Type of paper: Essay

Topic: Stereotypes, Origin, People, Community, America, Prejudice, Bias, Racism

Pages: 4

Words: 1100

Published: 2020/11/18

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Being a person who is ethically different from the majority of native Americans, I have frequently encountered with the distorted image of the characteristics of my ethnical origin. In many cases, my personal traits are generalized and people thought that I am the same as other representatives of my ethnical origin. The most vivid example of prejudice and stereotype that I encountered occurred when I was walking with my friends who were of the same ethnical origin. As we were walking, a group of teenage boys was behind us, and then they suddenly passed by us, and made us to stop. They started pushing us, calling us names and speaking to us to return home, that we do not belong to the USA, that we will dilute the American nation, etc. As my friends and I were the minority, we just stood silently and waited for them to finish. After they saw that we did not react to their provocations, they moved on, leaving us alone.
The other example of prejudice includes my misjudgment of people of German ethnical origin. As a person who loves to watch films that include the theme of World War II, I created an image of Germans as people who hate everyone who is not German. I strongly believed that all Germans think that they belong to a superior class and that all of them are Neo-Nazis. However, in one of my team projects, the instructor joined me with a peer who was an international student from Germany. I was forced to interact with him on a daily basis, but I was always restrained and cold when discussing about our future steps regarding the work. As the time passed by, my misperception about Germans slowly faded away, as my team member was not as I imagined.
In the first example where I was a person who was prejudged, I felt afraid and intimidated. The physical and psychological powers that the group of teenagers had over me, made me shiver and think about possible confrontation. A million of ideas on how to escape this situation rushed through my head, but I did not do anything. I realized that the possible way to defend was to remain silent, even though my mind was screaming for help. The bare realization that they had the advantage as being outnumbered, did not give me an opportunity to defend myself. In the second example where I was the perpetuator of the prejudice, I felt ashamed by my generalization of one particular ethnic group. Even though over time my German peer became my friend, I never gathered courage to tell him my initial perception of him. I was ashamed of my generalization.
The example in which I was the recipient of a prejudice can be delineated as a combination of anti-locution and physical attack. People who have a distorted view of certain ethnical group and use verbal attacks on minorities are usually under direct influence of generalization. Even though I was not physically attacked, I experienced fear because they threatened and used intimidation in order to state their opinion about my ethnical origin. As cited by Ruchlis, "Individuals or gangs may attack isolated members of disliked groups" (Ruchlis 14). In the example where I was the perpetuator, the type of prejudice that I had on my German peer is avoidance. I had subconsciously judged my peer based on his origin, so that I did everything is order to avoid him. My perception of Germans who adore Hitler and resemble to villains from films, was so strong that it encrypted in my conscious. Faulty logic that was presented in both of the stated examples is overgeneralization. Overgeneralization is typical for stereotyping of a particular race or ethnic group. In most cases, factors that contribute to overgeneralization can be attributed to historical facts, the insufficient knowledge of the particular group. Overgeneralization can be found in the core of stereotypes and this negates an individual but rather judges him as a member of a particular ethnic/religious group. I had an ungrounded resentment towards my peer, and only when pushed into cooperation I saw him as an individual not as a group of his ethnical community. My understanding of German population was based on Hollywood blockbusters, and I did not make any effort to learn something more about Germany and their history. My attackers saw me in the same way.
Culture and immediate surrounding has a big influence on our development of prejudices and stereotypes. Even though raised in a family to respect the cultural varieties, a person cannot escape certain prejudices. In my opinion, the major impact that the creation of prejudices and stereotypes has on us can be noticed through media. The popular culture has set a generalized image of different ethnical groups. For example, if one watches MTV video, it can be noticed that all girls that dance in these videos are of African-American or Latino origin and their bodies are fully exposed. Based on this, it can be concluded that either white girls do not know how to dance or that they should not be regarded as sex objects, while it is completely reasonable to consider African-Americans or Latino-American as sexual objects. This type of fallacies may be found in every means of communication. One cannot underestimate the pressure that we feel from our social position. People always try to find a reasonable explanation for every issue and this leads to the creation of stereotypes. If a person is of African-American origin and is unemployed and poor, then people would initially assume that he does not want to work. The majority of population does not want to enter into the problems of an individual regardless of his ethnic origin or race and therefore all of his misfortunes are attributed to his race. In the same way gender has influence on the creation on prejudices. It is widely accepted generalization that all women are poor drivers. The majority of people believe in this because, one will rarely see a woman behind the wheel of a truck. Even from early ages, people are under the influence of playing gender roles and a female children are given toys as dolls, and to boys truck or how-to-do kits. Gender based stereotypes seems to be prevailing when discussing some leading position in a multinational company as well. However, based on individual examples of women who made to create a position in a male-ruling society such as Margaret Thatcher or Angela Merkel, one might see that it is possible.
No matter how strong we want to fight against the prejudged or stereotyped opinion, there will be always some part of us that will remain immune. The personal experiences dominate over the logic and it takes a lot of effort for a person to overcome his emotions and make a deeper understanding of the prejudged person. The human mankind has learned from its history about the risks of stereotypes (Holocaust, religious wars, and civil wars) but still some cultures use it as a tool for mass control and obedience. If we want to be accepted, then we should learn how to embrace everyone with a rational critical mind. By using this skill, we move one step further from our preformed opinion about someone or something.

Cited works:

Ruchlis, Hy. "Stereotypes, Prejudice and Discrimination". Print.

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WePapers. (2020, November, 18) Prejudice Essay Examples. Retrieved April 23, 2021, from https://www.wepapers.com/samples/prejudice-essay-examples/
"Prejudice Essay Examples." WePapers, 18 Nov. 2020, https://www.wepapers.com/samples/prejudice-essay-examples/. Accessed 23 April 2021.
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WePapers. Prejudice Essay Examples. [Internet]. November 2020. [Accessed April 23, 2021]. Available from: https://www.wepapers.com/samples/prejudice-essay-examples/
"Prejudice Essay Examples." WePapers, Nov 18, 2020. Accessed April 23, 2021. https://www.wepapers.com/samples/prejudice-essay-examples/
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"Prejudice Essay Examples," Free Essay Examples - WePapers.com, 18-Nov-2020. [Online]. Available: https://www.wepapers.com/samples/prejudice-essay-examples/. [Accessed: 23-Apr-2021].
Prejudice Essay Examples. Free Essay Examples - WePapers.com. https://www.wepapers.com/samples/prejudice-essay-examples/. Published Nov 18, 2020. Accessed April 23, 2021.
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