According to the Oxford English Dictionary, a stereotype is defined as a widely held idea or image that is oversimplified and fixed of a particular thing or person. Stereotypes are ubiquitous as they cover racial groups, genders, political groups, activities, and demographic groups (Hummert, 2017). As an adult man, I compare myself with young men as our interactions are parallel in society. During such interaction, it is not possible to avoid certain stereotypes, both positive and negative. From this, stereotypes are a pattern of a set of characteristics given by one group to another (Hummert, 2017). After performing the self-assessment, I observed the same idea described above due to the varying stereotypes from negative to positive and respectful. The results obtained were that my Caribbean group scored 71, and the other Asian group scored 78.
The self-assessment revealed the positive stereotype I hold about my ethnic group when it comes to communication. The results showed how well the people from the Caribbean communicate well with others in society by considering each individual’s uniqueness. It is through this understanding that I can resolve conflicts amicably. Cross-cultural communication is the communication present between people with differences, such as nationality, working, gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, race, etc. Communication has presented challenges in people’s lives, but my group is equipped with proper communication tactics (Hummert, 2017).
According to McLeod (2008), social identity theory consists of social categorization, identification, and comparison, which can help explain my score. The views presented by the author helped analyze my stereotype. The first approach is choosing groups, which helped me identify with young men from my generation. In so doing, categorization managed to tell me about my ethnicity by helping me know about the category I belong to in society.
Secondly, social identification relates to belonging to an out- or in-group, which was easily achieved by determining the appearance of an individual. Nevertheless, the communication process of an individual’s appearance may fail to correspond to their age; hence, making a mistake is easy. By adopting the identity of an adult man, I was able to begin acting in ways young men behave and adapt to their group norms. The identification process also had an emotional significance with a particular group and resulted in my confidence being bound with group members (McLeod, 2008).
The last part of social comparison reminds us of the aspect introduced by McLeod of in-group (us) seeking to find undesirable features of an out-group (them). In the end, this enhances self-image (McLeod, 2008). Making such a discovery was not pleasant, but the same aspect was present in my reasoning. The traits highlighted were more negative, which I did not like, such as a lack of creativity. When it came to my group, the things observed were pleasant, such as tradition-loving.
Stereotypical thinking is not good; even though it is part of our consciousness, I should eliminate it. Therefore, after the above analysis, I am reflecting on each person without looking at them as a group. Applying stereotypes to a social group leads to misunderstandings, and prejudice develops, which hinders effective communication. Cross-cultural communication is an essential aspect of today’s society, which I aim to achieve in life.
Hummert, M. L. (2017). Stereotypes. In Y.Y. Kim (Ed.), The international encyclopedia of intercultural communication (Vol. 3) (pp. 1-8). Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons.
McLeod, S. (2008). Social identity theory. Simply Psychology. http://www.simplypsychology.org/social-identity-theory.html