Are you a cultural stereotype?


Before you answer the question, think about what the words ‘cultural stereotype’ might actually mean.

  • They could imply that you as an individual are completely typical of the culture you live in.
  • Or they could mean that you have somehow turned your distinctive qualities into a stock template that helps you fit in with family and friends.
  • Or perhaps it assumes that parts of your personality or environment are no longer original and need revamping?

I am reading ‘The Social Animal’ by David Brooks which was published last year. It paints a fascinating picture (with plenty of supporting facts) of what actually makes humans do what they do, very much directed by our brains, but not in a completely cold and rationalistic way, rather based on the emotional impact of what we learn about the world as we experience it and are educated about it. To me it provides an optimistic message that none of us are inherently cultural stereotypes, as we all go through unique experiences even though in some cases they may seem the same, but this is because we are coded to recognise familiar behaviours in others and reflect this on ourselves. It doesn’t necessarily mean we ARE the people who behave that way, as we still have free will.

So my answer to the question is: “No, I’m not a cultural stereotype’.

And yours should be the same, because you’re NOT a female who just likes pink, or a male who only builds things, or an adult who doesn’t know how to play, or a scientist who is verging on mad, or a vegetarian who likes hugging trees.

You are YOU.

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2 thoughts on “Are you a cultural stereotype?

  1. Definitely agree with you Nick. Stereotyping is a condition. We can allow ourselves to be conditioned however our unique blueprint can never be stereotyped. You are YOU and I am ME 🙂

    • Thanks for the comment Gail. While we all on this planet share genetic attributes, which is great, we go through different experiences and are all the richer for this (as is the gene pool).

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