This last half term we’ve been looking at challenging stereotypes and misconceptions. To begin with we were given stimulus in the form of photographs; these prompted each of us to have thoughts on what was shown. The image showed a man or woman staring stone faced through the many legs of passers by. My feeling towards this photograph was partly sympathy; however I knew I would just be one of the many people who would walk past. Stereotypes can interfere; one of the first things that came into our minds was things like drugs and gambling. This makes you feel less sorry for the person and immediately ideas that could be entirely untrue come into your head.
The person looked miserable, cold and hungry, but if it was their fault that they were in this state then why should we feel sorry for them? The person in the photo wasn’t looking up at anyone and the two legs walking past in the photo gave the impression that time is moving fast around them, while it’s almost frozen in their world. A group response was that the hat could be covering the identity of the person which made me think that they didn’t want to be recognised. When you become homeless do you lose your identity? When I started to look at the photo from different angles, it made me feel slightly guilty for thinking that drug abuse came into my mind at the start.
A second photograph I saw was of a young girl homeless – possibly about 5 or 6 years old. Compared to someone sleeping rough who did throw their life away, the situation she is in is very different - yet they are both homeless and unclean. Like the man on the city streets, she’s staring at the viewer too although you feel a lot more sorry for her because you know it’s not her fault. Immediate thoughts that came into my head were that she could be orphaned, affected by poverty or abandoned. Other things that challenged stereotypical perceptions were some homeless case studies. Violent parents were the reason for a 16 year old leaving home; some people are homeless because they are forced to leave. You don’t have to be sleeping on the streets to be homeless – the young girl in this story had to jump from one friend’s house to another. All of these people were homeless yet their reasons are totally different. These stimuli would come in use when we would be developing our piece.
Team building and trust exercises were important as they allowed each of us to discover people’s strengths and weaknesses within the class. The team building tasks enabled us to see what kind of team player we were. At the end of a tower building task, the team that I was in all found ourselves to be shapers; this showed that each of us complemented each others skills. However, we lost the same task as someone didn’t take control and lead – this shows that teams need a “director” – someone who can make final decisions. It taught me that each person plays a part and each part is important. The trust exercises gave everyone the opportunity to get to...