Michael Pickering's Stereotyping

753 Words 4 Pages
Stereotype, a word that conjures up a myriad of feelings and images in ones brain. It allows people to place others into boxes, categorizing them for future reference. However, the danger here is that stereotypes do not make room for the expansion upon said boxes. Michael Pickering, a professor of media and cultural analysis at Loughborough University in the UK, expands upon this idea of stereotypes and their inflexibility in his book Stereotyping: The Politics of Representation published in 2001 by Palgrave Macmillan. In his book, Pickering quickly establishes the meaning behind stereotypes; careful to illustrate the difference it has to categorizing. Primarily, he asserts that it is because of its inflexibility, that stereotyping is so …show more content…
Order and power, those with it have an immense amount of control over those who do not. It makes sense then, that those with power would do anything they could to keep it. Due to this, stereotypes have become an effective tool in keeping a select group of people down. A key way to maintain said order and power, would be to then utilize stereotyping, which would then “deny any flexible thinking” (3). “Flexible thinking,” here encompasses any change of opinion one might have after meeting someone they had once stereotyped. That is to say, going back and changing ones opinion. This is a primarily difficult thing to do with stereotypes, which is why it makes it a useful tool in maintaining ones position of power. “The comfort of inflexibility which stereotypes provide reinforces the conviction that existing relations of power are necessary and fixed” (3). This sentence is important in understand why stereotypes are important in maintaining order and power. The word “existing,” reinforces this notion, as it explains that those who are in power should stay in power, as opposed to some other group of people. The words “necessary and fixed,” are important, given that they too uphold the current way of living. Stereotypes, in its rigidity, allow those in power to remain as the best possible

Related Documents