Monday, 16 August 2010


A stereotype is a commonly held public belief about specific social groups or types of individuals. The concepts of "stereotype" and "prejudice" are often confused with many other different meanings. Stereotypes are standardized and simplified conceptions of groups based on some prior assumptions.

Sociologists believe that mental categorizing (or labelling) is necessary and inescapable. One perspective on how to understand stereotyping process is through the categories or ingroups and outgroups. Ingroups are viewed as normal and superior, and are generally the group that one associates with or aspires to join. An outgroup is simply all the other groups. They are seen as lesser or inferior than the in groups.

stereotype | ster()tLp, str()- | n. & a. L18. [Fr. stereotype adj., f. as STEREO- + TYPE n.] A n. 1 Hist. A method of replicating a relief printing surface (as a page of type or a wood-engraving) by taking a cast using a mould orig. of papier-mache or plaster, later of rubber, plastic, etc. L18. 2 A stereotype plate. E19. 3 a A thing continued or constantly repeated without change, esp. a phrase, formula, etc.; stereotyped diction or usage. E19. b A preconceived, standardized, and oversimplified impression of the characteristics which typify a person, situation, etc., often shared by all members of a society or certain social groups; an attitude based on such a preconception. Also, a person or thing appearing to conform closely to such a standardized impression. E20. c Zool. A stereotyped action or series of actions performed by an animal. M20.



prototype | prttLp | n. Also (earlier) in Gk form -typon. L16. [Fr., or late L prototypus f. Gk prototupos, (neut. -on): see PROTO-, -TYPE.] 1 The first or primary type of something; the original of which a copy, imitation, representation, derivative, or improved form exists or is made; a pattern, a model, an archetype. L16. b spec. That of which a model is a copy on a reduced scale. E20. 2 Electronics. A basic filter network with specified cut-off frequencies, from which other networks may be derived to obtain sharper cut-offs, constancy of characteristic impedance with frequency, etc. Freq. attrib. E20. 3 A trial model or preliminary version of a vehicle, machine, etc. M20.

Excerpted from The Oxford Interactive Encyclopedia
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