Effects of Stereotyping Essay

1149 Words Aug 20th, 2009 5 Pages
Effects of Stereotyping Living in America we deal with a lot of diversity, especially those in the criminal justice field where situations caused by religion can lead to a problem. Stereotypes are ideas held by some individuals about members of particular groups, based solely on membership in that group. Stereotyping is one of the biggest problems that we deal with, particularly in law enforcement. Stereotype threat can result in a self-fulfilling insight whereby a person comes to resemble his or her reputation, living up or down to social expectations. Over the years there have been many allegations of police officers accused of going after individuals and accusing them of a crime based on the sole fact of what their religious …show more content…
Department of Justice’s Community Relations Service offered a seminar that was designed to teach law enforcement agencies about Arab, Muslim and Sikh cultures. When officers were asked when you hear the term “Arab” what do you think, many gave examples of people and slang names. However when urged to include stereotypes one man responded with “terrorist”. Most Americans have negative images of Arabs and Muslims because of pop culture and media promoting stereotypes. Not all Arabs are Muslim, 42 percent of Arab Americans are Catholic. Another program that was taught by a former Muslim gave insight to law enforcement agencies around the country on Arab naming conventions, the five pillars of Islam, and the fast on Ramadan. The instructor believes linking any faith to violence and criminal activity creates the potential for stereotyping and could lead to an increase in religious and ethnic profiling. He urges law enforcement agencies that the course offers accurate and balance information on Islam and Muslims. (Mental Health Law Weekly, 2008) So, while stereotyping seems to be a natural function of people and can aid us in understanding groups as a whole, stereotyping does not allow for individual differences. Stereotyping allows people to discriminate and commit various atrocities against all kinds of people. It allows us to pass laws that actually damage groups of people and prevents us from learning real information about real people. What people should be focused

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