Stereotype Threat In Whistling Vivaldi By Claude M. Steele

677 Words 3 Pages
For decades, people all around the world have experienced different forms of stereotype threat for the color of their skin, their gender, and even their culture. In today's society, people are forced into categories that is used to define an individual for what they are capable of. When humankind is under a stereotype threat they are bounded by a mental thought to prove that individual threat inaccurate. Stereotype threat shouldn’t be used to define us, we must learn to defeat these threats and become our own person. According, to Claude M.Steele in Whistling Vivaldi, he explains ways a person can reduce stereotype threat. Humanity uses stereotype threat to define a person without knowing what that individual is capable of. They do not …show more content…
In order, to understand a stereotype threat society must understand the concept behind it. In the book, Whistling Vivaldi by Claude M.Steele describes a stereotype threat to be apart of a social identity. From previous learnings, stereotype threat is a standard predicament of life, meaning this threat is a cognitive thought that society has about a specific group of people and automatically apply it to all individuals in that group. Stereotype threats can drive down a person's performance because they are trying to prove the threat of the stereotype wrong. Believe it or not, but stereotype threat is perceived all around our environment. An example of what a stereotype threat that is perceived everyday by society is the threat that men are more exceeding in a math class than a woman, which is more exceeding in an English class. In Whistling Vivaldi, Steele did an experiment where woman based on their SAT scores was placed in an advanced math college class to see if they underperformance was due to the stereotype threat of men are more …show more content…
For somebody to be vulnerable, they must be out of their comfort zone; meaning an individual feels as if they are not welcomed or the minority in an environment such as school or a work place. Stereotype threat does not apply to only one specific race or group, it applies to everyone and affects anyone who is exposed to it. A white individual, Ted McDougal, a college student was the minority in his African American history class to a majority of blacks.(Claude M. Steele, pg. 85-87) While being the minority in this college class Ted felt pressured to prove that he isn’t a racist white man. Ted also feels uncomfortable because he feels as if he has to watch what he says in class. He doesn’t want to seem insensitive or arrogant towards the blacks in his class. In other words, he doesn’t want to say the wrong thing to offend individuals in his class. Due to this environment, where he is exposed to a stereotype of white being racist or insensitive, Ted is driven to prove this threat wrong and by doing this he participates less in this specific class. This is an example of how stereotype threat works and affects performance of any race. We must learn to overcome or reduce the concept of stereotype threat if we want to increase our performance and not reduce our

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