Stereotype. Stereotypical. : Week 4

stereotypes. This word is often heard in the internet and the media. But why?

To begin, lets understand the real meaning of the word, stereotype. Stereotype (ster-e-o-type) is defined as a widely held but fixed and oversimplified image or idea of a particular type of person or thing. It could be positive or negative, but usually its negative. This stereotype could be created by a person, a group, a community or even a country. Stereotypes could be in the form of media, news, images, ideas, concepts, or even music. It could be in many forms.

Due to the fact that stereotypes is often associated with oversimplified ideas, it is easily accepted and taken by the mass public. Especially to those somewhat less educated people because they do not know what the real issue is. Furthermore, media plays a big role in spreading stereotypes. Why? Because media workers are the ones who control the content of television,news, magazines and the Internet, the daily means of information and news for the mass public.

Another cause of stereotypes, a possible one, is due to intelligence. Why? A study from The Atlantic, on quotes that,

The study consisted of a series of experiments, all of which suggested that people who performed better on a test of pattern detection—a measure of cognitive ability—were also quicker to form and apply stereotypes.

Conclusion, too smart or too dumb can cause a difference in the formation and application of stereotypes. But, all in all, this research is only an estimate, a suggestion more of, so take it with a grain of salt.

Moving on, an example of stereotype that cause harm in media is the issue of Islamism and Jihad. Especially for americans. To be clear, the stereotype started when so-called Islamic “jihadists” and “extremists” started causing terror to countries around the world. Names like Al-Qaeda, Isis and the Mujahiddin, appear and surface in news and media. People like Osama Bin Laden being one of the major contributors of these media movements and activists. The issue was considered minor, but at one point, it peaked, with the event of 9/11. The event where so-called “Jihadists” from Al-Qaeda hijacked a plane and crashed to the World Trade Center in the United States. This, caused americans to create the stereotype that Islamism is associated with terrorism and as a result, recently, Trump, the now President of the United States (POTUS) created and enforced a travel ban to suspected terrorist Islamic countries.

Conclusion, stereotypes are confusing. What can we do about it? Research and information. That is the answer.




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