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View Full Version : Are Stereotypes/Cultural Standing Circumstance Or Choice?


Seil
03-22-2010, 10:52 AM
Let me explain that question in more detail - there are stereotypes of black people, white people, brown people, women, men, short people, tall people, whatever. Say we're talking about those who live in southern America, earn a lower than average yearly income and have little education; is this person a victim of circumstance, in that they are poor and poorly educated? Or do they make the choice to be that way?

As someone who thinks that it's the people rather than the circumstance they're born into, or that they find themselves in, I find it hard to defend. I could say that "Hey, there's scholarships availabe to help them out," or "They could go to school to find a better job," but that will fall flat on its face because of the circumstance in the southern States.

I think this is a "nature versus" nurture argument, but I'm curious. We can argue that a poor, black kid in the slums is there because of a lack of options due to circumstance, or he chooses to be there. Which is a flawed argument to begin with - choices are not the same for everyone due to everyone perceiving the choice differently due to different things in their lives. The same black kid might be failing school because he needs to care for his siblings while his parents are at work. It swings both ways.

I don't think I'm really commenting on society and social order because we look at others differently, from a first glance compared to knowing all the facts. Someone might rate higher on our ladder because they're trying to make things work while their neighbor is not.

Certainly nurture is a factor in that someone not go in to school if a parent or someone has not, but I think there's the nature factor where someone's ambition and their drive to change their situation result in what will happen in their lives. Also, this goes back to us perceiving people differently because of what they're doing rather than where they live/how much they earn.

I don't know.

Azisien
03-22-2010, 10:59 AM
Given the reasonably heavy siding with nurture (50-90% depending on who you ask?), well....


To some extent, inevitably, people will be a reflection of the system they were brought up in. No one is an exception. There's lots of heterogeneity yes. So to some extent, stereotypes/cultural standing can be circumstance. What does this have to do with stereotypes by the way?


For many there is also a choice factor. Some people make literally stupid choices, unconsciously or consciously. This is why we need a strong, supportive education system. It can mitigate horrible choices earlier in life, especially if it's available to everyone.

Professor Smarmiarty
03-22-2010, 11:08 AM
Pretty much every study ever done on this finds that environmental factors are teh dominant factor by far. There is some genetic determinants but they are small.

Azisien
03-22-2010, 11:16 AM
Pretty much every study ever done on this finds that environmental factors are teh dominant factor by far. There is some genetic determinants but they are small.

Actually I am curious. Can you cite some sources on this [a casual nature vs nuture search brings up little]? I have scholarly journal access so go nuts. I am not surprised that social status as a fluffy concept is pretty environmental but overall I haven't heard of such a large consensus.

Seil
03-22-2010, 11:26 AM
What does this have to do with stereotypes by the way?

Stereotype of the poor, uneducated southern American, the poor, uneducated criminal-tendencied black youth, the lazy Mexican - any stereotype that factors in social class, which might fit the above question.

Azisien
03-22-2010, 11:35 AM
Stereotype of the poor, uneducated southern American, the poor, uneducated criminal-tendencied black youth, the lazy Mexican - any stereotype that factors in social class, which might fit the above question.

Well, I would be lazy if I had no food. I would also be criminally inclined if I had no food/money/opportunity and the only people I knew were criminals.

Professor Smarmiarty
03-22-2010, 11:53 AM
Actually I am curious. Can you cite some sources on this [a casual nature vs nuture search brings up little]? I have scholarly journal access so go nuts. I am not surprised that social status as a fluffy concept is pretty environmental but overall I haven't heard of such a large consensus.

I'd have to look them up myself but I did a paper on neuropsych and we had a few weeks on nature/nuture and it was all over this. There is seriously hundreds of studies on this, all coming to about the same conclusion- good places to start are identical twin studies because they have exactly the same genes.
I can try find a review later if I remember, I nominally at work now,. If you bored though, look up any reviews you ca find on twin studies-they are the major area this works in.
Also brain growth in infants but those tend to be much more esoteric.

It also makes sense if you think about it. Gene activity is modified by the environment, biological activity at your core is modified by the environment, and brain growth- which happens for a long long time after you are born- is modified by the environment. It doesn't really make sense for our genes to code for that much..

Azisien
03-22-2010, 11:56 AM
It also makes sense if you think about it. Gene activity is modified by the environment, biological activity at your core is modified by the environment, and brain growth- which happens for a long long time after you are born- is modified by the environment. It doesn't really make sense for our genes to code for that much..

No, it does. Especially for such complex behaviours. Twin studies, right. I'll look into it, thanks. The concept makes sense I just haven't encountered scholarly stuff on it, since it's not exactly my field.

Seil
03-22-2010, 01:54 PM
Well, I would be lazy if I had no food. I would also be criminally inclined if I had no food/money/opportunity and the only people I knew were criminals.

I'm not trying to perpetuate those stereotypes, I'm just mentioning them in response to the question.

Azisien
03-22-2010, 03:50 PM
I know. I am explaining (or trying to explain) some of the speculative reasoning behind these stereotypes. There is some truth to all stereotypes, it's just that they become assumed universal when that's not the case.

stefan
03-22-2010, 06:18 PM
I don't know about sterotypes, but discrimination is genetic/evolutionary. Kids aren't blind, if there are some kids who clearly are a different color than them, they're going to notice and make something of it. Ignoring differences doesn't solve things; bringing them to light and, this is important, explaining why they don't matter is what stops discrimination.

Premmy
03-22-2010, 09:29 PM
Kids aren't blind, if there are some kids who clearly are a different color than them, they're going to notice and make something of it. Ignoring differences doesn't solve things; bringing them to light and, this is important, explaining why they don't matter is what stops discrimination.

This can't be said enough. (http://www.racebending.com/v3/background/virtue-of-colorblindness/)
Seriously (http://www.racebending.com/v3/background/do-children-see-race/)

Azisien
03-23-2010, 01:11 PM
This can't be said enough. (http://www.racebending.com/v3/background/virtue-of-colorblindness/)
Seriously (http://http://www.racebending.com/v3/background/do-children-see-race/)

Your second link didn't work for me, but yeah, "Colour Blindness" is basically "neutrality" which is to say, it is terrible.

From personal experience, and I had a couple stark changes during elementary school, I certainly learned racist behaviours, they weren't ingrained or anything.

Premmy
03-23-2010, 02:18 PM
Second link Fixed Asizien