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What Is a Stereotype?

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Updated June 16, 2009

Definition: A stereotype is a set of widely shared generalizations about a group or class of people. In the case of negative stereotypes, such as those held about drug users and other people with addictions, they tend to be fixed, simplistic overgeneralizations about the group or class of people. Typically, the overemphasize real or imagined negative, unfavorable characteristics. Stereotypes may be used to stigmatize and socially exclude people belonging to the group in question, resulting in social inequalities and consequently, the reinforcement of the stereotype.
Pronunciation: sterr-E-O-tipe
Also Known As: typecast, label, pigeonhole
Examples:
A social stereotype of a person with an addiction is that he is lazy, deceitful, untrustworthy, and that he is at fault for his condition.
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  6. Stereotype Definition - Stereotype Definition Relating to Addiction

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