We live in a world of stereotypes, which are masked in allegory and reinforced by rhetoric. From the ‘continuous lies spewed from silver-tongued politicians’ to the ‘bingo obsessed, highway-hazardous senior citizen,” stereotypes are manifested and reinforced by people of all walks of life, every single day. By analyzing the different aspects of stereotyping of common groups within societies, the negative impact this behavior yields becomes apparent, as relative to one’s perception.
Stereotyping, or the “thought or image about a group of people based on little or no evidence,” is, in all fairness, convenient and efficient (Moore & Parker, 2007, pp. 122-123). By lumping millions of people together in one group and associating them with certain labels, the brain has to work neither as hard nor as long as it would by trying to remember individual characteristics for each person. Stereotyping is also appealing and contagious. When a loved one or close friend engages in this behavior, it can become difficult to identify or refute the generalization, especially since there are typically mutual underlying interests and predispositions in place. Even more compelling is the insatiable media figure who exploits their ability to captivate others through their rhetoric-- or is that a stereotype in itself?
Politicians are generally labeled as “self-serving and corrupt,” constantly spewing euphemisms of their actions and dysphemisms of their opponents (Purple, 2010). Democrats, from the eyes of a Republican, are generally thought of as being radical, liberal, bleeding hearts who feel the government should control everything; from a liberal perspective, Republicans are considered religious, gun-toting, intolerant extremists who love big powerful corporations and no government oversight. The stereotypes of a politician’s gender can even transcend political parties. Research indicates voters find female candidates are more liberal in the Democratic Party, less conservative in the Republican Party, better at helping the poor, and focused on protecting women’s rights all because of the improper inferences made from their sex (Sanbonmatsu, 2002). The stereotypes of politicians do not invoke the same image to all people because it is relative to one’s perspective and ideals, and these images are not necessarily negative. For example, if a society struggled with poor education and a common preconceived notion existed that women politicians were superior to male political figures at improving the quality of education, this stereotype could have an positive impact on voter actions- though the circumstances are, more often than not, quite the opposite. The language and rhetoric used to reinforce stereotypes of politicians can be considered both positive and negative in manner.
Unlike a mix of positive and negative images the stereotypes of politicians create, the impressions generated by stereotypes of tattooed people are generally deprecating. Despite...