Stereotypes Book Review Example

Published: 2021-06-21 23:40:53
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Whistling Vivaldi is a book written by Claude Steele, a social psychologist, highlighting the stereotype threat phenomena. It explains the tendency to anticipate, perceive as well as be influenced by stereotypes about a person’s social group. In the education social arena there are also different stereotypes which affect both the learners and their instructors. In determining the performance of specific learners as well as instructors, people create stereotypes towards a given social identity.
In the education social background, certain people have their own group identity towards which other people have developed stereotypes. There is a way in which the rest of the society views this group identity. Consequently, the society’s view towards a certain group affects the performance of the alleged group members. At some point a student or an instructor is at a predicament; her performance may be confirming a bad view of her group and hence reflect that bad view on herself as the member of the group (Steele 11). A stereotype in the education social arena mostly and greatly affects the learners rather than their instructors.
While the learners are carrying on their daily activities and chores, they feel pressured by the stereotypes of their of their identity group. They try hard to make this change working out relevant things to do so instead of concentrating on the main objective of whatever they are doing. Therefore, the leaners pick up self-doubt and begin to get concerned as to how well the stereotype may be warranted. As learners go on with their learning activities, they constantly work to suppress the negative thoughts that are developed out of their group stereotypes (Steele 14). They even oversee the possibility of failure beforehand. While the students are going through such thoughts, they are barred from the task at hand causing their concentration as well as the working memory to suffer. There is no single prerequisite for the occurrence of a stereotype; the difference is the person in question to care more about performance rather than confirming a certain stereotype. The impact of a stereotype has the strongest negative impact even when the person in question has been motivated.
In a learning environment, there are several examples that contribute to the circulation of specific stereotypes. One such example includes a stereotype whereby big bodied students are perceived to be slow and lazy learners. The rest of the society in their learning environment views them as being slow and lazy. The rest of the student fraternity not members of the identity group associated them with poor grades and slow execution of class work tasks. Consequently, the members of the identity group work to avoid or confirm the bad view of their specific group and hence themselves as individuals (Steele 22).
Claude Steele suggests strategies that could be applied to eliminate the stereotype threat facing various social contexts. She explains some small interventions that can be mitigated to bridge the rift between stereotyped groups and non-stereotyped groups (Steele 34). For instance in the education learning context, stereotyping if of big bodied students could be eliminated by allowing the stereotyped students to apply self-affirmations. This could be done through the individual students performing tasks in areas which are requiring extensive work and speed. Successful completion of such tasks will assure the students and confirm that the negative stereotype is not important worth holding on to.
Steele, C. (2011). Whistling Vivaldi: How stereotypes affect us and what we can do. New York: W.W. Norton & Company.

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