Stereotype can be defined as a particular perception that is generally held towards a particular group of people or society. This is the holding of misconceived ideas in regards to a certain group of people in the society that is partly true or totally untrue at all. As a result of these misconceptions, one can either underrate any person that falls in this category of people or hold them high with a lot of reverence and dignity that such kind of people do not deserve at all. On the other hand, such perceptions may be true to a certain extend, and yet be overestimated or underrated. On the other hand, there are words that describe the stereotyped groups in the society or rather these words are associated with these groups. As such, when such words are mentioned, there is a mental picture of these people that comes in the minds of people.
There are different groups that have been stereotyped in the society. According to Moore & Parker (2006), there are different issues in the society that are usually mentioned in people’s conversations that actually affects the way people perceive others. To begin with, the politicians have been stereotyped in the nearly every society across the globe especially with a focus on their promises in the society. As a result, there is a general perception that is similar across the globe despite the fact that such societies have different political climates. Similarly, the rhetoric that describes their behaviors and their way of life in the society has generally tainted their name rather than promoting them. As has been argued out by Moore & Parker (2006), there are catchphrases that politicians would use to defend their course of activities while in the real sense, these phrases are meant just to agitate the public, and in most cases woo the masses towards them (p.133). In some cases, the rhetoric utterances are calculated with some form of fallacies that would create in their listener as unsubstantiated slant in order to woo the masses away from the real truth and corrupt their acuity. For example, among the commonly used words are ‘democracy’, ‘calculated or personal attack’, ‘tax rates’, etc. With such words on their tongues, the politicians are able to sway the public from the actual truth into some unexplainable fallacies and thus succeed in deviating them from facts (p.507).
Moore & Parker (2006) therefore argues that their way of life and their slanting capabilities has led the public to hold a stereotype that these people can only manage to apply double standards, with fair standards to themselves and unjust standards to their fellow politicians and the general public (p.175). This is particularly seen whenever there is a change of guard in terms of the party that is on power especially after an election. It is surprisingly how sudden the politicians who were in power and now they are not how they begin seeing issues they were not seeing before, i.e. there is an eye opener that unlock the mind of the politician who is in the opposition party. However, when such politicians are taken back into power, their minds and eyes are suddenly blinded. Acceptance is the issue that is mostly considered by such politicians, with a change of heart whereby the national issues become their loudest tone, while when they were in the government, this was not the case (p.175).
While the behaviors politicians in the society may be perceived as mere stereotypes. However, there is some element of truth in these stereotypes. To begin with, politicians have more than often portrayed very weird characters in the society. All that is needed for them is a change of leadership position, i.e. in cases whereby one is ousted from power through an election. In such a case, there is an increase in cases of accusation in regard to underperformance, which while in power was overlooked by these politicians and they could not accept to be accused that way by their fellow politicians who were in the opposition party at that time (Roisman, 2005).
Another group in the society that is highly stereotyped is the one that contains people who have tattoos. There is enough evidence to show that tattoos are some of the oldest form of adornment among different ancient communities. However, there are different stereotypes that are associated with tattoos in the modern society. To begin with, the modern society has in most cases associated people with tattoos as those that rejects in the society in the sense that these people can only be involved in propagating negative vices in the society rather than positive vices. For example, most tattooed people are associated with murder, and all other sorts of crimes in the society. This is especially so when the tattoo they adorn has a scary image. Similarly, the society across the globe associated tattoos with a certain form of unacceptable worship in the society. Similarly, there are religious groups that prohibit the adornment of tattoos on one’s body as this is respectful to their god. This is a negative form of stereotype (Vance, 2009).
On the other hand, tattoos have been perceived by the younger generation as a form of civilization, whereby without any tattoos, one is taken as old dated. This is because, there is a serious integration of tattoos into the dressing styles of the younger generation, with more and more embracing it as a form of fashion in their lives. However, there is an appeal for anger towards this group of people as still the majority of the society is yet to accept tattooing as a fashion. The reinforcing of both the positive and the negative sides of tattoos emanates from some of the phrases that are either used for or against these people. Some of the phrases that reinforces negatives perceptions are criminals, hooligans, crooks, etc. On the other hand, civilization and modernity are among the phrases that are used to give strength to people with tattoos. Despite the positive and the negative connotations that are attached to tattoos, these beliefs and therefore particular form of stereotypes are misconceived and has no truth in it. For example, there are good people out there who adorn tattoos as part of their ornaments. This is common especially in societies that have a cultural background which used tattoos as part of their adornment. On the other hand, there are a lot of people who are civilized and they do not adorn any tattoos on their bodies.
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There are other groups in the society that have been stereotyped also. These are the feminist and the senior citizens in the society. First, the feminists are those groups of women who worked on ways and means that could be employed to induce equality in the society. However, this move put their status at risk as from then henceforth, they have always been viewed as women who cannot accept a second place in the society as women or in the family. As a result, many have been isolated especially by men and by women who are conservatives in the society.
Most of the feminist activists have been viewed as lesbians, prostitutes, disrespectful women, irresponsible mothers, man-haters, etc. As a result, these types of stereotypes towards women has been able to deviate the society from the main issues that the feminists were trying to address when they emerged as a movement to fight for the rights of women. However, while this is a negative perception towards the feminists, it is important for one to understand that this group of people has been able to contribute to the creation of these ideas in the minds of men. Similarly, a critical examination of the activities of these women reveals that there is an attitude of hating men that developed in them, thus viewing every man as an enemy, whether the man is good or not (Friedman, 2004).
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The Senior citizens on the other hand have been distinguished by the society as people who are rude and bullies in most cases. This is where it is assumed by that society that old people are naturally bully and rude, especially on the road. Therefore, when phrases such as ill-tempered and drooping shoulders, one tends to think that the stereotype is towards the elderly. However, this is wrong since there is no maximum age that one needs to be called a senior citizen. For example, there are people who are termed as the senior citizens in the society because of their baldness or grey hair. Yet this may be as a result of genetics rather than age. Therefore, there is no truth in this fact that old people or rather senior citizens are rude in the society. Again, like feminists, there are many senior citizens who are geared towards creating a decent society and therefore they are not ill-tempered. Similarly, it is difficult to determine the age of someone while looking at that person since there are those that look younger and yet they are very old and vice versa. Therefore, this cannot in any way be substantiated as a true stereotype as it concerns senior citizens (Moore & Parker, 2006).
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There are various things that one can learn from stereotypes. To begin with, one cannot mention about stereotypes and fail to mention some form of discrimination in the society. This is because, every group in the society that has been stereotyped had been segregated or rather discriminated against by people in the society. It is also important for one to understand that stereotypes may result from the rhetoric attachments that one has towards certain people in the society. This may be the case too whereby certain behavior are exhibited in certain groups of people thus attracting stereotyping.