Ethnic stereotypes: examples, functions, types

Ethnic stereotypes: examples, functions, types
Ethnic stereotypes: examples, functions, types

Ethnic stereotypes play an important role in interracial as well as in intergroup relations. They are simplified images of individuals that have a high degree of consistency. As a rule, all stereotypes are acquired in childhood, and this is never the result of experience. Usually they are obtained from secondary sources, looking at parents, friends, grandparents, and so on. Plus, this happens long before the child begins to evaluate himself, to identify himself with any particular group, or to have an idea of ​​\u200b\u200bhis own personality.

General information

For the first time, such an element as ethnic stereotypes of behavior was discussed in 1922. This was done by a popular American journalist who conducted his own investigation. He said that stereotyping is a natural thing that only plays into the hands of a person.

Firstly, when people come into contact with a complex social object that they have not seen before, they simply do not know how to behave. And in this case, they will be helped by the "pictures of the world" that are in their heads and thoughts, passed down from generation to generation.

Second, withWith the help of stereotypes, each person can justify himself, protect himself. Therefore, his positions, rights and values ​​will always have a certain weight.

ethnic stereotypes

Thus, stereotypes help humanity cope with the perception of the world, while maintaining personal qualities, as well as orienting themselves in difficult situations. Accordingly, if we are talking about ethnic prejudices, then people will be able to feel normal in the society of foreigners, since some information about them is available.

But there is another side of the coin. Unfortunately, it will be impossible to change many stereotypes formed in childhood (with rare exceptions). This is probably why humanity cannot advance further in development, as it is stuck in the stage of prejudice.

Stereotypes at the dawn of history

Initially, ethnic stereotypes meant only one thing: all strangers are enemies. In a primitive society, meeting with other tribes promised only death and war, so for a long time people could not establish contact with each other.

When intertribal contacts began to expand, for example, an exchange appeared, a person began to learn new things not only about his neighbors, but also about himself. Now he realized that he could not always raise his weapon against another member of primitive society. He became not just a tribesman who helps in hunting, but a friend, a father or a brother in an emotional sense.

ethnic stereotypes of behavior

Further prejudice began to develop in full swing, because how manythere were tribes, so many stereotypes existed. Moreover, the definition of images of another ethnic group was based on certain historical moments. For example, if another society was constantly in conflict with one society, then it was assessed as aggressive, vicious. If the exchange began immediately, and even on favorable terms, then the tribe received a more gentle assessment, it became kind, friendly.


Ethnic stereotypes are very diverse, examples of appropriate behavior or thinking can be given indefinitely. Moreover, prejudices will be based only on one nationality, they contain the thought of people connected by culture, homeland and behavior.

There are several stereotypes that Russians refer to other inhabitants of the planet:

  • All Germans are punctual and meticulous.
  • All Jews are smart but greedy.
  • All Americans have standard thinking, they cannot deviate from the course set in childhood or by law. For example, not a single American will screw in a new light bulb on his own if it has burned out. A specially trained person will do this.
  • All Spaniards are too emotional, they are quick-tempered.

At the same time, other nations also form a certain stereotype about the Russian person. The most common of these is a tamed bear that plays the balalaika, and, of course, vodka - all Russians have breakfast, lunch and dinner with it.


If we consider not only ethnic stereotypes, examplesrelations between specific people or full-fledged societies will be divided into several types:

  1. People's perception of each other. That is, these are the prejudices that develop within a narrow group of people. For example, parents should be respected, elders should be respected, and so on. Such stereotypes will fit in the minds of the younger generation only if the older ones are engaged in their implementation, and not just empty talk.
  2. Intergender stereotypes. Examples: women should take care of the house and men should work; boys don't cry, girls are always stupid.
  3. Age stereotypes. Examples: teenagers are difficult to nurture and control, old people always grumble.
  4. Ethnic stereotypes.
ethnic stereotypes examples

In principle, the types of ethnic stereotypes were formed in the process of social development. In addition, they are formed in each individual person. If we assume that an individual came to Prague and had his purse stolen at the train station, then he may think that all Czechs are thieves. That is, there are common ethnic prejudices and private ones.

How the formation process works

The problem of prejudice has always existed, and the formation of ethnic stereotypes affects it to a greater extent. Even today, when anyone can find all the information that interests him, the stability of prejudice is still there.

Formation starts from early childhood. However, at a young age, a child cannot think in terms of relationships betweennations, and he forms stereotypes about his family and its relationships with other people. But the process itself is laid directly at this time.

ethnic stereotype and ethnic image

Ethnic stereotypes first make themselves felt in adolescence, when a person is as defenseless as possible before them. If a girl or a guy has not yet formed his own opinion on some matter, then the imposed ideas will replace independent thinking. That is why any propaganda will become instantly absorbed information for young people. This is due to the fact that stereotypes have rigidity. Adolescents who have received a given pace of development of thinking simply have no idea how to think differently. But still, there are changes, and the Internet plays an important role in this.

Ethnic picture of the world

Today, the functions of ethnic stereotypes are gradually beginning to fade away, but so far they cannot be completely excluded. The primitive ethnic picture of the world is quite different. Then prejudices played a special role, they helped the tribes to survive. For example, with some communities, relations could be established, with others - hostile. And the sooner a new member of the society found out about this, the more chances he had for survival.

functions of ethnic stereotypes

Ethnic stereotypes nowadays are based more on emotions than hostility and so on. Most often they carry a negative load. For example, if a Russian communicates with an American, then because of prejudicehe can initially frivolously assess his interlocutor. His biased attitude will add bad emotions, and both. It is the same with other nations.

Ethnic tolerance

Today, the ethnic stereotype and the ethnic image are gradually beginning to merge into one concept. Previously it was different. For example, Russians thought that all Scots wear skirts (both men and women). This is an ethnic stereotype. But they could be familiar with a single Scot who dressed the same as everyone else, that is, in trousers or jeans. This is an ethnic look.

ethnic stereotypes of Russians

In modern times, in order for civil society to form correctly, it is necessary to educate tolerance in the younger generation. The latter lays the ability to appreciate and respect the culture of other peoples, their traditions and customs. If we take Scotland as an example, then wearing a kilt should not be ridiculed in any way. This will be tolerance.

International communication

Ethnic stereotypes of Russians, like many other nations, are formed in adolescence. And the task of parents, teachers or mentors is to create such conditions under which young people will not follow the imposed opinion. Adolescents must develop their own thinking process, and therefore their own stereotypes.

If you do not give such an opportunity to the younger generation, then humanity will not continue its spiritual development. For example, stereotypes can create an extremely negative situation in the course of interethnic communication.Moreover, if a person has received some prejudices, then he will not refute them in the process of life. On the contrary, he will constantly find examples that confirm them.

formation of ethnic stereotypes

Accordingly, in order for interethnic communication to reach a new tolerant level, it is necessary to abandon stereotypes.


Thus, ethnic stereotypes of behavior are not at all the product that generalizes the same or similar features of one nation. In them, the personal qualities of individuals are replaced by a deliberately one-sided prejudice. The latter, in turn, is a negative attitude towards a particular group of people.

As a result of appropriate behavior, alertness is formed, and on both sides. The former follow their stereotypes, the latter behave badly due to a disrespectful attitude. A certain alienation is formed, which causes misunderstandings, and also makes all subsequent interaction difficult.

Popular topic