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An ethnic stereotype is a generalized representation of an ethnic group, composed of what are thought to be typical characteristics of members of the group. The use of ethnic stereotypes is usually demeaning even when the characteristics might be considered positive because it tends to discount the importance and uniqueness of the individual.
False ethnic stereotypes can gain acceptance as fact through frequent repetition. The use of stereotypes often leads to misunderstanding and hurt feelings, because they may be either untrue generalizations, truthful but unflattering generalizations, or truthful generalizations about a group which are untrue of any given member of a group. Many modern ethnic stereotypes can be described as accurate representations of social norms within a given ethnicity and may reflect what a large portion of the living population is, in fact, doing. Within each ethnicity there is always a minority, or even a majority, that chooses not to reflect the stereotype. But even individuals who do reflect the stereotype may find it negative and offensive.
There are many other examples, lists of which can be found at the following articles:
- Ethnic stereotypes in American media
- Ethnic stereotypes in popular culture
- Ethnic stereotypes in pornography
- Racism in Mass Media
- Stereotypes of Africans/Blacks
- Stereotypes of Asians
- Stereotypes of Europeans/Whites
- Stereotypes of Latinos
- Stereotypes of Native Americans
- Stereotypes of Near Easterners/Arabs
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