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The Effects Of Stereotypes Essay

1109 words - 5 pages

You are in a restaurant and there is a woman there with six kids of different ages. You automatically think that she is obviously on welfare to support all those children. By making assumptions about her situation, you have just stereotyped her. Stereotyping is when you associate a person with a certain category or group of people based on fallacious arguments (Mosser, 2011, 4.1). As humans, we fall victim to being stereotyped without even knowing it. Sometimes it can be blatant, liken if you hear someone speaking derogatory about you, or you feel the unwanted stares from others. But what we don’t realize is that when we commit these fallacies, we run the risk of hurting the very people we ...view middle of the document...

Another stereotype that I encounter daily has to do with the issue of sexuality. Because the company I work for sells primarily women’s clothes, people typically assume that all the men that work for the company are gay. My co manager is straight, but my visual merchandiser is not. People tend to assume that because my visual merchandiser is gay; all men in the store are gay. This argument presented in this case would fall under the Ad Hominem fallacy (Mosser, 2011, 4.2). This fallacy says that the conclusion “is to be accepted or rejected because of the person (and the characteristics of that person) involved, rather than the actual argument, or reason(s), supporting the conclusion” (Mosser, 2011, 4.2). In this case, the reason put up for all men in the store to be gay is based off of the fact that one person in the store is gay. The mistake found in this argument is that one person’s sexuality doesn’t determine the sexuality of everyone in the store and therefore, the conclusion doesn’t follow truthfully from the premise. The conclusion refers to the circumstances of the men’s sexuality, and not the facts.
The last stereotype that I will discuss is very personal to me, because it deals with me personally. I defend myself against this stereotype every day. Over twenty years ago, I decided I wanted to grow my nails extremely long. At first, it was to try to set a world record, but as I got older, I decided to keep them at what I feel is a manageable length, yet that is still long for the average woman. Because of this, people assume that I am lazy, don’t work, and cannot take proper care of myself (attacking my personal hygene). What is most frustrating about the situation is that I get the majority of the comments when I am at work and actually working! The argument for this stereotype could fall under the Argument from False Authority fallacy (Mosser) because of how people with long nails have been portrayed in the media. This fallacy is “committed by appealing to a false authority draws a conclusion based on an authority whose expertise is irrelevant to the conclusion” (Mosser, 2011, 4.2). A prime example of this comes from a television show on TLC Network called...

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