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When you are sitting on a public bus and look around, it is easy to make conclusions about people. The guy sitting alone with the messy hair and cloths is obviously a drunk and just wondering aimlessly. The lady sitting in the short dress and has on really heavy makeup, is obviously a prostitute. The young girl with the baby is certainly an unwed mother and lives on welfare. These are the conclusions that many people make about others without knowing any facts about that person. We all stereotype and generalize others without taking the time to meet people and find out who they really are.

We stereotype based on simple observations. A judgment, we can come up with in a minute or two. Often we call this the first impression. In actuality it is a judgment with little or no foundation. People get stereotyped into a category or categories in a variety of ways. One is based on physical appearance. This can range from how someone is dressed to their nationality and/or the company they keep. It is very common for people to stereotype young black males. When people see two or three young black males together, it is very common to jump to the conclusions that they are hoodlums that want to rob people or to gang up on others and cause them harm. People never conclude that they are young men that have just left work and are walking home together. It is easier to jump to negative conclusions.

People stereotype others and are stereotyped by others. This is generally without our knowledge. In the beginning of “Black Men and Public Space” the author starts off by calling one of the characters in the story his “victim” (Staple). Right off the bat we think that he is going to harm this women in some type of way. The author...

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... judge people on looks and by how the act and react. Stereotyping has always been part of society. We look at people that have met with hardship and make all kinds of conclusions, they are addicts, they are lazy or they are criminal. We claim to be sympathetic when really we are judgmental and unfair. It is easier to judge and then to get to know others, it is also safer.

Works Cited

Kincaid, Jamaica. "Girl." X.J. Kennedy, Dorthy M. Kennedy, Jane E. Aaron. The Bedford Reader. Boston, Ma: Bedford/St. Martin's, 2009. 367-371.

Mernissi, Fatema. "Size 6: The Western Women's Harem." X.J. Kennedy, Dorthy M. Kennedy, Jane E. Aaron. The Bedford Reader. Boston, Ma: Bedford/ St. Martin's, 2009. 252-259.

Staple, Brent. "Black Men and Public Space." X.J. Kennedy, Dorthy M. Kennedy, Jane E. Aaron. The Bedford Reader. Boston, Ma: Bedford/ St. Martin's, 2009. 208-211.
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