Does travel make you embrace stereotypes?

Old Jun 13th, 2002, 05:56 AM
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Does travel make you embrace stereotypes?

It seems like the more I travel- the more I embrace stereotypes. (stereotypes about regions in the country, people, white collar-blue collar- racial- city reputations, etc.)

Everyone tells me that the more educated/traveled people become, the less they will embrace stereotypes.

I strongly disagree!

I am 45 and have a Masters degree in sociology. When I was 22 I was the perfect liberal, I thought everyone was the same. Now 23 years later with lots of traveling all over the USA/World- under my belt I strongly believe in stereotypes. Your thoughts.

Does anyone agree with me?
Old Jun 13th, 2002, 06:00 AM
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"If you are a conservative at 20, you have no heart. If you are a liberal at 40, you have no brain."

Winston Churchill
Old Jun 13th, 2002, 06:13 AM
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If you once "thought everyone was the same" but now recognize differences among cultural/racial/geographical/economic groups, perhaps you are actually becoming LESS of a stereotyper? Just a thought.

Maybe you could be more specific about how you are embracing stereotypes? It's definitely possible to make true generalizations about places and peoples, but I think stereotyping comes in when you *only* see those general ideas and can't recognize the differences among individuals.
Old Jun 13th, 2002, 07:42 AM
Stephanie P.
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It's called getting older and wiser. Since most people don't have time to meet every single person that lives in a certain location while being a tourist, they meet a few and then make generalizations.

Old Jun 13th, 2002, 07:51 AM
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Yes: the stereotype of the person attending pro wresling, monster truck racing and extreme changle boxing holds true over the people I saw at the ballet, classical music concert and the art museum. A few may go to both, but in very few numbers.
Old Jun 13th, 2002, 07:53 AM
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If you do not believe in sterotypes then you must think that the way people dress in small town Arkansas is the same as how people dress on the upper east side of New York City.
Old Jun 13th, 2002, 07:57 AM
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Just sitting here in awe of the thinking. Do keep going, pray dont stop.
Old Jun 13th, 2002, 09:41 AM
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Anyone who have been anywhere knows that the stereotype that New Yorkers are a bunch of asses is true!
Old Jun 13th, 2002, 09:49 AM
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Wow Jack:
What crawled all over you and made you itchy!!
Old Jun 13th, 2002, 12:28 PM
Stephanie P.
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Jack is right. Just look through the threads on this board and you can just image what a trip to NYC would be like. I'll pass.
Old Jun 13th, 2002, 01:07 PM
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Give the NYC people a break! They are in a hurry. AND it takes a lot of energy to keep up and make enough money to live there. Plus it is a terrific place to visit time and again. I have particularly enjoyed viewing the drama of their stride and aggresive competitive behaviors. Laughed a whole bunch at the Yankee game when their team was losing and they were so "shy" at letting their own players know how they felt about it. Don't say anything bad about New Yorkers- they can dish it out but can sure take it too.

The entire sterotype word has gotten a bad rap. A sterotype is a POSITIVE thing. Cognitively- you could not think or live or learn without using sterotypes. You see a lion, you see a lion's teeth. You see a lion bite. You know where not to put your head. You will probably survive because you have learn to recognize a lion.
Old Jun 13th, 2002, 01:20 PM
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New Yorkers - Friendly. Southern Californians - Snobs. Midwesterners - Friendly. And I had heard the opposite about New Yorkers and Southern much for stereotyopes.
Old Jun 14th, 2002, 08:29 PM
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Stephanie and Jack are two ignorant "Jackasses" who crawled from under the rock in which they need to crawl back under (their own hometowns). They have nothing going for them in their miserable lives. I visited NY and I find that many NY'rs are more friendlier than you two.
Old Jun 15th, 2002, 04:38 AM
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Stupid of me to even stop at this thread, given the IQ wattage of Tom and Jeannette and Stephanie and any numbers of others, but...

Here's why stereotypes (can't anyone spell it?) are not something you want to cultivate: they give you a mindset about a group of people that conditions how you will approach one member of that group before you even know that member.

A "stereotype" is nothing more than a generalization on the basis of which one is, literally, prejudiced (pre-judging).

"Embracing a stereotype" is BY DEFINITION becoming prejudiced.

And (to generalize), at least 8 times out of 10, the stereotype ISN'T flattering or positive, so the pre-judging results in a really negative attitude about whatever you're dealing with.

Tom, I have a "stereotype" about sociologists that says they think in collectivizing, generalizing ways and create "data" that work to summarize and thereby obliterate sub-population differences, let alone individuality. "100% of all people are gonna die someday" -- how useful is THAT piece of information? And sociologists tend to only ask questions they think they already know the answer to.

Here's why you, Tom, and other shallow thinkers (who can be either liberal or conservative -- doesn't make a PARTICLE of difference) become more prejudiced when you travel:

You already have some stereotype or some pre-existing ways of thinking about people ("X people are friendlier than others, Y people are better at sports," etc.), so when you get to a new place and you see evidence that supports a stereotype, voila!-- it is confirmed.

If you see exceptions to some rule ("Italians are emotional but this guy seems kind of reserved"), you assume it's just that: an exception, maybe even the one that proves the rule.

Try taking one person, one family, one neighborhood at a time -- appreciate them and don't bother to use the experience as a chance to generalize and pre-judge. Your travel will be richer.
Old Jun 16th, 2002, 10:12 AM
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Age and education has nothing to do with the way one views an individual. Age does not guarantee wisdom, and academics does not guarantee knowledge.
Your heart is what makes the difference, one sees what one wants to see. Maybe you are recognizing or realizing something uncomfortable about yourself. I have spent 16 consecutive years living outside the United States because of my work, I find that people are the basically the same. Every group has it's good, as well as its bad. One must not judge, those same people could have looked at you and you may have fit a sterotype in their eyes.
Old Jun 16th, 2002, 03:45 PM
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Everyone's just flapping their jaws trying to be politically correct.Extensive travel has absoltely confirmed stereotypical behaviour of the residents in the areas that I have visited.Just be honest.
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