Summary Of Thin Ice By Claude Steele

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Everyone is different – whether the differences are inherent or not. Despite efforts to normalize programs and opportunities for previously disadvantaged minority groups, they often continue to perform worse than their majority counterparts. How could this be? Were the efforts not enough, or is there another threat affecting these minorities? In his article “Thin Ice”, Claude Steele explains this phenomenon as being the result of “stereotype threat.” He goes on to define this term: “the threat of being viewed through the lens of a negative stereotype, or the fear of doing something that would inadvertently confirm that stereotype.” Steele claims that everyone can experience some form of stereotype threat, because we are all members of some stereotyped group. However, it is only a problem in situations in which we are aware that we could be judged by our stereotype. My last statement is the key to overcoming the issue of stereotype threat: if the threat is only relevant when we …show more content…
When I came back home for the holidays, my parents and other community members embraced me, but were hesitant to say much about my illnesses. Suddenly, everyone became notably cautious around me, even though all I had done was speak up about something I had felt for years. Consequently, the next semester I found myself constantly worrying about my performance and how “happy” I was acting. I was terrified of living up to the stereotype that mentally ill people are crazy and incapable of living a normal life. I pushed myself far beyond my limits to prove myself as capable, and, accordingly, I ended up breaking under the pressure. After a total mental breakdown, I spent a week in the psychiatric unit. Ironically, this was exactly what I had been trying to avoid. I ended the semester with average grades, despite having almost flawless grades the previous

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