Sociology

Stereotyping vs Sociological Hypothesis the Difference



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Both stereotyping and sociological hypothesis serve to form conclusions that are based on observations that, over time, appear to be reliable ways of predicting that an individual falls within a certain category of people, comes from a specific culture, is inclined to behave in a predictable way, or to have certain beliefs, standards and norms.

Stereotyping differs from sociological hypothesis in that it is not formally derived or stringently tested against large populations to determine if there is proof that the conclusions are accurate. The process of arriving at an acceptable sociological process can include proper and specific definition of what is being observed, insuring that bias and cognitive error is eliminated, removing irrelevant or interfering observations, and factoring out other environmental and personal variables that interfere with making a sound judgment.

Stereotyping comes from a person's limited, often outdated, and personal set of observations and untested verbal information about a subject. In stereotyping, an unproven or untested conclusion is quickly reached and is maintained. The problems with stereotyping arise when the individual tunes out any proof or evidence that does not reinforce the existing conclusions.

Stereotyping is often based on biased or misinformed sources, such as the news media and television shows, where only the stereotypical images of people are shown. Another cause of stereotyping is in getting information by word of mouth from people who have no real relationship or life experience with the social group that they are talking about. Individuals who spent a week touring through Italy may have come to conclusions about Italian behavior, values and norms that an Italian Sociologist will take great umbrage at hearing.

The Italian sociologist may visit New York and be tempted to come to conclusions about all Americans, based on his experiences there. But the sociologist will at least know better than to do that because he has studied facts about people who live in other parts of America and generally knows that there are regional differences in people's behavior, values and norms in every country in the world.

Sociological hypothesising uses various methods to arrive at an explanation of a subject, rather than simply coming to conclusions about the subject. The subject may involve cause and effect, which can be tested by comparing a number of observations, then measuring the strength of the cause and effect relationship. When a fact about an entire social class, ethnic group, or society is being evaluated, sociologists know better than to arrive at generalizations and use large data collections or surveys to quantify occurrences, then to evaluate results in order to determine if French people actually eat crepes, are rude, and hate Americans all day, every day.

A lucky sociologist will move to France and spend time there, using an anthropological approach in combination with other analytical approaches to conclude that the French do not meet the stereotype of rude, American hating people, and that they eat a lot of wonderful things beside crepes.

In comparison, sociological hypothesizing is a far superior process for investigating people and for coming to understandings that, no matter what the category, there are always exceptions to the rules that stereotyping places on people.





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