Stereotypes are still ingrained in American culture
Studies show that African American, Native American, and European American high school students have stereotypes about people from groups different than theirs. African Americans and Native American Indians have stereotypical views of European Americans as imperialist. This is clearly an example of an inaccurate stereotype that some minority groups believe about current day European Americans. This stereotype may be based in the fact that European Americans hold access to most resources and unevenly distribute these resources among minority cultural groups. In the same study European American high school students commonly had stereotypes about African Americans in which they viewed African Americans as barbarians, and enemies. European Americans whom hold this stereotype view any advances made by African Americans as problems and challenges to their dominance, which would mean that the two groups’ goals are not compatible with each other. Stereotypes have influenced a continuance of racial segregation, racial inequality, and social injustice in America. Multicultural and social psychology have demonstrated that these views are still very much a part of this culture and is having a continuing negative influence on the lives of Americans. For example, the CNN doll study in 2010 demonstrated that African and European American children demonstrated a preference for light to white skin as compared to the skin of people of African descent. This study helps link negative stereotypes and views of African Americans from other cultures as problematic which leads some African Americans to internalize this negative view and accept other cultures’ view of them, which the CNN study has demonstrated can lead to lowered self-esteem in one’s self and in one’s culture.
To overcome the problems of stereotypes people must learn and develop critical thinking skills. For instance, a look at any stereotypes reveals the reality that these things can apply to any people regardless of race. This is because race is a cultural, social concept and not a reality we are all the same species. In other words, in any group of people, some will be aggressive, some will have high levels of intelligence, etc.
Hall, G. C. N., (2010). Multicultural psychology. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall/Pearson.