Cultural stereotypes aren’t always a bad thing. (If you’ve ever enjoyed reading a “You know you’re a ____ when…” email about your culture, you probably know what I mean.) It’s never a good idea, however, to become bound by stereotypes, to become pigeon-holed by them, or to pigeon-hole others with them. Cultural difference is a huge topic, and I won’t pretend to be able to address all the issues of culture, stereotyping, racism, and prejuidice in this single post. However, I do want to offer a few brief suggestions for avoiding the pitfalls of stereotypes. It helps to:
- be aware of the cultural stereotypes you hold about others.
- recognize which stereotypes others may have about you.
- know which of your own cultural stereotypes fit you and which ones don’t.
- become comfortable educating others about your culture – be proud of the ways in which you are different than others, and value the ways you are the same.