chapter  4
28 Pages

Stereotypes, Prejudice and Social Groups

ByPerry R. Hinton

The stereotype that plumbers are male may be learnt by children from their own experience, as a gendered phenomenon in their society where plumbers are typically men. This learning from culture about social groups may or may not involve accurate generalizations but they are clearly commonly known representations of the social groups in the society. The problem of certain cultural stereotypes with negative associations is that, in a society seeking accuracy and fairness, it is argued that the stereotypes can lead to negative discrimination–people being discriminated against in areas in which they are perfectly capable, i.e. they face unfair restrictions in the society. The stereotype is employed by a specific group of people to deny the members of another social group equal status, and stereotyping can be considered an intergroup phenomenon. Prejudice involves an antipathy against a social group, such as holding racist or sexist attitudes.