Stereotypes have been examined as believed categories, and the effect of stereotyping on the stereotyped must be stressed. One of the saddest aspects of stereotyping is that out-group members may begin to believe and accept the stereotype. As Dyer ( 1984) argues, one damaging effect of stereotyping is that the in-group defines the out-group for both in-group and out-group. As a stereotype may serve in-group members by reinforcing the belief of their "natural" superiority over the typed out- group, it is thought also to work on out-group members, causing them to view themselves as they are portrayed by the in-group. Imagine what Hispanic viewers-- both inside and outside the U.S. (or for that matter people of color elsewhere in the world)--think when they watch Raiders of the Lost Ark and see in the film's opening ten minutes the dashing Anglo hero betrayed four different times by Hispanic underlings. Couldn't this be insidious reaffirmation of a true power structure and an existing social order?
Stereotyping of Hispanics continues; we have only begun to grasp its significance.
Reprinted by permission of the publisher from the Howardjournal of Communications, Vol. 2, no. 3 (Summer 1990), pp. 286-300.
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