Essay about Stereotype Threat

Essay about Stereotype Threat

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How have my own experiences conforming to stereotypes equipped me to deal with stereotype threats that may be present in my sessions with students as a Speaking Fellow? My past is inundated with the roles I have adopted. As the single female in a combat unit in the military this stereotype manifested as I forfeited my femininity to become one of the boys. I had no desire to be seen as a woman who needed to be coddled (as the men I served with presumed) so I assumed the role of tomboy, eating as they, sporting baggy, unfitted pants to cover my womanly curves, and sacrificing my use of silverware in my efforts to be “just one of the guys.” As I matriculated to Barnard, my identity changed again. Barnard’s slogan is “bold, beautiful, Barnard women,” and as a newcomer, in efforts to fit in, I wanted to assume that “bold” identity. I reverted back to my feminine persona, I ate my food with a fork and I rehashed my old dresses. I was going to be the stereotypically Barnard woman—or at least, what I thought the stereotype was.
My once alternating identity was a product of the tendency we all have to conform. Though I was conscious of my ever-changing personality, many who adapt to suggested stereotypes are often unaware of their actions. I consciously tailored my persona in an effort to feel more comfortable in my environment. It was confusing, and I can relate to others who experience such ambivalence. In academic institutions there are a variety of stereotypes that are prevalent, the gender typecasts that I encountered as well as ethnic stereotypes, both of which can negatively affect classroom dynamics.
In, "Nobody Mean More To Me than You and the Future Life of Willie Jordan," June Jordan, author and beloved educator examines ...


... middle of paper ...


...ing ethnic backgrounds, chosen gender roles, and contrasting levels of confidence. Just as Jordan we must bolster self-assurance and create an unprejudiced learning environment where all students feel at ease. We must encourage our peers to value their voice and their own identities to create their individuality as a speaker.



Works Cited

Inzlicht, Michael. Stereotype threat: theory, process, and application. New York, N.Y.: Oxford University Press, 2012. Print.

Moody, JoAnn. Faculty Diversity Removing the Barriers.. Hoboken: Taylor & Francis, 2011. Print.

"Recent findings from L.J. Stricker and co-authors highlight research in applied social psychology.." Psychology & Psychiatry Journal 4 Aug. 2008: 1-18. Print.

Shulman, Lawrence. The skills of helping individuals, families, groups, and communities. 7th ed. Sydney: Brooks/Cole/Cengage Learning, 2012. Print.

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