To often we validate stereotypes, and in the same breath despise being stereotyped.
Why do we hate to be perceived to assume a certain behavior, thenactually adopt that behavior?
Makes no sense right?
Well that's what's happening everyday!
You see, the problem with stereotypes is that we can't seem to understand that fundamentally they describe "generalized behavior". It's just a matter of statistics. For example, if we conduct a survey on an entire race, typically researchers are basing that statistic or generalization on no more than 20% of that population. So, essentially all we have to do is change behavior in order to eleviate the stereotype.
If you look at a state of people that are categorized or stereotyped as ignorant, but teach majority (if not all) of those people to read and write. And when you go to take a random sample of that entire population, the odds are so minute that you would be able to generalize the group as ignorant. Therefore, the stereotype becomes invalid.
Sounds simple enough right?
Well that's how you essentially alleviate stereotypes...
Disclaimer: Now I know there will be some people who just can't phathom stereotypes being "untrue" but we can't help them. They live in a world of haze and fog, and they refuse to see truth. But whatever we can do to eliminate sterotypes is crucial, as stereotypes are formed by the prejudice and yeild discrimination. If we stop validating stereotypes, the prejudice, while they already have no valid reason for their assumption or generalization, will be forced to be quiet as their thoughts and assumptions have no merit.
But just knowing this should change your entire perception of generalizations and stereotypes right? Well I sure hope so. Because in order to eliminate stereotypes we must learn to change, instead of mimicking behavior that describes the minority. We have to actively work on stopping oursleves from validating steretypes.