Cultural Stereotyping

Cultural stereotyping is a predetermined impression of a person or group based on their ethnicity. According to Margo Montese psychology professor at Purdue University, “It’s a very natural thing for us to do, and self-serving at a motivational level that often operates below conscious awareness”.

Whether stereotyping is right or wrong, “Researchers say that our brains seem hardwired to create social categories that influence how we see others”,said Nell Boyce of the National Public Radio.

Although stereotyping may be a natural instinct there are those who take offense to them.

Oxnard High School junior Jacqueline Aldrete said, “When people automatically assume something about my race, it like gets me angry because they don’t know for sure.”

On the other hand, according to Boyce, “sometimes stereotypes are played for laughs”.

Ali Zai an OHS junior said, “If the person is cool with it and don’t go over the line” cultural stereotyping can be acceptable and even be considered to be funny.

Some take cultural stereotyping more serious than others. OHS alumni, Aaron Saucedo, does not believe in joking about anyone’s ethnicity because he is an “[…] empathetic person and can tell when [he is] hurting someone’s feelings”, said Saucedo.

Although some may see cultural stereotypes to be comical, others find them to be offensive.

Kameko Sasaki, OHS junior, said, “If I say something incorrect some people make a comment and say oh you’re Asian you’re supposed to be smart, and I take that very offensive”.

According to psychologist scientist, Doug Martin, “As [cultural stereotypes] passes down a chain of individuals, social information that is initially random complex and very difficult to remember becomes a simple system of category stereotypes that can be learned easily”.

Martin also said, “The way we organize, store, and use information about people” can be negative but can also be positive, it is determined by the person receiving the information.