How Sociological Studies Foster Stereotyping

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"How Sociological Studies Foster Stereotyping"
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The way that sociological studies foster stereotyping is due to the generalization of groups and people.
However, I have seen that it is easy and convenient to stereotype people without taking the time and effort to get to know people on an individual basis. The thing I and most other people should have learned is that no two people are completely the same.

There is always going to be at least a difference or two between people. This also applies to the same aspect of clones. A clone is an exact replica of someone. However, the similarities are only skin deep. Deep inside, the two people are completely different. Sociological studies do give the generalization that all people are the same.

Sociological studies do narrow down the commonalities of groups of people.

I have been on the receiving end of stereotyping many times. It has gotten to the point that I am used to it. When I was working as a substitute teacher for two years, I would be on the receiving end of stereotyping on a regular basis. It was one of the things that contributed to my daily stress on the job.

During the 1960s and 1970s, there has been a boom in the trend of martial arts in the United States.
It started in the 1950s where United States servicemen stationed in the different parts of Asia. They would train in the various martial arts styles such as Tae Kwon Do, Karate, Judo, Aikido, and Jiu-Jitsu.

There was still the concentration of immigration from China, Japan, and Korea. Many of the martial arts have stemmed from China and Japan. Plus, there was the emergence in the trend of martial arts films. It was Bruce Lee, the creator of Jeet Kune Do that was responsible for the trend of martial arts films. Many Asian martial artists aspired to be like Bruce Lee.

After Bruce Lee's death, there was one martial arts film made after another. When you look at a martial arts film during the time, the people were Asian.

Many Americans started to get the impression that all Asians knew some sort of martial arts. For most of my life, I was asked: "Do you know Karate?" or "Do you know Kung-Fu?" While I do practice martial arts, this is beside the point.

The younger generation mainly knew of Bruce Lee, Jackie Chan, and Jet Li. They would ask me if I was related to any of them.

This led to the stereotype that all Asians knew martial arts. During that time, the most common styles of martial arts were Karate and Kung-Fu.
But, Karate and Kung-Fu are umbrella terms.

Not many people bothered researching the different styles of Karate or Kung-Fu. They were stereotyped into being the same thing. Plus, sociological studies of martial arts would foster the stereotype that all martial arts were the same. In reality, there are many different martial arts styles.

The martial arts styles I have trained in did not have any of those fancy strikes. When I tell people that I trained in Tae Kwon Do and Muay Thai, they ask: "What's that?" When I started to train in the mixed-martial arts styles, the questions were more awkward.

Also, there was a constant flux of immigrants coming from China and Japan. This fostered the stereotype of all Asian immigrants being either Chinese or Japanese.
It brought forth another question I was asked while on the job: "Are you Chinese?" "Are you from China?" "Are you Japanese?"

I would answer: "I'm Vietnamese."

They would either reply: "What's that?" or "Is that in China?" I wanted to get a geography book and beat them silly with it.

And then, most Asians that came into the country trained to either to be a doctor or an engineer.
These are job professions that I had no desire to go into. People assumed that I was going to be either a doctor or an engineer.

My main major is theatre and drama. When I explain what my major is, people gave me surprised looks. Other Asians also gave me surprised looks.

What this says is that while sociological studies do help give an outlook on different groups and societies, the figures barely scratch the surface. By only going by the figures, numbers and statistics, it tends to generalize things.

When we go with just the general stuff, it will only foster stereotyping. Overall, we tend to assume from what the figures say instead of finding out for ourselves.

More about this author: Can Tran

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