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Prejudices in Cultural Contexts: Shared Stereotypes (Gender, Age) versus Variable Stereotypes (Race, Ethnicity, Religion)

Author(s): Fiske, Susan T.

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Abstract: Some prejudices share cross-cultural patterns, but others are more variable and culture specific. Those sharing cross-cultural patterns (sexism, ageism) each combine societal status differences and intimate interdependence. For example, in stereotypes of sex and age, lower-status groups— women and elders—gain stereotypic warmth (from their cooperative interdependence) but lose stereotypic competence (from their lower status); men and middle-aged adults show the opposite tradeoff, stereotypically more competent than warm. Meta-analyses support these widespread ambivalent (mixed) stereotypes for gender and age across cultures. Social class stereotypes often share some similarities (cold but competent rich v warm but incompetent poor). These compensatory warmth v competence stereotypes may function to manage common human dilemmas of interacting across societal and personal positions. However, other stereotypes are more variable and culture specific (ethnicity, race, religion). Case studies of specific race/ ethnicities and religions reveal much more cultural variation in their stereotype content, supporting their being responses to particular cultural contexts, apparent accidents of history. To change stereotypes requires understanding their commonalities and differences, their origins and patterns across cultures.
Publication Date: Sep-2017
Electronic Publication Date: 3-Oct-2017
Citation: Fiske, Susan T. (2017). Prejudices in Cultural Contexts: Shared Stereotypes (Gender, Age) Versus Variable Stereotypes (Race, Ethnicity, Religion). Perspectives on Psychological Science, 12 (5), 791 - 799. doi:10.1177/1745691617708204
DOI: doi:10.1177/1745691617708204
ISSN: 1745-6916
EISSN: 1745-6924
Pages: 791 - 799
Type of Material: Journal Article
Journal/Proceeding Title: Perspectives on Psychological Science
Version: Author's manuscript

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