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Source: The cards were created by the British Red Cross
The term “stereotype”, as used today, has been introduced by Walter Lippmann to describe ideas and images which are already fixed in our minds, and are not necessarily based on our actual experience but rather on an a priori constructed opinion or belief which prevents our judgment. In other words, stereotypes are forms, opinions and images which have been embedded and are used in order to judge or evaluate something according to a predefined view. An example of this can be: “women are bad drivers”. Because there is this prefixed opinion in someone’s mind, in the case of a woman being a bad driver, this will be perceived as a confirmation of the prefixed opinion (stereotype) while, in case a man is being a bad driver, this experience will be perceived as an exception to the rule.
A way to understand the cycle of inequality and oppression.
Social Stereotype: An oversimplified generalisation about a group of people.
>> Social stereotypes can lead to prejudice
Prejudice: A negative belief or feeling (conscious or unconscious) about a group of people and its individual members.
>> When the person(s) holding a prejudice find themselves in a position of power and use(s) this power to deny opportunity, resources or access to other person(s) because of their group membership, prejudice can lead to discrimination
Discrimination: The unjust or prejudicial treatment of people on the grounds of their membership in a group. Discrimination has many forms such as racism, sexism, heterosexism, ageism, ablism, etc.
>> When many acts of discrimination are repeated over time against one social group (who find themselves with reletaviely less social power) by another social group with more access to social power, this leads to a state of oppression.
Oppression: The systematic subjugation of one group of people with less power by another group of people with more access to power.
>> The members of oppressed groups start to believe the stereotypes and internalise them.
Internalised Oppression: When members of oppressed groups accept and reaffirm stereotypes against themselves.
>> When members of oppressed groups internalise the stereotypes, they start to act accordingly. This results in perpetuating and reinforcing the stereotypes and keeps the cycle going.