Dominance and Stereotypes

“…the categorization, ordering, and simplification at the heart of any process of stereotyping are necessary components of human interaction and communication. What makes stereotypes so troubling is not that they order and simplify information by reducing complexities to a few limited conventions, but that in doing so, they both reflect and, more important, engender social hierarchies (Hall 1997; Dyer 1993). As a vast literature has clearly shown, stereotypes are never intrinsically positive or negative, but are always historically created and produced in conversation with social hierarchies of daily life (Gilman 1996; Kanellos 1998; Rodríguez 1997). They work by restricting the range of interpretations and therefore facilitating the evaluations that reproduce and valorize the social distinctions at play in the greater society. Even when individuals may interpret these images and ideas differently or imbue them with idiosyncratic meaning, these renditions are necessarily framed within dominant conventions.” (Emphasis added)

Arlene Dávila, LATINOS INC.: THE MARKETING AND MAKING OF A PEOPLE, p. 89

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