Latin American Stereotypes Essay

1406 words - 6 pages

Since birth, people are exposed to the outside world. Children learn from their closest relatives how to react in front of the society. They learn the rules, standards and rituals that they need to follow to be accepted by the community where they belong. Moreover, each community embraces those values, which they communicate to their younger individuals, with pride, and consider them as the essential basis of their society. Communities bring the individuals a sense of belonging, and make them feel safe. However, an individual that is completely absorbed by his or her community could develop intolerance to the outside world. To explain, they would not recognize other societies with the same ...view middle of the document...

Psychologically, stereotypes are tools that the human brain uses to classified and organized information. That is, human utilize stereotypes as references in front of new situations. For example and mostly, people uses stereotypes at meeting new people. A person that posses absolutely no information of a person that they just have met would utilize their external characteristics to compare them to their previous experiences with people that shared the same characteristics .Moreover, stereotypes makes easier for humans to predict and react to new situations. They simplified the world, because they minimize the differences between individuals.
However, individuals that base their perception only on stereotypes tend to assume that every member of group posses all the traits that are associated to said group. That causes a negative effect, because create generalize expectations and remove the individuality of the person. Also, it reduces them to be a reflection of their community, with no different traits. As a result, stereotyped people are not expected to do anything worse or better than the stereotype, and could provoke that they are offered limited opportunities in their lives.
As an individual, I have been submitted to stereotypes several times in my life. By far, the most frequently seen in not only media but in personal experiences, is related to my race and origin. As a Latin American student, I have been aware of the several misconceptions that exist surrounding the Latin American community, particularly referring to the immigrants. The stereotypical image of a person from Latin Arica is highly pervasive, and is mostly based on little evidence and in the generalization of certain groups of individuals that affect the rest of the community.
Several of the traits attributed to the people that come from several parts of Latin America are mostly referred just to a small part of the South American territory. It is rational that the principal exponent of Latin culture to the United States is the Mexican country. The geographical closeness develops a mutual relation of cultural exchange, which affects not only the conception of the North Americans about Latin people, but also provokes an enculturation in both countries, that end up assuming cultural traits of each other. An example is the popularity of Tex-Mex food all over the United States territory, and the assumption of several Mexican holidays as the “Cinco de Mayo”. However, it leads to a generalization that affects every habitant of the south part of America.
Physically, Latinos are seen people with brown colored skin, and sometimes there are portrayed as very short men. Women are seen as curvy and scandalous, often dressed extravagant and with lack of elegance. Moreover, Latin people are perceived as loud and noisy. Also, they are seen as people that are not as knowledgeable as North American or European people, they are commonly represented as people that are not very bright or...

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