Stereotypes are not accurate representations of groups, rather they arise as a means of explaining and justifying differences between groups, or system justification. Social status or group position determines stereotype content, not the actual personal characteristics of group members. Groups which enjoy fewer social and economic advantages will be stereotyped in a way which helps explain disparities, such as lower employment rates. Although disadvantaged group members may have greater difficulty finding a job due to in-group favoritism, racism, and related social forces, the disadvantaged group member is unjustifiably characterized as 'unmotivated' (he could find a job if he looked hard enough), 'unintelligent' (he's not smart enough to have that job), and 'lazy' (he would rather take hand-outs than work).
Stereotypes focus upon and thereby exaggerate differences between groups. Competition between groups minimizes similarities and magnifies differences. This makes it seem as if groups are very different when in fact they may be more alike than different. For example, among African Americans, identity as an American citizen is a more salient categorization than racial background; that is, African Americans are more American than African. Yet within American culture, Black and White Americans are often seen as completely different groups.
For as long as there has been a human species, individuals have been different from one another. Persons have gravitated to groups of other persons like themselves. People create and develop categories of qualities by which to classify the groups; some were based on ancestry. Many of these groupings have become the key factors in determining which groups have political, social, and economic power in the world.
Automatic stereotype activation can be totally involuntary, and is described as the activation of categorically associated "nodes", according to Leopold and Brown from the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.
The representative-ness heuristic: Our categorizations are based on the extent to which someone’s behavior represents a category we have of various social groups. Example: Is someone who is White, wealthy, and tough on crime a Republican or a Democrat?
The availability heuristic: We attempt to bring to mind examples of behaviors of people, and the easier we can imagine such examples, the more likely we will think those behaviors will occur. Example: If the only African American people who are portrayed in the media are criminals, then those who have little contact may vastly overestimate the number of African American criminals in the general population.
Some people believe that stereotypes are generally based on actual differences. Others believe that they are always false generalizations (by definition).
For some individual people the effects of this might be positive or negative - a separate issue to whether they are positive or negative for society.
Stereotypes can be self-fulfilling to at least some extent.
Stereotypes can be deeply embedded in a culture. The term 'stereotype' is more often used once those perceived truths are put into arguments.
There are some complicating factors which arise when the accuracy of stereotypes is discussed. One of these is that a factor leading to stereotyping can be the existence of a group of people who do share a characteristic. For instance, there might be a reasonably significant number of men working in sales roles, and showing little integrity and honesty ('significant' in this context does not imply a majority). This can lead to the creation of a stereotype of a 'salesman' figure. In this limited sense it might be seen that the stereotype is based on a real group of people (i.e. salesmen who behave with little integrity).
Possible prejudicial effects of stereotypes are:
Often the terms ‘’stereotype’’ and ‘’prejudice’’ are confused. Stereotypes are ‘’standardized’’ and ‘’simplified’’ conceptions of groups, based on some prior assumptions. Stereotypes are created based on some idea of abstract familiarity. Prejudices are more specific - they are predispositions to differential behavior patterns.
Stereotype is often used as a form of dramatic shorthand for "stock character". Stereotypes change with time. The unwitting use of some stereotypes appears awkward to a present-day audience which refuses to tolerate a representation of individuals based on that stereotype. Many other stereotypes pass unnoticed, sometimes even by those being stereotyped. Examples of active use are found in the work of Brecht and other dramatic styles which allow the actor to demonstrate a character's level of role distance, thus showing the active use. Retrospectively these stock characters have been illuminated by the work of Brecht, Dario Fo and Jacques Lecoq, despite their original reference to local Italian stereotypes in their early genesis. Importantly in drama the actor does not create a stereotype; rather their characterisation may be simple in that they represent an uncritical reflection of the stereotype, and it is this simplicity which aggravates a present-day audience. A subtle and detailed characterisation, especially of the commedia Dell'arte stock characters, results in a unique and immediate performance that will be enjoyed by an audience due to the clear active use of the characters by the actor.
In literature and art, stereotypes are clichéd or predictable characters or situations. Throughout history, storytellers have drawn from stereotypical characters and situations, in order to connect the audience with new tales immediately. Sometimes such stereotypes can be sophisticated, such as Shakespeare's Shylock in The Merchant of Venice. Arguably a stereotype that becomes complex and sophisticated ceases to be a stereotype per se by its unique characterisation. Thus while Shylock remains politically unstable in being a stereotypical Jew, the subject of prejudicial derision in Shakespeare's era, his many other detailed features raise him above a simple stereotype and into a unique character, worthy of modern performance. Simply because a feature of a character can be categorized as being typical does not make the entire character a stereotype.
Despite their proximity in etymological roots, cliché and stereotype are not used synonymously in cultural spheres. For example a cliché is a high criticism in narratology where genre and categorization automatically associates a story within its recognizable group. Labeling a situation or character in a story as typical suggests it is fitting for its genre or category. Whereas declaring that a storyteller has relied on cliché is to pejoratively observe a simplicity and lack of originality in the tale. To criticize Ian Fleming for a stereotypically unlikely escape for James Bond would be understood by the reader or listener, but it would be more appropriately criticized as a cliché in that it is overused and reproduced. Narrative genre relies heavily on typical features to remain recognizable and generate meaning in the reader/viewer.
The instantly recognisable nature of stereotypes mean that they are very useful in producing effective advertising and situation comedy. Media stereotypes change and evolve over time - for instance, we now instantly recognize only a few of the stereotyped characters shown to us in John Bunyan's The Pilgrim's Progress. The teen sitcom, Saved By The Bell features a typical group of high school stereotypes such as a class clown (Zack Morris), a jock (A.C. Slater), a nerd (Samuel "Screech" Powers), a cheerleader (Kelly Kapowski), a feminist (Jessie Spano), and a superficial fashion plate (Lisa Turtle). Some observed the sitcom, like many teen sitcoms of that time, in addition to stereotyping people, stereotyping an institution itself, that of high school. TV stereotypes of high schools have often promoted a "typical American school" as football games, fashion styles, skirt chasing, and not much devotion to academics or studying.
In movies and TV the halo effect is often used. This is when, for example, attractive men and women are assumed to be happier, stronger, nicer people, explained by Greenwald and Banaji from Psychological Review.
The stratification and separation of groups, especially racial minorities, in the United States began in the nation’s earliest years of colonization. With the colonists’ first contact with the Native Americans, the stereotype of “the savage” was born. . Native Americans were portrayed in popular media as wild, primitive, uncivilized, dangerous people who continuously attack white settlers, cowboys, and stagecoaches and shout "Oowoowoowoowoo" while holding one hand in front of their mouths. They speak invariably in a deep voice and use stop words like "How" and "Ugh". In cartoons, comic strips and animated cartoons their skin color was depicted as deep red. In westerns and other media portrayals they are usually called "Indians". Examples of this stereotypical image of Native Americans can be found in many American westerns until the early 1960s and cartoons like Peter Pan (1953 film).
As colonization continued in the US, groups were separated into categories like “Christians” and “heathens” and “civilized” and “savage” . It took merely decades for these attitudes and ideas to firmly plant themselves in the minds of Americans; today’s stereotypes of Native Americans are rooted in the colonists’ initial thoughts. The media perpetuates these stereotypes by portraying Native Americans in a negative light, such as savage and hostile . Many Whites view Native Americans as devoid of self-control and unable to handle responsibility. Malcolm D. Holmes and Judith A. Antell hypothesize that such ideas about Native Americans form the ideology that is used today to justify the disparity between Whites and Native Americans . This very rigid, fixed framework on the perception of Native Americans and other stereotypical depictions of other races and nationalities has been continued in many books, films, cartoons, comic strips, plays and songs. Today, the 19th century stereotype of Native Americans lives on for the majority of people. Modern Native Americans as they live today are rarely portrayed in popular culture, one notable exception being Chief from One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest.
Canadian people are stereotyped as beer-obsessed, tuque-wearing, somewhat slow-witted hockey-players who always end their sentences with "eh" (This last stereotype is based on the Bob & Doug act in the American 1970s sketch show SCTV). Canada is viewed as always cold. Canadians are often stereotypically represented as mounties. Films depicting stereotypical views of Canadians include Canadian Bacon and Strange Brew.
In centuries before and during the first half of the 20th century black people were often depicted as dumb, evil, lazy, poor, animalistic, uncivilized, un-Christian people. The early Anglo-Saxon colonists brought these initial thoughts with them to the US. White colonists commonly believed that black people were inferior to white people. These thoughts helped to justify black slavery and the institution of many laws that continually condoned inhumane treatment and perpetuated to keep black people in a lower socioeconomic position. . Black people were usually depicted as slaves or servants, working in cane fields or carrying large piles of cotton. They were often portrayed as devout christians going to church and singing gospel music. In many vaudeville shows, minstrel acts, cartoons, comics and animated cartoons of this period they were depicted as sad, lazy, dim witted characters with big lips who sing bluesy songs and are good dancers, but get excited when confronted with dice games, chickens or watermelons (examples: all the characters portrayed by Stepin Fetchit and black characters in cartoons like Sunday Go to Meetin' Time and All This and Rabbit Stew). A more joyful black image, yet still very stereotypical, was provided by eternally happy black characters like Uncle Tom, Uncle Remus and Louis Armstrong's equally joyous stage persona. Another popular stereotype from this era was the black who is scared of ghosts (and usually turns white out of fear). Butlers were sometimes portrayed as black (for example the butler in many Shirley Temple movies). Housemaids were usually depicted as black, heavy-set middleaged women who dress in large skirts (examples of this type are Mammy Two-Shoes, Aunt Jemima, Beulah and more recently the title character of Big Momma's House). Children are often pickaninny's like Little Black Sambo and Golliwogg. Black jive (dialect) was also often used in comedy, like for instance in the show Amos 'n Andy.
African black people were usually depicted as primitive, childlike, cannibalistic persons who live in tribes, carry spears, believe in witchcraft and worship their wizard. White colonists often trick them by selling junk in exchange for really valuable things and/or scare them with modern technology. A well known example of this image is Tintin in Africa. When white people are caught by African tribes they are usually put in a large, black cauldron so they can be cooked and eaten. Sometimes black Africans are depicted as pygmy's with very childlike behavior so that they can be ridiculed as being similar to children. Other stereotypical images are the male black African dressed in lip plates or with a bone sticking through his nasal septum. Stereotypical female black African depictions include the bare breasted woman with large breasts and notably fat buttocks (examples of this stereotype are the 19th century sideshow attraction Saartjie Baartman and Robert Crumb's comic strip character Angelfood McSpade) or the woman who wears multiple rings around her giraffe-like neck (note: this type of neck ornament is also common in Burma with women from the Kayan (Burma) tribe, but is generally associated with Africa (like in the Bugs Bunny cartoon Which Is Witch).
Secretary of State John C. Calhoun arguing for the extension of slavery in 1844 said "Here (scientific confirmation) is proof of the necessity of slavery. The African is incapable of self-care and sinks into lunacy under the burden of freedom. It is a mercy to give him the guardianship and protection from mental death."
Even after slavery ended the intellectual capacity of Black people was still frequently questioned. Lewis Terman wrote in The measurement of intelligence in 1916
"(Black and other ethnic minority children) are uneducable beyond the nearest rudiments of training. No amount of school instruction will ever make them intelligent voters or capable citizens in the sense of the world…their dullness seems to be racial, or at least inherent in the family stock from which they come…Children of this group should be segregated in special classes and be given instruction which is concrete and practical. They cannot master abstractions, but they can be made efficient workers…There is no possibility at present of convincing society that they should not be allowed to reproduce, although from a eugenic point of view they constitute a grave problem because of their unusual prolific breeding.)"
Since the 1960s the stereotypical image of black people has changed in some media. More positive depictions appeared where black people and African-Americans are portrayed as excellent sportsmen and superb singers and dancers. Black men are still often portrayed as excellent lovers with large genitals . In many films and television series since the 1970s black people are depicted as good natured, kind, honest and intelligent persons. Often they are the best friend of the white protagonist (examples: Miami Vice, Lethal Weapon,...). Some critics believed this political correctness lead to another stereotypical image where black people are often depicted too positive 1989 showed that blacks were more likely than whites to be described in demeaning intellectual terms. Political activist and one-time presidential candidate Rev. Jesse Jackson said in 1985 that the news media portray blacks as less intelligent than we are. Film director Spike Lee explains that these images have negative impacts. "In my neighborhood, we looked up to athletes, guys who got the ladies, and intelligent people,".
Even so-called positive images of Black people can lead to stereotypes about intelligence. In Darwin's Athletes: how sport has damaged Black America and preserved the myth of race, John Hoberman writes that the prominence of African-American athletes encourages a de-emphasis on academic achievement in black communities. In a 1997 study on racial stereotypes in sports, participants were shown a photograph of a white or a black basketball player. They then listened to a recorded radio broadcast of a basketball game. White photographs were rated as exhibiting significantly more intelligence in the way they played the game, even though the radio broadcast and target player represented by the photograph were the same throughout the trial. Several other authors have said that sports coverage that highlights 'natural black athleticism' has the effect of suggesting white superiority in other areas, such as intelligence. Patricia J. Williams, writer for The Nation, said this of Jar Jar Binks, a character from the 1999 and 2002 Star Wars films The Phantom Menace and Attack of the Clones, respectively: "...intentionally or not, Jar Jar's pratfalls and high jinks borrow heavily from the genre of minstrelsy. Despite the amphibian get-up, his manchild-like idiocy is imported directly from the days of Amos 'n' Andy." Many aspects of Jar Jar's character are believed to be highly reminiscent of the archetypes portrayed in blackface minstrelsy.)
They are often depicted as fanatical Muslims who are often out on the kill and shout out or chant gibberish with many "ch-"sounds. Their noses, mustaches and beards are often exaggerated in caricature. Popular images are the Muslim flying on a carpet, climbing on an erect rope, riding a camel, drawing out daggers or sabres or sitting in a tent smoking a water pipe. Arabic people are often depicted as rich oil sheiks with sun glasses and a turban (often mocked by comedians as being a towel or a diaper) on their head. Women are dressed in burkas and often carry a vase on their head. Young Arabic women are belly dancers. Since the 1970s and especially since the September 11, 2001 attacks the negative depiction of Arabic people as terrorists has increased throughout the world. In many Western countries they are seen as uneducated, aggressive, criminal, antisemitic, misogynistic and dangerous people who don't work but live on government funding, slaughter sheep in their kitchens, have many children and plot to take over the world. Many far right parties and organizations use this stereotypical image for propaganda uses. Just like Indian or Pakistani people Arabic people are often depicted as shop keepers or managers of supermarkets.
They are often depicted as shopkeepers, supermarket store clerks, gurus, snake charmers etc. They ride on elephants, worship cows and eat a lot of hot spices and curry. Women are dressed in sari. They also have an obsession with Bollywood films. Another popular image is the near-naked fakir, hypnotist or illusionist who can stick knives in his body, fly on a carpet, climb on an erect rope, walk barefoot on burning coals, refuses all food, levitates, meditates, remains underground with his head or body and sit or sleep on a bed of nails. A famous example of a Indian stereotype is Apu Nahasapeemapetilon. However modern day Indian Americans are known to be either software programmers or students. In the US the stereotypical Gujaratis run motels, punjabis drive cabs and South Indians work in the IT arena.
Notably, in Disney films from the 1990s onward, English accents are generally employed to serve one of two purposes: slapstick comedy or evil genius. Examples include The Lion King (Zazu and Scar, respectively), The Hunchback of Notre Dame (Victor the Gargoyle and Frollo, respectively), and Pocahontas (Wiggins and Ratcliffe, respectively, both of whom happen to be played by the same actor, American David Ogden Stiers).
A lot of these American stereotypes are based on American sitcoms where characters like Al Bundy and Archie Bunker are seen as representative for the typical dumb, cultureless white American. There are many other examples throughout the media, but the classic example is Homer Simpson, the obese, lazy and dim-witted middle American from the cartoon, The Simpsons. The show itself parodies many aspects of American life, culture and society.
In the US itself white people from the Southern states are frequently used as comic characters. They are depicted as angry and/or dimwitted rednecks and/or yokels who are ultraconservative, devoutly religious, Ku Klux Klan members, still carry the Confederate Flag around, grab their guns when encountering strangers and speak in a typical slang. Sometimes incest relations between them and their siblings are suggested. Examples of these stereotypes are Cletus Spuckler, The Beverly Hillbillies, several characters in the films Deliverance and O Brother, Where Art Thou? and the Family Guy episode To Love and Die in Dixie.
Welsh people are often regarded as stoic, if somewhat dull people with rare talents when it comes to singing. The Welsh are often shown as being a nation of druids and coal miners - insular, unwelcoming to outsiders and with an inferiority complex about the English. They are also known for their rather bland foods, their ability to hold their liquor. They are also crudely portrayed as having sexual relationships with sheep, which has led to the term "Sheepshagger".
Although the Irish, Germans, French, etc are considered ethnic groups today, the common term in the 19th century was "race". Much was made of Celtic versus Anglo-Saxon racial characteristics, regarding historic identity and behavior patterns. An analysis of nineteenth-century British attitudes by Mary J. Hickman and Bronwen Walter wrote that the 'Irish Catholic' was one viewed as an "other," or a different race in the construction of the British nationalist myth [of course this view no longer exists in any way, the Irish are now seen as fellow inhabitants of the British Isles]. Likewise the Irish considered the English "other" and fought hard to break away and create their own homeland, which they finally did in the 1920s.
One 19th century British cartoonist even depicted Irish immigrants as ape-like and as racially different. One American doctor in the 1850s James Redfield, argued that "facial angle" was a sign of intelligence and character. He likened the facial characteristics of the human races to animals. Thus Irishmen resembled dogs, Yankees were like bears, Germans like lions, Negroes like elephants, Englishmen like bulls, Turks like turkeys, Persians like peacocks, Greeks like sheep, Hindus like swans, Jews like goats, and Frenchmen like frogs. In the 20th century physical stereotypes survived in the comic books until the 1950s, with Irish characters like Mutt and Jeff, and Jiggs and Maggie appearing daily in hundreds of newspapers.
Contemporary stereotypes attempt to portray the Irish as drunkards, with an innate proclivity for brawling and misbehavior.
A lot of these stereotypes are reflected in Crocodile Dundee and Monty Python's Bruces sketch and the character Sir Les Patterson. Australian stereotypical characters always use expressions like "Crikey!", "G'day, mate" and "Put another shrimp on the barbie."(despite the fact they use the term prawn) They are often represented as being unsophisticated and obsessed with beer and surfing, boomerangs and kangaroos. Australian men are often shown as being macho, misogynistic brutes. The 'Ozzie' woman is seen as a beach babe with a sexy accent. However due to people like Germaine Greer and Dame Edna they are also generally seen as independent, well educated and forthright to a fault. They are sexy, overbearing about world injustice and date foreigners.
Modern European antisemitism has its origin in 19th century theories—now mostly considered as pseudo-scientific—that said that the Semitic peoples, including the Jews, are entirely different from the Aryan, or Indo-European, populations, and that they can never be amalgamated with them. In this view, Jews are not opposed on account of their religion, but on account of their supposed hereditary or genetic racial characteristics including: greed, a special aptitude for money-making and low cunning. Their noses, lips and beards are often exaggarated in caricature.
In early films such as Cohen's Advertising Scheme (1904, silent) stereotyped Jews as "scheming merchants
In many modern day comedy and films, Jews are often depicted as having curly hair, large noses, and wearing kippahs.
To this day Jewish people are sometimes stereotyped in media as being intellectually gifted,, nit-picky, and focused on money. Other stereotypes are the rabbi, the complaining and guilt inflicting Jewish mother stereotype, the spoiled and materialistic Jewish-American Princess and the Nice Jewish Boy.
French people are often depicted as dirty, unshaven, curly moustached people wearing berets, striped shirts and carrying baguettes under the arm or as onion sellers. They are often depicted as being arrogant, dirty, rude to foreigners, lazy and always speaking English like Maurice Chevalier. Often, in reference to World War II, they are depicted as being cowards who surrender immediately when confronted with sudden danger. They will frequently be seemingly addicted to croissants or tarts, or, in a more positive image, are depicted as excellent cooks (Examples are Louis in The Little Mermaid and the cooks in Ratatouille). French stereotypes are used quite a lot in comedies or animated cartoons where these characters always talk in the same way: "the" and "this" are pronounced "zee" and "zis", the words "mais oui", "ami" or "mon chéri" are used non stop and the "w" is pronounced "ooweee". Examples are Inspector Clouseau, Lumière in Beauty and The Beast and Pepe Le Pew. Sometimes, like in the movie Shrek, people are depicted as being French for no apparent reason other than evoking laughs while using the accent.
One stereotypical rendition of German people portrays them as austere, humorless, hyper-organized, bureaucratic, and mechanical. In appearance, they are imposingly tall, often slender, though possibly portly, with sharply chiseled facial features. The "Ubermensch" is generally portrayed working as a scientist, professor, military leader, businessman, or generic aristocrat. In their speech, they normally tend toward a soft, wily tone of voice which quickly erupts into a harsh, guttural bark when they are provoked. At no time will they be given to excessive words. They may have subtle or overt racist tendencies harking not just to Nazism but Nietzcheian philosophy of the Ubermensch. Modern depictions of the "Ubermensch" extend to the enjoyment of harsh, austere forms of music such as industrial, Krautrock, and techno, and many German bands of these genres intentionally play up those stereotypical aspects.
In sharp contrest to the "Ubermensch", the "Bavarian" is portrayed as warm and cuddly. The males wear lederhosen, Tyrolean hats, and mustaches, while the women wear dirndls, and both sexes are clad in a mix of mostly white and green with red trim. This rendition of Germans sees them rejecting the austerity of the "Ubermensch" stereotype and enjoying the simple pleasures in life. Such Germans are seen drinking beer from steins in great quantity, feasting on schnitzel, sauerkraut, and sauerbraten, and dancing to oompa music. It should be noted that this stereotype derives from stereotypical views of southern Germans, the Bavarians, as well as the Austrians, but is invoked as a stereotype for all Germans today.
The "Beermaiden" is generally portrayed as a subset of the "Bavarian". "Beermaidens" are pretty but robust women with long blonde hair in pigtails, ample breasts, and powerful arms capable of delivering a dozen steins of beer, in accordance with "Bavarian" stereotypes (and to some degree, reality). This stereotype is an amalgam of various ideals of Teutonic women, ranging from the Nazis' view of the Aryan womanhood - capable of as much physical labor as men, but with very feminine and maternal physical characteristics to produce a new generation of Aryans - to Wagnerian depictions of the female warrior Brynhildr as portrayed in Der Ring des Nibelungen.
Recent and other Stereotypes
One new avatar of the German citizen becoming popular in Britain is that of the conscientious post-WWII German. This stereotype is popularly applied to German tourists who are depicted as being incredibly polite and respectful and growing nervous at the mention of the War. The stereotype derives from the intense and public guilt of the German people for war crimes committed in the '30s and '40s, as demonstrated by draconian restrictions on speech, and especially proscriptions against denying the Holocaust.
Other portrayals of Germans, usually applied in alliance with one of the above stereotypes, include pickelhaube-wearing warmongers (stemming from Germany's role in the two world wars, though other Axis/Central powers do not seem to share this stereotype), monocle-wearing mad scientists with generally more malicious ends than beneficent ones, and very robust opera singers playing the role of the aforementioned Brynhildr (Brunhilde in German).
Italian people are often depicted as singers, involved with the mafia and cooking pasta and tomato type foods. They all crave for their mothers, gesticulate heavily and are easily offended. Sometimes they sell fruit or ice cream. When they talk they often add "a"'s behind verbs, for example: "I do not-a want-a talk with you.". Examples of stereotypical Italian accents are for instance Chico Marx. Another Italian stereotype is the gorgeously built Italian sex bomb with a beautiful body (examples: Sophia Loren, Gina Lollobrigida and La Cicciolina). And similar : the handsome young macho who walks around with his shirt open and usually has notable chest hair. Or the more mysterious handsome Italian man who is always dressed in fine suits and drives around in classy, expensive automobiles or Vespa motorcycles. (examples of this image are Marcello Mastroianni and Andy Garcia (who is of Hispanic descent)'s portrayal of Vincent in The Godfather III). Both Italian macho stereotypes are always depicted as fantastic lovers, but generally unfaithful to and uninterested in the needs and wishes of their female partners. In romantic stories aimed at a heterosexual female audience Italian macho lovers often play an important role.
Swedish people are often depicted as seen being sex mad, fun loving with long blonde hair, blue eyed with very pale white skin. Another Swedish stereotype is the gorgeously built Swedish sex bomb with a beautiful body (examples: Victoria Silvstedt, Ulrika Jonsson, Britt Ekland, Agnetha Fältskog). Swedes are often parodied by their high sounds and native melodic accent, with the Muppet's Swedish Chef being one of the major example. They seen living in a colourful wooden houses completely furnished by IKEA, surrounded by huge pine forests, living in a cradle to grave welfare state paid for by being taxed to the hills.
They are often depicted as hot-blooded, proud, lazy people who prefer to take siestas instead of working. Typical activities are playing guitar in group (often songs like La Cucaracha) or alone, while singing a serenade to their loved one. Most young latinos are often seen as gang related groups who often talk spanglish. Other activities are bull fighting, cooking olives or extremely hot food and drinking strong liquor. Typical expressions are shouting "Olé!" or "Ayayayayayayay" when they are excited about something. Everybody is called "señor" or "señorita". The men always have long black moustaches. Presidents in Latin American settings are depicted having short reigns and are deposed by "una revolución". Afterwards they are shot by firing squads. Men are frequently cast as drug dealers, dictators, soccer fanatics or cigar smoking guerrillero's. Women are usually loosely dressed and promiscuous, big breasted, long haired beauties. In recent popular culture Latinos are often depicted as illegal immigrants. Examples or these Hispanic stereotypes are: Bumblebee Man, Speedy Gonzales, and the characters in Asterix in Spain and Tintin and the Broken Ear.
They are usually depicted as harsh, primitive, miserable, poor peasants or workers. Sometimes they cook soup, stew, goulash or eat yoghurt, paprika or salami. Men always have moustaches/beards and carry bearskin hats and women babushka's. When they have finished drinking a glass with strong liquor, they throw the glass over their shoulder while it crashes against the wall or the ground. The population is often involved in espionage or spied upon by the secret police. Many of these stereotypes still date back to the Cold War era and Dracula movies, who are often set in Romania. Men often shout with an angry, booming voice. Women are sometimes depicted as being more masculine than feminine. Gypsies are also often associated with Eastern Europe. More positive stereotypical depictions of Eastern Europeans and Russians are the excellent ballet dancer(s) and violinists. Their speech often puts a strong emphasis on the letter "r" and "g"-sounds are put in front of words beginning with the letter "h". Other popular cliché expressions are "njet" ("no") and "da!" ("yes").
Before (and long after) the Russian Revolution Russians were often represented as black bearded cossacks with heavy eyebrows, who dance trepaks, ride in troika's, play violin, eat caviar or drink vodka in snowy landscapes. During the Cold War Russians and Eastern Europeans were often depicted as evil or primitive in anticommunist propaganda. Since the 1990s the depiction of Russians as part of the Russian mafia has increased.
Gender stereotypes are those ideas, usually imposed by society of what is expected of men and women in the social structure. In most modern Western cultures, men are expected to be assertive, risk-taking, tough, unfeeling, insensitive, combative, the owner or ruler of the home, whereas women are expected to be the nurturers, caregivers, demure, polite, the family homemaker. Younger men are often depicted as pimpish, boasting, prideful, obnoxious, promiscuous and sometimes violent. Younger women are often shown as unintelligent, emotional, afraid of things like spiders and snakes, saying the word "like" all the time and squealing a lot.
The first reference to "stereotype", in its modern, English use was in 1850, in the noun, meaning "image perpetuated without change".