Archetypes vs. Stereotypes
Stereotyping is a bad habit that a lot of people have, but most people will stereotype someone without even realizing they did it. Essentially a stereotype is a big enveloping statement putting a person in a group based on their appearance or personality. The biggest problem with stereotyping is that the judgment is made without know much or anything about the person, and when stereotyped they are put into a negatory group in the person’s eyes. These groups are overgeneralized and extremely hurtful, and many times when you get to know a person the stereotype was completely wrong. One time I was returning movies to the movie store and the guy taking the movies was all tatted up, to the point he didn’t really have a bare patch of skin. My first thought was that the guy was super mean, but I said, “Hi”, and he was extremely nice and asked me how I was doing and told me to be careful in the parking lot because it was slick. A few days later my mother and I were driving by and he was out clearing the parking lot and my mother immediately commented that he was probably mean. I told her that he was the guy that was super nice when I returned the movies and my mother responded with a surprised, “Oh”. That was a great example of stereotyping and how it can be hurtful to people, just because he chose to have tattoos people would judge him and not realize how nice he actually is to everyone. People would only see that he had tattoos and associate him with crime or gangs and wouldn’t bother to try and get around the stereotype. I have been stereotyped a couple times myself and many people will get mad when they get stereotyped, but I was more disappointed that people would rather form an opinion and just assume that I was like their opinion when I was really not even close to it.
Archetypes better than stereotypes because they are based on actual facts and not what people think. A simple way of comparing a stereotype and an archetype is that a stereotype would describe people from a state and an archetype would describe people from a certain area of the state. An archetype does sound similar to a stereotype, but the archetype is based on actual facts rather than what people think the facts are. A great example is that most people think that computer people (geeks) are anti-social and would rather spend time with a computer than with actual people. This is a very common stereotype and though not completely wrong there is more to it that just that computer people are anti-social. It would be better to say that a lot of computer people prefer to spend their time with computers rather than people. The second example is an archetype and the reason why that is better is because it doesn’t make a definitive statement. The stereotype example says that all computer people are anti-social, but the second one doesn’t make a definitive statement like that. In my way of thinking about it a stereotype puts someone inside a prison and leave no room for amendments or corrections to the stereotype, but an archetype is more like a box; it might take a little effort to break the cardboard but it doesn’t take a lot to show that their archetype isn’t correct and people are more willing to accept the change to the archetype.
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