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(Social) Stereotype

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These stereotypes are mainly culturally and socially constructed. First, the aspects of race, class, and gender together construct stereotypes. Each aspect gains meaning in relationship to the others. For instance, Latinos are stereotyped as “macho.” On the other hand, white women are sexually stereotyped as “madonnas.” Women in the upper class are also stereotyped as frigid and cold. Class and gender intermingle with race and gender in these stereotypes.Stereotypes may also be created in systems of domination and construct race, class, and gender groups as “opposites”, with one “superior” than the others. These may include groups of men and women, whites and Asians, rich and poor, and gays and straights, among others. In this regard, men are stereotyped as rational and detached while women are stereotyped as emotional and dependent. In the same way, whites are perceived as intelligent while Latinos are stereotyped as stupid. This way, the constructions are dichotomous, whereby the “other” are groups that have been subordinated while the dominant groups are considered the norm.In stereotyping, the dominant groups are not considered in the context of race, class, and gender, as these are perceived as irrelevant to them. The dominant groups are considered to be superior to other groups, mainly because of their individual characteristics. These are not considered in the context of their group characteristics that form social order. For this reason, it is rare for white people to examine whiteness, as these are assumed to be “raceless” by virtue of them being a dominant group. People that are non-white are ones considered to be raced. In the same manner, men being the dominant group are considered to be without gender; as only women are considered gendered objects. Similarly, heterosexual people, who are the dominant group, are considered normal while the gay people are considered deviant. Such stereotyping is inherent in ideologies that support the continued domination of powerful groups in society.Stereotypes are cultural entities, in that they are generalizations of widely-held and widely-recognized images of socially salient groups. For instance, the Jews are stereotyped as greedy, wealthy, and scholarly. Women are stereotyped as nurturant, irrational, and emotional. On the other hand, Asian-Americans and Asians are stereotyped as being good at math and
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