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Cultural stereotyping and its effects on power balance.
Definition of Stereotyping Bowe & Martin (2007) define stereotyping as an over-generalisation of the characteristics of a group. Often such stereotyping has a polarising effect- that is assigning positive attributes to the in-group and negative attributes to the out-group.
Stereotyping within the Fantastic Rice Cracker Advertisement.
This advertisement is an example of positive stereotyping – in particular the solidarity fallacy.
The Solidarity Fallacy is when a group creates common ground by blending their characteristics with another group.
In this text the Japanese women is portrayed as the gracious hostess (a common stereotype). This characteristic is used to appeal to New Zealand women’s desire to be a good hostess in order to sell the product.
Comments from a Pulp Sport Clip on “Asian Drivers”http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WTuQmf02WS0
ha ive seen asians driving around nz who cant drive for shit! they ride the brakes all the way down the road and drive like half the speed limit..
fucking asian drivers..... asian r the mostyfunnyist thing in the world
Stereotyping within the Pulp Sport comments These comments show negative stereotyping. Negative stereotyping is when Two groups are compared on a single characteristic. The in-group has been given a positive value and the out-group has been given a negative value. (Bowe & Martin 2007 p.88)
Stereotyping within the Pulp Sport Comments In this case the in-group are the New Zealanders who are not “Asian” with the inferred positive value of being good at driving. The out-group is the group considered to be “Asian” has been assigned the negative value of being poor drivers. The simplistic categorising of the man in the clip as “Asian” is a form of negative stereotyping. The over-generalised idea that people from all Asian countries are similar enough to be categorised “Asian”; this creates a over generalised view that a large population of people can all be the same.
The process of stereotyping effects power relations between cultures because stereotyping is an over-simplification of culture.
Such a limited view can lead to misunderstanding and miscommunication.
Negative stereotyping creates an in-group and an out-group as seen with the Pulp Sports Comments.
Such grouping allows for the in-group to gain dominance over the out-group.
How does Stereotyping allow for Power Dominance?
Stereotyping allows for the formation of the in-group and out-group.
Such grouping outlines the two groups as binaries – opposites of each other.
This process is one of Otherisation. That the dominant culture is the norm and “them”-the other cultures are different and therefore outsiders.
Otherisation effects power as the dominant culture is more acceptable and differences are less accepted.
Power Dominance in the texts Text1 – the Fantastic Cracker Advertisement shows positive stereotyping. This still effects power balance as it shows an over simplification of culture which leads to a misunderstanding between the groups. Text 2- the comments from Pulp Sport clip show negative stereotyping. The “asians” are seen as indistinguishable and labelled incompetent drivers thus making New Zealanders superior. Such perceived superiority allows for the in-group to hold power over the out-group.
References Bowe & Martin (2007) Communication across cultures: Mutual understanding in a global world. (pp.87-89) Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.