chapter  7
26 Pages

Stereotypes and Everyday Stories

ByPerry R. Hinton

A. Lyons et al. argued that stereotypes, as shared cultural beliefs, are disseminated through interpersonal and mass media communication, particularly as discussions about people, typically as group members, form much of everyday conversation. When journalist Walter Lippmann wished to describe what he saw as a fixed idea, he not surprisingly drew on a metaphor from the printing industry he knew well, a fixed metal plate called a ‘stereotype’. As N. R. Cauthen et al. noted, what are referred to as ‘stereotypes’ are linguistic behaviours: it is within language that meaning is created and ideas are expressed. The linguistic expectancy bias is particularly relevant to the study of stereotypes, as stereotypes, as group attributes, are abstract descriptions of expected behaviour. As stereotypes are known in a culture, they form one aspect of the common ground in communication. Stereotypes play a role in cultural dynamics: the formation and maintenance of a cultural group.