In today’s world, this whole business of stereotyping is intended to provide us shorthand for what to expect from different groups under different circumstances. However, this stereotyping thing often goes terribly, terribly wrong. We take it too far. We generalize too much. For example, we tend to believe all attractive people are sensitive, kind, strong, poised, and sociable and everybody else … well, not so much. Intelligent people are industrious, poor people lazy. We create self-fulfilling prophecies based on false stereotypes. If we assume a certain group is unfriendly, we steer clear of them. As we remaining cool and aloof toward them, that group is likely to respond to us in an unfriendly manner, confirming our assumption.
In politics and religion both, some of us appreciate power and authority. We expect lines to be clearly drawn and order to be maintained. Others among us are suspicious of any authority, feeling it will eventually become corrupt and harm us. Both sides are stereotyping their leaders and the other guy's and gal's, often creating those self-fulfilling prophecies in the process.
We won’t even approach racial stereotyping and the gross exaggerations that lead down the pernicious road to prejudice. Finally, there are some groups of folks we may even be willing to write off entirely as a lost cause, often based on flawed assumptions and exaggerated stereotyping.
I promised you we'd get to this, and now I've done it: http://jsbrookspresents.blogspot.com/2013/06/two-weeks-of-madness-completed.html