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  • Stereotype vs Prejudice

    To me, this is an essential distinction we must make if we are to continue to have a robust, thriving civil society.

    To oversimplify in order to set a baseline:

    "Prejudice" is a nonrational bias against all members of a particular race, ethnic group, gender, sexual orientation, religious affiliation, etc. It may very well stem from a preconscious survival instinct, i.e., "my pack = good, other = bad."

    "Stereotype" is an anecdotal / empirical "more likely than not" tool of evaluation (not necessarily an "all or none") in which race / ethniciity / etc. is merely one of several identifying characteristics.

    Example: you are a black youth walking in Chicago's Marquette Park on the southwest side in the 1960s or 1970s. You see four young white men with shaved heads carrying baseball bats. You immediately turn and run as fast as you can. that is stereotyping. we have no idea from this situation whether the youth is prejudiced against all whites or not; and in this situation it doesn't matter since his life is probably at stake.

    I am sitting on my front porch and I see three black youths on one bicycle riding west (one on the handlebar, one pedaling while standing, one on the seat). Several minutes later, I see the same three people, now on separate bicycles, riding east. I assume they have just stolen two bicycles. that is stereotyping. we have no idea whether I am prejudiced against all blacks or not; in this situation it doesn't matter, since chances are high that some of my neighbors have just been robbed (which did turn out to be the case in this instance).




    I once had a service job in which I would travel into middle-class black neighborhoods to meet with physicians, attorneys, executives, and the like. They engaged in stereotyping of blacks themselves, they knew how to recognize potential troublemakers and distinguish them from regular neighborhood teens who belonged there. You'd never say blacks were prejudiced against blacks, yet blacks do stereotype other blacks (remember Jesse Jackson's famous admission?).

    Similarly, whites do stereotype other whites, e.g. redneck, hillbilly, tea-bagger, WASP, etc.



    So under this formulation, there is a huge difference between "profiling" in which ethnicity / religious affiliation is merely one of several characteristics combined in a constellation which warrants further scrutiny, and "racial profiling" in which only one factor matters. One is based on observation and reason and says "many"; the other is based on more primitive impulses and says "all" and is not accessible to reason

    This formulation also helps us understand how to manage the two different situations (i.e., you cannot reason away a person's prejudices; only that person can overcome their own prejudice from within, typically based on experiences that create enough cognitive dissonance between prejudice and result so that it only can be resolved by overcoming the prejudice).
    Last edited by FreshFish; 06-08-2012, 10:51 AM.
    "Hope is a good thing; maybe the best of things."

    "Beer is a sign that God loves us and wants us to be happy." -- Benjamin Franklin

    "Being Irish, he had an abiding sense of tragedy, which sustained him through temporary periods of joy." -- W. B. Yeats

    "People generally are most impatient with those flaws in others about which they are most ashamed of in themselves." - folk wisdom

  • #2
    Re: Stereotype vs Prejudice

    Prejudice is when you say social conservatives are herpa-derps before meeting them.

    Stereotyping is when you say social conservatives are herpa-derps after meeting them.
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    • #3
      Re: Stereotype vs Prejudice

      Jane Austin is AWESOME!
      Go Gophers!

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      • #4
        Re: Stereotype vs Prejudice

        you start an AWFUL lot of threads.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Stereotype vs Prejudice

          Originally posted by FreshFish View Post
          To me, this is an essential distinction we must make if we are to continue to have a robust, thriving civil society.
          We have a robust, thriving civil society?
          Originally posted by Priceless
          Good to see you're so reasonable.
          Originally posted by ScoobyDoo
          Very well, said.
          Originally posted by Rover
          A fair assessment Bob.

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          • #6
            Re: Stereotype vs Prejudice

            Largely agreed with the overall point and profiling is an important tool in law enforcement.

            But the risk remains that folks with...we'll just say a strong emotional viewpoint here...use stereotyping as a blunt instrument which results in the race in question being treated as second class citizens. Hence often in those who are quickest to use it, stereotyping becomes prejudice.
            Go Gophers!

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            • #7
              Re: Stereotype vs Prejudice

              I think a lot of the distinction comes down to "pre-judging" based on behavior rather than intrinsic characteristics such as skin color. In FF's two anecdotes (skinheads with baseball bats and youths with extra bicycles) the observer is actually responding to the behavior of the people in question rather than their skin color. Even appearance, to a large extent, is the product of behavior (i.e. choices) - did you choose to present yourself as a mild-mannered librarian or as punk rocker? Punk rockers know *exactly* what message they are sending via their appearance - they dress that way explicitly for the purpose of sending that message, so it's completely unfair for them to then object when someone receives the message that they are sending. It's analogous to people spouting off bat-guano crazy ideas, and then arguing that you shouldn't consider them to be an idiot because they have freedom of speech. Yes, you do - but what you choose to speak still has consequences.

              Stereotyping and even being prejudiced based on behavior is completely normal and acceptable in my mind; skin color - obviously not.
              If you don't change the world today, how can it be any better tomorrow?

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              • #8
                Re: Stereotype vs Prejudice

                Originally posted by jen View Post
                you start an AWFUL lot of threads.
                Hey, it's the off-season. I cut down on drinking.
                "Hope is a good thing; maybe the best of things."

                "Beer is a sign that God loves us and wants us to be happy." -- Benjamin Franklin

                "Being Irish, he had an abiding sense of tragedy, which sustained him through temporary periods of joy." -- W. B. Yeats

                "People generally are most impatient with those flaws in others about which they are most ashamed of in themselves." - folk wisdom

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Stereotype vs Prejudice

                  Originally posted by Bob Gray View Post
                  We have a robust, thriving civil society?
                  Word.
                  **NOTE: The misleading post above was brought to you by Reynold's Wrap and American Steeples, makers of Crosses.

                  Originally Posted by dropthatpuck-Scooby's a lost cause.
                  Originally Posted by First Time, Long Time-Always knew you were nothing but a troll.

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                  • #10
                    Re: Stereotype vs Prejudice

                    Originally posted by ScoobyDoo View Post
                    Word.
                    We're agreeing too often these days for me to feel comfortable.
                    Originally posted by Priceless
                    Good to see you're so reasonable.
                    Originally posted by ScoobyDoo
                    Very well, said.
                    Originally posted by Rover
                    A fair assessment Bob.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Stereotype vs Prejudice

                      Originally posted by FreshFish View Post
                      I am sitting on my front porch and I see three black youths on one bicycle riding west (one on the handlebar, one pedaling while standing, one on the seat). Several minutes later, I see the same three people, now on separate bicycles, riding east. I assume they have just stolen two bicycles. that is stereotyping. we have no idea whether I am prejudiced against all blacks or not; in this situation it doesn't matter, since chances are high that some of my neighbors have just been robbed (which did turn out to be the case in this instance).
                      Unless you would come to the same conclusion if the three youths are white, that is a racist conclusion.
                      Similarly, whites do stereotype other whites, e.g. redneck, hillbilly, tea-bagger, WASP, etc.
                      I think the term you are looking for here is "Tea Partier." Try Googling what you wrote. Then stop using it, it is really offensive.
                      bigmrg74: "You can't drink the day away if you don't start early!"
                      SledDog: "UncleRay seems to be the most sensible one here tonight."
                      All great men are dead and I'm not feeling well.
                      A Margarita! in every hand and another Margarita! in the other hand!

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                      • #12
                        Re: Stereotype vs Prejudice

                        Originally posted by UncleRay View Post
                        I think the term you are looking for here is "Tea Partier." Try Googling what you wrote. Then stop using it, it is really offensive.
                        I know exactly how offensive it is, the lefties use it in a disparaging way all the time. It bothers me a lot whenever I see it. Perhaps it is better used as an example of left-wing prejudice instead of stereotyping.
                        "Hope is a good thing; maybe the best of things."

                        "Beer is a sign that God loves us and wants us to be happy." -- Benjamin Franklin

                        "Being Irish, he had an abiding sense of tragedy, which sustained him through temporary periods of joy." -- W. B. Yeats

                        "People generally are most impatient with those flaws in others about which they are most ashamed of in themselves." - folk wisdom

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Stereotype vs Prejudice

                          Screw the Irish.

                          What were we talking about again?
                          If you want to be a BADGER, just come along with me

                          BRING BACK PAT RICHTER!!!


                          At his graduation ceremony from the U of Minnesota, my cousin got a keychain. When asked what UW gave her for graduation, my sister said, "A degree from a University that matters."

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                          • #14
                            Re: Stereotype vs Prejudice

                            imho prejudice is stereotyping without action - in other words one does not hold said stereotype against another. Although at that point it becomes outright racism does it not?

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                            • #15
                              Re: Stereotype vs Prejudice

                              Originally posted by FreshFish View Post
                              I know exactly how offensive it is, the lefties use it in a disparaging way all the time. It bothers me a lot whenever I see it. Perhaps it is better used as an example of left-wing prejudice instead of stereotyping.
                              You know how offensive it is, yet continue to use it yourself?? That makes you either a leftie dooshebag or a rightie dip5hit.
                              bigmrg74: "You can't drink the day away if you don't start early!"
                              SledDog: "UncleRay seems to be the most sensible one here tonight."
                              All great men are dead and I'm not feeling well.
                              A Margarita! in every hand and another Margarita! in the other hand!

                              And stay off the lawn!

                              Comment

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