Pack your bags…..
& Pack A Blindfold
Mapping out common sterotypes from 35 Random Individuals
When I was a little girl I was taught that people are just people and that how they look, what they sound like, how they dress, what religion or race they are didn’t matter. But why was this the case for six year old me? Take a minute and think of the last time that you felt you generalized someone by their looks, beliefs or gender. So when was the last time you had an open mind about people and who they are as individuals?
See, when I look at the border perspective of the world, I would like to think we are all equal and there are no sterotypes or cruel view points of one another– but I sadly doubt that is the case. What if we only heard someone’s voice instead of an image of them? Would your view on them change?
Rather than explain my project through text, I thought it would be interesting to display it through images. Take a look at my introduction video, to get a better understanding of the project and my research.
Though many may feel that this is a project to speak out about myself, it has more of an underlying purpose (rather than love stories or who am I? type scenarios). I want to show you how the research I did, the data I collected will and has impacted me and hopefully you.
Take the survey that my friends and teachers took as discussed in the Introduction Video.
In order, for this to unbiased, I would like you all to first take the survey, before viewing the results that I found from my peers and teachers.
Though there were multiple questions asked, there were a few things that I found to be the most interesting.
- Though I sent the survey to over fifty people in my school, more students and especially female students replied. (Does this have to do with gender, perhaps?)
- When asked if they (people responding to the survey), had prejudices, responses were very vague and not descriptive.
- When asked about how to describe themselves few people mentioned American or educated, but rather their race, ethnicity, and how they view themselves. ( I personally, believe this is due to how I asked those specific questions).
- When asked about if people’s felt their education impacted their view of others, the majority said strongly yes.
- When asked about poor people, responses were contrasted– either I don’t have a bias or view or—– a long descriptive response.
- Younger ages had less to say, and if they chose to write a long response it had a specific tone to it. As a younger person, I tend to think this is because my generation does not like to spend time on things that are not required and they will not be associated with (their name attached to something). Do you agree?
- When asked about races one does not like many pointed to the media as a source of why they view as race in a specific light (We will cover this later on).
- When asked if one’s upbringing had impacted their life everyone responded with some form of “yes”
- When asked if they (people in the survey) feel their friends and family have prejudices, many responded with yes and some with no. However, a specific group of people (who will rename anonymous based on factors such as race, age, etc.) hardly named what these “prejudices or view” were. I wonder if this is because, they felt the they then would be creating their own stereotypes.
- When asked about their gender, people respond with comments such as— “It does not bother me”, “It is not an important part of who I am”, “I love my gender” “No opinion.” I wonder if these views and thoughts about one’s gender match how an individual expresses themselves to others. For example, one of the people who responded to the survey states “I LOVE MY GENDER.” However, this person may not be as out going as his/her response was. As a viewer does this impact the way you would view a person based on this response?
After watching the video, I hope you gain a better understanding of what I will try to show all my views through my research. There are two main areas that I will focus on in my project.
- Does a persons age / where they grew up effect if they have stereotypes?
- How does this impact my view of others and what can everyone learn from it?
Data Charted From Survey
What does this data show us? — From the data collect, I had a bias sample. The people in which I selected for the survey all had some association with my school. And as a response, many of them lived and grew up in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Many of the responses, were from younger students, closer to my own age. What is interesting to me, is that I feel by my peers knowing a student their own age was asking the questions and conducting the survey, they were more likely to respond.
Interesting Response From My Survey
Question: Do you feel that your education has impacted, improved or negatively changed your view of others or created any stereotypes ?
- “Up to this point, I feel that my education has taught me about social inequality and the bias that each person has about what they believe. However, I believe that my education has not taught me the nuance of socioeconomic, racial, and cultural tension that I sense. I intend to study this more in college.”
- “Growing up, all that I knew about Republicans was that my dad was one. After learning about political parties and their different policies during my middle and high school years, I’ve developed a stereotype of Republicans that I never would have had without my education. I would say that most of the improvements to my views of others have come from personal experiences that have taught me that people are people, regardless of their background, beliefs, appearances, or other characteristics.”
- “I feel as though my education has improved my view of others by exposing me to people from all walks of life through literature or lectures. My education has debunked most of the stereotypes I have encountered.”
- “My education has helped me see the negative sides of a lot of people. I start learning patterns in human history, and I see it in everyone. I’ve learned in economics that the most important person to someone, is them self, and how it is an unavoidable truth. But I’ve learned how that changes people’s interactions with each other, and it’s showed me how to read into people much deeper than their surface, and I have to say, it has given me a completely different perspective of the world than in the way I used to see it when I was younger.”
Question: Do you feel that where you grew up has affected your view of people? If so explain
- “Definitely. Just one example: When I lived in Florida, I attended a Christian academy where only a few students in the entire school were non-Christian. After moving to Las Vegas and joining a secular school, I came into contact with people from a variety of religious backgrounds. Before moving, I had never met any Muslims, and the religion of Islam seemed like a foreign concept, but now that I know Muslims, it all seems completely normal.”
- “Yes. I experienced desegregation while in high school, which brought welcome interaction with African-Americans. There had been little interaction with black peers prior to desegregation of the schools in my town.”
- “No because I grew up in a very diverse environment so I am pretty accepting of everyone.”
Question: Do you feel that your upbringing has impacted your outlook on life?
- Simple “Yes”- 10
- “Yes. I try to be understanding towards the situations of others, however since I have been fortunate and privileged in my upbringing I subconsciously don’t always understand the situations of others. I don’t always see the hardships other people go through, and consequently look at life as something where the opportunities are endlessly available to you which is not always true for others.”
- “It has shown me that I am very fortunate to be given the opportunities, and I always want to make the best of that”
- “I feel as though the way I was raised has affected how I view things and helps me realize how I do and do not want to treat others based off of race, income, etc. However, I think it has also altered my view on life and how hard you really have to work to be successful.”
Question:Does your family or friends have any prejudices?
- Simple “Yes” – 4 “No”- 2
- “No, or they probably wouldn’t be my friend”
- “Yes; I believe that everyone has prejudices, despite what they may choose to believe. My dad is prejudiced against Muslims, liberals, and illegal immigrants. My mother, friends, and other people in my life surely have prejudices as well but choose to be less vocal about them.”
- ” Yes. In particular, my mother would have tried to dissuade me from marrying anyone of a different skin color, although I suppose they would have accepted a woman of Asian, African, or Latin descent – though only with time. They certainly would not have accepted a same sex partner. In one of my answers above, I briefly mention what I perceived to be the internal struggle they had with embedded racist tendencies: this is one particular point with which I’d illustrate that struggle.”
- “I think everyone has prejudices, whether it is towards a different race, gender, economic bracket, etc. My family specifically does not actively exercise prejudice, but I think it is there towards those who are homeless because they are viewed as dangerous. My friends, some being more conservative, are prejudice towards the poor, the gay, sometimes even towards women. This is an unfortunate side effect of politics and the way they were also brought up.”
What comes from all of this information and data
Now that you have gone through the survey yourself and seen some of the responses, do you feel that you have stereotyped these people by their responses? Do you know what they look like, gender, age, religion? Of course, out of respect to each of the people who participated, I will not reveal who responded with what, and connect the dots from person to answer, but I will allow you to play a game.
When I first, started this, I wondered what it would be like, if an individual (person 1) were to simply speak about themselves, a second individual (person 2) could connect that individual’s response to an picture of person 1.
Description vs. Images
Can you identify who is who based on solely a description of themselves?
Make Sure to Take Part In The Activity Before Looking 🙂
A- 2 B-4 C-5 D- 1 E-6 F- 3
After, you have completed the exercise, take a moment and think of what you noticed. Below, are some questions for thoughts, reflections?
- Did you make any stereotypes my just listening to the audio?
- Did people’s tone help you match their image?
- What did you not like or like throughout this experiment?
- Did you match all the answers correctly?
So you may be asking yourself what is the point of this experiment. As a researcher and young student, I wanted to put you– the reader– in the shoes of someone who in unaware of how other’s look or dress or act. This simply gave you a way to either make judgements about people or not to make any. Honestly, by just hearing someone speak, I find myself creating images in my head as to what they may look like.
Poll After The Experiment
What Does This All Mean??
While there have been many studies as to why or how people have/ create stereotypes, I thought it was important to show how I could demonstrate people in my own surrounding have them and are unaware. And while this is the time in all of this romantic comedies or hard core research projects that reveal a sentimental value, this is not what I intended the project to become. But yet, the message is still the same.
While many of you may have felt that you did all of the surveys or looked the results of the data I collected from the 35 individuals, I was planning something else. If you watched the video carefully, you may have noticed that I did not show you myself. Why is this? And what the purpose? Throughout this process, I have been wondering if there was one underlying factor in the whole data collection, interviewing, photo taking, making this website process.
Am I the factor? Does the way I look and the way I present myself play a role in all of this ?
From this process, I have been able to personally reflect on how other’s may view me and create their own stereotypes towards me. Something that I would never have been able to do if a person asked me these questions. I think that this is because I controlled what the questions were and was able to participate in this survey without having to answer the hard questions. In some cases, this may make me seem shy and not willing to put myself out there. But for me, I feel that this project has allowed me to put myself out there and create a platform for you all to let me present data and partake in multiple experiments without knowing what I look like. Because, to me why going through this whole process, you have been making stereotypes or judgments about me without even seeing or knowing anything about me.
Here are a few facts–
- I am a 19 year old high school senior – who attends a private school
- I am one of six siblings and a child of divorce
- I am a feminist
- I am terrified of Spiders
- I am proud to be Jewish
- I am a leader
- I am not shy to speak my mind
What do I look like?
While many of you have probably been wondering what I look like this whole time. I hope this website and this experiment has shown you more and learned more about yourself, others, your community and how we view others. I believe that it is important that all of us try to understand, respect, care, love and learn from one another without creating theses stereotypes and view points.
Because to me it does not matter what you look like, who your parents are, your religions, where you grew up or how you identify yourself. You need to express yourself in a way that you feel to be you.
So Here Is Me…