Popular culture and racial stereotypes

Freshman (College 1st year) ・Communications&Media ・MLA

Culture and Stereotypes

Culture is the way of life of a society of individuals, it consists of their traditions, their opinions, and has been classified as the key characteristics of their actions. The culture of society may also be referred to as the totality of how people perceive problems and how they react to social issues. The act of stereotyping and the emergence of different ways of stereotyping is a primary force that may define and believe the cultural values of culture in modern times. Stereotypes have been described as any broadly held thinking related to a single person, culture or society. These ideas or opinions may or may not be valid. However, irrespective of the validity of these thoughts and beliefs, stereotypes to a large extent forms a major proportion of society's views of a person, race or community.

Reasons behind Stereotypes

There are a couple of reasons why individuals have been stereotyped and these reasons include historical events, and for example few generations ago we witnessed the prevalence of human slave trade. This form of slave trading was associated with the Blacks, and to a large extent in our current society, Blacks are still referred to as slaves. Stereotypes are also created with the aid of popular opinions and event in the media. For example, America's Hollywood is the biggest movie industry in the world. Over the years the Hollywood have been responsible for developing various stereotypes in America and in the world as a whole through specific contents portrayed in movies. In Hollywood movies, black and African Americans are portrayed as rascals, thugs, slaves, and irresponsible; while Asians and South Americans ladies are portrayed as immoral and mostly prostitutes. Hollywood has also successfully painted the South American men as sex machines, and the Arabs have been categorized as terrorists. Although Hollywood does not mean to disrespect or intentionally create these forms of stereotypes, the effects of what is shown on the big screens have continued to provide orientation for the American society and the world as a whole. There are other media by which stereotypes can be developed in culture, and there are also key individuals who have been remarked for their roles in developing these forms of stereotypes. They include parents, teacher, and peers. There is need to conclude by stating that there are various methods by which stereotypes are formed and introduced to the society, each method offers the society a reorientation which could be factual or entirely baseless.

Racial Stereotypes

At this point, there is a need to point out creating racial stereotypes that have been associated with specific cultures in the world. First, let's look at the stereotype which says that white people don't have rhythm. The inability to dance efficiently and follow the rhythm of music has been over the years associated with white people. The general society believes that since the whites are incapable of developing good music they are also incapable of dancing rhythmically to music. Although some white people have difficulty dancing in line with a rhythm that doesn't mean all whites are incapable of dancing. African Americans are good at basketball, over the years excellent basket-balling skills have been associated with African Americans. This goes to some extent based on the fact that about 80% of the total NBA players are blacks. One of the greatest basketball players of all times Michael Jordan is also black. However, the stereotype is wrong as it doesn't mean that every black man or woman will naturally be able to play basketball better than their white or other racial counterparts.

Native Americans love to gamble; this is one of the primary stereotypes associates to the American community, and to some extent, this view about Native Americans is held over the world. This stereotype is held because of a vast number of casinos located in the Native American regions. Because of this large number of casinos, Americans are said to love casinos and addicted to a high level of gambling. This notion is not necessarily true as there other ethnic groups can also own casinos and gamble if they want. It is also a common stereotype to believe that all Asians are good at Kong fu. Everyone grew up watching movies made by Bruce Lee who was a primary star of martial art, over the years watching this movie have provided a general notion in the society which makes it easy for people to easily associated Kong fu skills to all Asians. However, there is not a fact to prove that all Asian children's are mandated to spend their entire lives training to acquire martial art skills.

The Middle East hates America, in recent times it has been a primary feature of all forms of media, the Middle East has been declared as a region with unimaginable hatred for Americans. This notion has been increased with the rising rates of terror attacks from that region on the United States and the West. However, this form of stereotype is a fallacy shared by some people in the society. It has not been proven that everyone in the Middle East hates American or wants them all dead. There is need to at this juncture look at one of the biggest and wildly spread stereotypes of all times. This stereotype has been in existence almost since the inception of civilization. It is believed that all whites are racist. This could be considered as a situation whereby the sins of the past haunt the future. This notion is currently held by a group of people who have suffered harsh treatments in the past in the hands of the White community. Some of these treatments include colonization and slavery perpetrated on the world predominantly by Whites. Irrespective of what this situation looks like, it must be noted that not all Whites were slave lords, or slave owners, not whites were in support of slave trades and colonization. It may be true that some white people are racists, but it is not a fact that all white people are racists or have racial tendencies.


The world we live in today is faced with the realities of racial stereotypes in popular cultures. There have been situations where a group of people has been associated with specific forms of behaviors. Some of such behaviors are true while others are baseless, there is need to emphasize that racial stereotypes are a vice against societal values. Therefore, the society must put all hands on deck to discourage racial stereotypes. Because racial stereotypes offer a negative orientation to the society and most times it channels adverse societal reactions and enormous hatred to the stereotyped.

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