissociate the stereotype from the real part? The champion from the herd? In india this is the most difficult part.
— richa singh (@richa_singh) October 9, 2013
Connecting it with #MondayMusings