Why do most racial stereotypes seem to be true?

Now hear me out before you scream bloody racist

Why are there many Jewish businessman by percentage?

Why do i know many black people who love collards and purple kool-aid

Why do most white people like rock and roll (haha, im listening to Guns n roses right now)

Why do most blacks like rap and hip hop.

maybe my question could be rephrased as "Isnt everybody for better or for worse different" We are not all the same, one, we are a bunch of different types of people working together for the greater good.

wow i feel like a philosopher!

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  • 1 decade ago
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    Two reasons. First is confirmation bias. For example, if you hear that all bohemians are artists then you will tend to look for bohemian artists. So when you find one or two (since you are looking for them), your mind will reject the dozen or so bohemians you meet that are firemen simply because you did not bother to find out if firemen are bohemian.

    You look for confirmation of the stereotype far more than refutation. Thus; you find confirmation far more than refutations. This is also why racial profiling by police is a self fufilling prophesy.

    Second is that many stereotypes do have some root in the truth (quite controversial, but true). At some point in time and in some location, the stereotype would be true. For instance - in the middle ages, both Christians and Muslims considered charging any interest at all to be usury and was therefore a sin. Christians often went so far as to consider ever expecting your money back to be sinful. Thus, the only people who could make a living by lending money were the Jews. Hmmm. It so happened to be a rather good living too. But it's not their fault nobody else could lend money. But this is where most of the modern stereotypes of Jews came from.

    Not all stereotypes are or were ever true. Some were created simply out of hate and fear; such as those of the Native Americans as savages.

    The purpose of stereotyping is simply because of evolution: we do it to identify friend from foe quickly (before they club you to death) That's good for survival, but it also produces a lot of false positives on the enemy side (better safe than sorry when it comes to people with clubs).

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  • 4 years ago

    One angle is that stereotypes form because of something happening so frequently that people notice it (and I'm not talking about the racist stereotypes that are typically untrue and used negatively, so much as the ones provided above that may be argued to be observational stereotypes). Some statistical analysis would be needed to see if there were indeed more people in those occupations that meet the stereotype than people from other segments of the population and, unfortunately, I'm not aware of any offhand. Bear in mind that the 1st two examples you give are low paying jobs. The people that fill those jobs tend to be newer immigrants and the background of the person fitting the stereotype will vary over time and by location (particularly the taxi drivers) depending on where the recent wave of immigration is coming from. 10 or 20 years ago, the stereotype of a taxi driver would not have been someone from Somalia. Also, having lived in the UK, the stereotypes differ there, because there is a different pattern of migration to the UK than there is to the US. For the 2nd two examples, markets are a big part of Middle Eastern culture and food is a big part if Far Eastern culture - ones that fit into market openings in the US. They might just be using their experience and capital advantageously. Then again, perhaps you don't notice all the instances that don't meet the stereotype but, because someone has created the stereotype, you are aware of it when you meet someone that does fit the stereotype. Therefore, the concept of a stereotype is, by it's nature, self-fulfilling. It's like our perception of coincidence. When a coincidence happens you think, "what were the chances of that happening." However, that isn't correct thinking because you are not aware of the whole statistical population in making that statement. Say you bump into someone you knew as a kid and haven't seen for years. That seems like coincidence but you're not counting all the times you never met someone you knew as a kid and haven't seen for years (some of those times possibly even including times when you were right next to such a person and just weren't aware). BTW - I don't see a predominance of people owning restaurants being Asian outside of Asian restaurants - which admittedly are very popular - so I don't know if that stereotype holds true. Sorry for the ramble (I tried to keep it concise) but that's my personal take on the matter. Oh - and I'm Scottish. We're stereotypically tight with money. Someone once asked me if that was true. I offered to tell him if he paid me $5.

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  • 1 decade ago

    They're not because there are too many differences and similarities between & among the races. A lot of white kids like rap & hip hop & a lot of blacks like & play other kinds of music; classical, jazz, old standards, etc. You're just hearing and seeing some on the TV & in magazines that represent a few.

    The jews were persecuted for thousands of years and learned that if they became educated they could earn more money & therefore become more successful in life. I would say it's a cultural belief that has been passed on down through the ages. When poor Russian jews immagrated to the US & other parts of Europe in the late 1800s & early 1900s they were poor & did menial work but they saved their money to send their children to good schools to become doctors, lawyers, teachers, financiers. In my small town near NYC when I was growing up 90% of the doctors, lawyers & store owners were Jewish but then the other ethnic groups "learned" that they, too, could study & be successful & now we have many Irish, Polish, Italian & Spanish professionals here. The family culture of the early Jewish immigrants just expected their children to succeed & rarely did they encourage their children to go out for sports as the Blacks have been doing since the Civil Rights movement.

    You're question makes me think that you have not been exposed to worldwide cultures nor much to the history of the 18th, 19th & 20th Centuries. If you studied your history, you'd see that there were no black atheletes prior to the early 1920's; now blacks have excelled in all sports because it's a "way out of poverty" which leads to crime, drugs & dispair.

    So, what came first - the chicken or the egg? I hope you have learned that the world is very large and much bigger than what you see here on the TV channels & radio stations that you have chosen or seen in your little part of the world. A professor once told me not to believe what I hear or read from others but to go and do the research myself to see if it's true or not. I suggest you do some research on your own so you'd understand why your question is not a good one - but rather small minded in scope.

    Source(s): History
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  • 1 decade ago

    There is a lot of history behind racial stereotypes. For example most blacks live in poverty over the last 150 years. Fruit juice was a luxury they could not afford. the cheap alternative was kool-aid type drinks. You grow up drinking kool-aid, you get a taste for it. There's a stereotype born right there. It's not good. It's not bad. It just is.

    Another stereotype about blacks being lazy may have developed from the excessive number of poor black families that had to live on welfare because they couldn't get jobs. Why couldn't a black man get a job in 1950's America? Because of racist hiring practices. But nonetheless the stereotype of the "lazy black man" was born.

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    In all honesty, of the millions of black people on this planet, how many have you personally met? I'm black and I like GNR, and have every Metallica album. I have never liked collard greens or Kool Aid. How many Jewish people have you actually met personally?

    Stereotypes seem to be true to the people who look for the stereotype.

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  • 1 decade ago

    Most of it is true. I have 5 older brothers who are black and 4 of them went to jail for stupid stuff. Ex attempted robbery carrying a gun without a license. They're the crowd that hangs their pants down and listens to rap (not hip-hop its totally 90's). I on the other are mixed with black and white and do both. I listen to rap, pop, religious, r&b, but not rock or opera. Its where you grow up that counts. Since my brothers are at closest 10 years older than me they didnt grow up around my mom. They grew up in the "hood" and that was expected of them. In China you better go to school or you have dishonor on your family. If you aint got knocked up or somebody knocked up your the Virgin Mary.

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  • 1 decade ago

    because stereotypes are meant to view them as a whole. they generalize when in reality im pretty sure there are some stereo types that are true and they can be either the majority or a minority but the whole point is that not everyone in that group is like that so thats why stereotypes are bad because people are unique and they don't want to be labeled if they aren't like that

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  • 1 decade ago

    stereotypes are made because they does seem to be a lot of jewish business men, black people who love purple kool-aid, etc. thats why theyre created in the first place. what people are saying is that stereotypes aren't true for everyone in that race. like a lot of jewish people are businessmen, but not all of them.

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    B/C there's a reason for stereotypes...it means that the majority of one race/culture has one said particular trait...like white ppl being up tight and stuffy. It just becomes bad when you judge a person and stereotype them before you actually get to them. But there's a reason for stereotypes.

    And anything can be stereotyped. Like certain actresses and actors are often stereotyped based on their roles...meaning they may play a villain or a do-gooder to perfection and so they get "typed-casted". It's difficult to break out of those roles.

    What i'm trying to say is that the word stereotype is a sociology term to describe a culture. It now has a negative connotation on it b/c of the "white Nazi-Americans" (and by that i mean Mom's Against Drunk Driving...those crazy suburbanites from the 60's that still want to protest something b/c they're bored house wives now...you know the ones i'm talking about....lol the stereotypical stuffy, white folks)....the ones that all about PC and maybe took one sociology class in college and they're now the experts and want to dictate to others...hence "good little nazi...damned socialist-elitist who want to censor every word out of our mouths. These ppl have no idea what they're talking about and they're leading our nation down a path of destruction.

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  • jay k
    Lv 6
    1 decade ago

    You by your own definition say most for all your stereotypes, therefore you prove the stereotypes not to be true in all cases. People don't want their preferences dictated simply because of the color of their skin, because not all preferences are shared within the same group.

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