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Classification of Stereotypes

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In today’s society stereotypes are a part of our everyday lives. We hear stereotypes every day and everywhere. Sometimes we can find ourselves in a situation where we make stereotypes for a large group of people. Every person, young or old, is labelled with either positive or negative stereotypes. A stereotype is an unreliable generalization about a person or group of persons. We develop stereotypes when we are unable or unwilling to obtain all of the information we would need to make fair judgments about people or situations. There are many types of stereotypes such as racial/ethnic stereotypes, religious stereotypes, gender stereotypes, ageism stereotypes and professional stereotypes. They can be divided into three different levels according to the degree of harm they can cause to either individuals or groups.

The most harmful types of stereotypes are racial/ethnic stereotypes. Since people can be born into a racial group/ethnic group based on their physical differences/national origin, they will involuntarily receive an unequal treatment as compared with members of a dominant group. The racial/ethnic stereotypes may develop some social issues that can lead to prejudice, discrimination, segregation, or even extermination. In Canada, we see many people with different skin colours, physical characteristics, and cultural patterns. For example, Historically, the North American Aboriginal population has been decimated by the European settlers from the sixteenth through the nineteenth centuries. Due to the expansion of European-American populations, the Indian Act of 1876 granted the federal government the power to control most aspects of Aboriginal life, relocating Aboriginal people from their homelands and denying their civil rights. To illustrate the point further, Chinese immigrants who first came to Canada in the late 1850s were viewed as a group of people with...

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