Rhetoric and Stereotypes
The public image of stereotypes and rhetoric is not very positive. They tend to attract negative attention in the context of the individual, race or ethnic identity. There is connotation which is attached to age, profession, gender, and image and racial identity of the person. The essence of the impact lies in the argument used for such specific stereotypes which provides people with the images based on which people process their information related to specific stereotypes. The inherent processing of the mental images is the key to the development of such stereotypes as well as the arguments used serve as rhetoric. The culture shapes the development of such stereotypes based on the popular publicity and imagery created by the community or the media. In some cases special attention is provided, in some cases they are ignored or heavily criticized. The key point is that in all cases they are categorized as stereotypes, which are different from the common masses. It is important to evaluate the situation of the specific stereotypes in the four categories as they really are.
Some of the stereotypes like politicians and senior citizens are over privileged and some like feminist and tattooed persons are underprivileged based on their mass identity and recognition. There is also the connotation of good and bad which is associated with the specific group of people whop have been chosen to be evaluated based on the rhetoric and the stereotype image they have created. There is need for compassion of underprivileged and hope for reform for hose ho are privileged. The differences in the background and cultural ethnicity also play an important role in the determination of such stereotypes and rhetoric related to it.
The label which has been marked as the characteristic for these four groups 1) Politicians, 2) Tattooed persons, 3)Feminists, 4) Senior Citizens; has been negatively projected in the community and society. These four groups have to work very rigorously to break the cycle of image which surrounds them. They have been labeled and targeted by society, government agencies and the media which makes the rhetoric stronger against them. The image of a politician is that of an unreliable con artist who is manipulative, selfish, dishonest and not true to his words. The feminists play a very negative role in the mans world as having negative and rageful tendencies which goes to extreme of hating men in general for the wrong reasons, they are mostly inclined to be lesbians, who are staunch environmentalists. The image of the senior citizen is that they are forgetful, have chronic ailments, not considered fit enough to drive and are dependent and rigid in their frame of mind. People who are tattooed have been categorized as criminals, lawbreakers, violent and untraditional and unconventional. They are mostly associated with gangs and are strong rebels who duel on negative aspect of life. They are underachievers. These four categories are classic categories of stereotypes as they represent “thoughts or images of the group which is not based on sound evidence or proof.”(Moore & Parker, 2007, pg.122)
It is amazing to notice how these four categories long with many others can be identified with typical stereotyping of the individual based on the thought process and the images created by the community and the media. Sometimes it takes just one known source or individual to be identified with certain characteristics which leads to the generalization of the image. Politicians are one f the toughest stereotypes which can be penetrated through and broken for genuine grasp of the situation. In such roles media plays an adverse role in conforming with the stereotype. The feminists are targeted as negatively and have not been recognized for their zeal and their independent frame of mind. The tattooed person has to struggle for positive attention from the time he presents himself on any scene. An elderly is never seen to be capable of independent existence and sound memory. It is always associated that sick and elderly are prone to accidents and legal issues and cannot take charge of their life on their own independently. Their judgment is always questioned.
There is need to pay attention to the kind of words and images which have been formed over time to describe these four groups in the eyes of the public. These words and images which have been directed to describe such characteristics in individual are the rhetoric’s which are based on the positive and negative statements made by the social organization and media to project such images(Moore and parker, 2007, pg.118).
The stereotypical issues are the result of the rhetorical devices used by the public machinery. These can be used carelessly to spin off an agenda and hence should be taken critically based on ethical inquiry. The images and the thought process are critical factors which support any such stereotypical beliefs. The report and study conducted by a group of researchers have confirmed that negative information has powerful impact on the impression it has to influence mind frame with regard to specific information in comparison to positive information.(Ito, 1998). Hence it is important to judge the statement or an opinion in the light of the rhetoric which is the basis of the manifestation of the stereotype.
Dove, George N. The Boys from Grover Avenue: Ed McBain’s 87th Precinct Novels.
Bowling Green: Bowling Green State U.P., 1985.
Moore, B.N. & Parker, R. (2007). Critical Thinking, 8th edition. McGraw-Hill Companies: New York. Ito, T.A., Larsen, J.T., Smith, N.K., & Cacioppo, J.T. (1998). Negative Information Weighs More Heavily on the Brain: The Negativity Bias in Evaluative Categorizations. [Electronic Version]. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 75(4), 887-900.