MANDATORY RESEARCH TOPIC 2 Stereotypes GDD 5522 / Curtin 392

2.2.0

STEREOTYPES

The word ‘stereotype’ was invented by a French printer, engraver and type founder named Firmin Didot (1764-1836). (‘Stereotype’, 2001) Stereotype which in printing refers to the metal printing plate created for the actual printing of pages as opposed to printing pages directly with movable type and used the process extensively, revolutionizing the book trade by his cheap editions. (‘Firmin Didot’, 2001)

Holt A, n.d.

Fig.1 A comical represeantation of stereotypes. Source: http://thrdgll.tripod.com/stereotypes.htm

A "stereotype" is a generalization about a person or group of people often in a negative or prejudicial manner. (Grobman G, 20
(Semester 8, Design Reflective Practice) Entered to journal on 18 July 2006

to make it complete.MANDATORY RESEARCH TOPIC 2 Stereotypes GDD 5522 / Curtin 392 1990) It could be one of the worst feature of the human nature since it is we develop stereotypes when we are unable or unwilling to obtain all of the information we would need to make fair judgments about people or situations. but these stereotypes often lead to unfair discrimination and persecution when the stereotype is unfavourable. We have made a generalization in each case." It is because the total picture of the situation is not available. we often create a stereotype. When we go to the roots of these generalizations. 1990) For example. Our society often innocently creates and perpetuates stereotypes. (Grobman G. she would definitely not feel safe even though they did not threaten her. However. When this happens we would not be sure what has happened and stereotypes in many cases allow us to "fill in the blanks. if the same girl encounters three senior citizens wearing coats and walking with canes. seen in movies or television. these are experiences we have had ourselves. (Grobman G. 1990) Why is this so? The answer is simple. without knowledge of (Semester 8. we are resorting to prejudice by ascribing characteristics about a person based on a stereotype. Yet. Thus. read about in books and magazines. in virtually every case. However. Design Reflective Practice) Entered to journal on 18 July 2006 21 . if a girl has to walk through a park late at night and encounter three young guys wearing junky clothes. or have had related to us by friends and family. it is proved that these stereotypical generalizations are reasonably accurate in many cases. she would definitely not fell threatened.

(Grobman G. Positive stereotypes can also be found by viewing television. (Grobman G. Television tends to depict racial groups . comic strips. 1990) Television. By stereotyping.2. books. (Semester 8. For much of its history. or violence-prone. in the same manner. we have stereotypes about persons who are members of groups with which we have not had firsthand contact. As a result of viewing these stereotyped pictures of African-Americans. People who watch large amounts of television begin to view these people negatively in real life. there are far fewer positive stereotypes then negative ones. for example. More often than not these groups are stereotyped in a negative way by television. we assume that a person or group has certain characteristics. as well as genders. They base their opinions on how they see these groups on television. However.1 Stereotypes conveyed in Television and movies Stereotyped characters can negatively influence the way we view real people in society. the movie industry portrayed African-Americans as being unintelligent. 1990) 2. discrimination against African-Americans has been encouraged. Design Reflective Practice) Entered to journal on 18 July 2006 22 .MANDATORY RESEARCH TOPIC 2 Stereotypes GDD 5522 / Curtin 392 the total facts. and movies are all abundant sources of stereotyped characters. Quite often. lazy.

Design Reflective Practice) Entered to journal on 18 July 2006 23 . governed by emotion. Fig.sciencefictionmuseum. One of the few movies in Hollywood that a women given a heroic role.1.2 Angelina Jolie as the hero in Tomb Raider.2. overly emotional or dependent. ‘Movie posters’.org (Semester 8.1 Gender Stereotypes The majority of gender related studies focused their attention on women.MANDATORY RESEARCH TOPIC 2 Stereotypes GDD 5522 / Curtin 392 2. Very few studies involve male stereotypes. Studies have shown that women are portrayed on television as passive. n. Source:http://www.d. being dominated by men.

They are found more in the world of things than in relationships. 2.MANDATORY RESEARCH TOPIC 2 Stereotypes GDD 5522 / Curtin 392 Women are also depicted as less intelligent then men and generally weak. women are rarely shown to be able to successfully combine marriage and employment. men tend to be shown as more dominant. Men on TV and movies are more likely to disparage women than vice versa. In addition. do athletic things.1. still. 1996) For example as mentioned before.2 Racial stereotypes The practice of racial stereotyping through the use of media has been used throughout contemporary history by various factions in the societies to attain various goals. The practice is used most by the dominant culture in this society as a way of suppressing its minority population. Design Reflective Practice) Entered to journal on 18 July 2006 24 . and make more plans. (Gray S. There are few women in the heroic role than men except for few stereotypical characters like Angelina Jolie in Tomb Raider and Jenniffer Lopez in Enough.2. more violent and more powerful than women. This could be availed as a recent trend and perhaps a positive impact on the prolonged dominancy of the males in the industry as well. drink and smoke more. the most affective way in which stereotypes are perpetuated is through the mediums of film and television. They drive. However. The roles which women are assigned tend to be marital and family oriented. 1996) In the contemporary world. the way that the African-American are being portrayed in the American society constantly bombard American children (Semester 8. (Gray S.

The Egyptians are seen as the deserters. Myspace. People from Middle east are portrayed as terrorists or oil sheiks. 3.myspace. Poster of the movie ‘Boyz n the hood’ (1991). 2003 Fig.MANDATORY RESEARCH TOPIC 2 Stereotypes GDD 5522 / Curtin 392 with negative and unrealistic portrayals of African-American life or deny the existence of African-Americans in a “true” American society at all. the Italians are generally depicted as Mafia hoodlums. It is not only the African Americans. A movie portraying the violence and criminal acts of the African Americans. Design Reflective Practice) Entered to journal on 18 July 2006 . Movies like The Birth of a Nation (1915).com Television and movies play a vital role in the way the people generalize about a certain group people.com. (Gray S. Boys n the hood (1991) and Menace to society (1993) are good examples of racial stereotypes. Source: http://www. For example in movies. 1996) 25 (Semester 8.

Critics have endlessly praise Sesame Street for its ability to incorporate various racial groups into its show.salon. a lot can be learned by watching television. Source: http://www.4. Children are able to see different racial groups interacting in a positive way with one another. Script and schemes for social situations are learned based upon television prototypes. 2005 Fig. Although there is a concern about children learning negative stereotypes. Children can learn about various occupations by seeing a variety of careers being portrayed by characters on television.3 Positive stereotypes Children are the ones who tend to benefit the most from television.com (Semester 8. Design Reflective Practice) Entered to journal on 18 July 2006 26 .1. A scene from the famous children TV show ‘Sesame Street’. An increase in positive inter-group attitudes has been identified among preschoolers. Hoback M.MANDATORY RESEARCH TOPIC 2 Stereotypes GDD 5522 / Curtin 392 2.2.

these stereotypes are created for propaganda and there are some that exist today in mainstream culture which we don’t even recognize and then there are those that are yet to take shape. The stereotypes mentioned early in this topic denote such blatant and dangerous stereotypes.MANDATORY RESEARCH TOPIC 2 Stereotypes GDD 5522 / Curtin 392 2.d. with knife and sharpened teeth. Design Reflective Practice) Entered to journal on 18 July 2006 27 .3 Role of Stereotypes in design Organizations often need designs that communicate messages to specific groups.edu/internment/posters.html (Semester 8. Most of the time. Fig. 2004) ‘Keep this horror from your home’ n. Japanese soldier.2. The danger in this is that stereotypes may evolve once a message.sfsu. product or service is too strongly associated with a particular group. For example. 5. (Heller. Arabs are now pictured and represented as terrorist. attacks a white woman Source: http://bss.

people who watch it would definitely create hatred attitude. If so. this poster show that the Japanese deviating from it. In war conventions. This would create violent and unruly perceptions and would believe that the Japanese had no mercy and no respect to the humanity at that time. When these kinds of posters are illustrated. It is not so much that graphic designers are powerful. it is a severe crime to molest abuse and kill women and children. Therefore. we rely on commonly understood signs to communicate to our vast audiences. it is obvious that if we are using the existing stereotypes. Design Reflective Practice) Entered to journal on 18 July 2006 28 . However. Attacking a white woman possibly depicts that this poster is directed towards the Japanese attack to Pearl Harbour in 1941. We are sensitive to negative and offensive stereotypes but generally speaking.MANDATORY RESEARCH TOPIC 2 Stereotypes GDD 5522 / Curtin 392 The above poster demonstrates the brutality of Japanese soldiers during the World War II. graphic designers are prone to use stereotypes. which could be avoided unless our client says. this is what the designer has expressed and has used a vivid stereotype to create hate among the society towards Japanese. But it is a question whether they could determine if their work might help to create new stereotypes or even cater to existing ones. then we (Semester 8. (Heller. In response to this. ‘this is what I want’. 2004) As mentioned before. but that stereotypes and time worn symbols are the designers’ tools.

promote existing stereotypes or being used by others to create stereotypes. and in a way are symbolic of their respective times. We should have the strength to say that my work promotes mediocrity or is mediocre. To know this.MANDATORY RESEARCH TOPIC 2 Stereotypes GDD 5522 / Curtin 392 would have a case for not doing so. (Heller. then we would have no choice. the co-chair of the MFA Design Programme of the School of Visual Arts and author of over 90 books on design. (Heller. However. most of the practitioners with a good sense of humour would say ‘don’t do it’. We should not do it. (Heller. 2004) It is also very important to know and get acquainted with the responsibility of the designer’s community on a whole once stereotypes begin to take shape. 2004) This means when it is obviously influenced by bribery. if the client insists on sticking strongly to stereotypes. 2004) (Semester 8. they are part of the communication vocabulary. 2004) We designers also must be very careful in the workplace as well as the place we are working. Stereotypes are bad when they support ostensibly venal ideologies. (Heller. it is more about style than ideology. (Heller. 2004) According to Steven Heller. And again. (Heller. it extensively depends on the stereotypes that we are using. 2004) If it is simply saying most teens wear baggy wear baggy pants and extra large sweat shirts. it depends on the message that is being delivered and the goal of the message. if the organization or the company that we work strongly emphasize to create stereotypes. Otherwise. Design Reflective Practice) Entered to journal on 18 July 2006 29 .

2004) Whether is Yuppies or Guppies and whatever the brand or company. (Heller. They are useful as marketing tools. 2004) (Semester 8. they become generalizations of a group of individuals. Design Reflective Practice) Entered to journal on 18 July 2006 30 . it is believed that companies or organizations benefit from stereotypes and want to keep then part of the mainstream culture since all advertising is about catering to a target market. (Heller.MANDATORY RESEARCH TOPIC 2 Stereotypes GDD 5522 / Curtin 392 However.

From http://www. Retrieved July 18. 2005.php?t=170 Hoback M.stereotypes. Firmin Didot.wikipedia.x.html Grobman G. 2006 From http://www. Retrieved July 18.org/wiki/Firmin_Didot (Semester 8. Stereotypes that never caught on.yale. Retrieved July 18. Lara Croft Tomb Raider Retrieved July 18. 2006 From http://en. n. Sesame Street.org/wiki/Stereotype Wikipedia. The free encyclopaedia 2001. Recognizing Stereotypical Images of African Americans in Television and Movies.wikipedia.d.MANDATORY RESEARCH TOPIC 2 Stereotypes GDD 5522 / Curtin 392 2. Defining the role of Stereotyoes in Design. 2006.root. 1996.htm ‘Movie Posters’. Retrieved July 18.com/stereotypes. 2006.org Wikipedia.org/guide/History.2. Design Reflective Practice) Entered to journal on 18 July 2006 31 .tripod.edu/ynhti/curriculum/units/1996/3/96. The free encyclopaedia 2001. Stereotype.03. 1990.html Heller S. Retrieved July 18. Stereotypes and prejudices.d. 2004.05.com/sesamestreet. 2006 From http://www. Retrieved July 18. n.4 Reference cited and Bibliography Gray S.com/forum/showthread. 2006 From http://www. From http://thecreativeforum. Retrieved July 18. 2006 From http://en.salon. 2006 From http://thrdgll.sciencefictionmuseum.htm Holt A.remember.

htm Fig. Retrieved July 18. 5 ‘Keep this horror from your home’ n. Stereotypes that never caught on.salon.com/sesamestreet. 4 Hoback M.d. 2006 From http://thrdgll. Retrieved July 18.1 Picture credits Holt A.org Fig.cfm?fuseaction =user.MANDATORY RESEARCH TOPIC 2 Stereotypes GDD 5522 / Curtin 392 2. Design Reflective Practice) Entered to journal on 18 July 2006 32 .edu/internment/posters. Retrieved July 18. 2005. 2006 From http://bss.d.tripod.2 ‘Movie Posters’. n. Retrieved July 18. Boys n the Hood. 3 Myspace.com/stereotypes.5 Fig. 2003.htm Fig.sfsu. 2006 From http://www.viewprofile&friendid=35479086 Fig. n.2. Lara Croft Tomb Raider Retrieved July 18.d.sciencefictionmuseum.com. 2006 From http://www.com/index. 2006 From http://profile.html (Semester 8. Sesame Street.myspace.

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