Stereotypes are defined as “fixed, overgeneralized beliefs about a particular group of people.”
Stereotypes are based on little information and do not recognize individualism or consider someone’s personal identity. They can paint people in a light that does not reflect their actual character. Most stereotypes are negative, and even when stereotypes include seemingly “positive” generalizations about a group, they can be harmful.
Students in this video from PBS share their experiences with racist stereotypes.
American Harmony Acceptance Advocates developed this activity to show how prevalent stereotypes are in advertisements. Explore some of the stereotypes presented in these advertisements and think about how these stereotypes can affect our perception of the portrayed demographic.
How do you think stereotypes affect people’s perceptions of social groups?
What can you do to counter stereotypes that you hold or observe?