Essay on Is Stereotyping Inevitable?

1735 Words 7 Pages
Prejudice, discrimination, and stereotyping can be exemplified through daily social interactions. A stereotype is a generalization about a group of people, in which certain traits cling to all members, regardless of actual individual variation (Akert, Aronson, and Wilson 2010). People assign objects and individuals into categories to organize their environments. Individuals do this for not only organization, but also survival. Understanding a person environment can help them determine what is harmful or threatening. Is stereotyping inevitable? According to Devine (2007), it is, but Lepore and Brown (2007) have to disagree. Devine (2007) believes that “stereotyping is automatic, which makes it inevitable.” However, Lepore and Brown …show more content…
Energy and conscious controlled thinking takes effort; this does not apply in social situations, making the stereotype appear (Devine, 1989).
Cultural influence affects not only the formation of a stereotype, but also its acceptance. According to the tripartite model of attitudes, a stereotype is the cognitive component of prejudiced attitudes. Many contemporary theorists suggest prejudice is an inevitable consequence of the stereotyping process (Devine, 1989). This makes learning attitudes and stereotypes of social groups inevitable. There is strong evidence that stereotypes are established in children’s memories before they have the ability to use cognitive processing to accept or reject the stereotypes. In this developmental process, the stereotype is easier to access for the child than personal beliefs; therefore, the culture an individual lives in makes it impossible not to apply stereotypes in daily life (Devine, 1989). Schemas are mental structures people use to organize their knowledge about the social world (Akert, Aronson, & Wilson, 2010). The accessibility of schemas makes them easier to retrieve in social situations. Priming is also relevant in how people apply schemas. Researchers in Germany pursued the idea that stereotypes organize as multiple, context-specific schemas that activate only by a combination of category and context

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