What about positive stereotypes?

Often in my writings, I have “revolted” against the negative and insultng stereotypes. About women, about a particular community…But what about the positive stereotypes? (Women are emotionally more stable. IITians are all capable. Gujaratis have a good business acumen etc. etc.) If we do not take into consideration the philanthropic aspect of undermining those outside the community being positively stereotyped, is there a reason to want to avoid these positive stereotypes? Putting it in a simple manner, if I belong to a community/group that is being positively stereotyped and for a moment I leave aside the consideration that it is unfair for those outside this community, would there be a reason in my self interest why I should revolt against such stereotype?Yes, there will be. And it is this. It is not fair for an individual if his/her capabilities are solely attributed to the community he/she belongs to. If I am emotionally more stable, I want the credit for it as an individual. Why should a quality in me be taken for granted by attributing it to the community I belong to? If a Gujarati person has a good business acumen he should be given the credit for it, rather than assuming a more genetal reason behing his acumen, that of his belonging to a particular community.Okay, I am not saying that community/group has no effect whatsoever on a person’s aptitude and abilities. At least some of the associationg may be very real and strong. However, one has to be careful. Sometimes, the temptation of discounting individual qualities is so high (for various reasons, jealousy, dislike being some of them and sometimes no conscious reason at all), that too much is attributed to the community!

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About Jaya

Jaya Jha is an entrepreneur, a techie, a writer and a poet. She was born and brought up in various towns of Bihar and Jharkhand. A graduate of IIT Kanpur and IIM Lucknow, she realized early on that the corporate world was not her cup of tea. In 2008, she started Pothi.com, one of the first print-on-demand publishing platform in India. She currently lives in Bangalore and divides her time between writing and working on her company's latest product InstaScribe (http://instascribe.com) with a vision to make it the best e-book creation tool. Blog: https://jayajha.wordpress.com Twitter: @jayajha Facebook: http://facebook.com/MovingOnTheBook

One thought on “What about positive stereotypes?

  1. While a major reason behind both positive and negative stereotypes may be hype or overgeneralization, it is indeed possible that such a stereotype be based on a justifiable generalization, or even a scientific (e.g. genetic) reason. In case of positive generalizations, you pointed out one problem – that of an individual not getting the credit that is his/her due. But the opposite problem may also exist (which an individual may take unfair advantage of): that the individual does not really display characteristics generally associated with his/her community, gender, etc. (e.g. I am a Gujarati, and I must say I don’t have any extraordinary business acumen).

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