Generalizations vs. stereotypes
Caveat emptor! Any discussion that generalizes cultural norms and values can veer into or be misunderstood as stereotyping individuals. The discussion of cultural norms and values that follows rests on the following assumptions:
- Culture defined is the learned and shared values, beliefs, and behaviors of a group of interacting people.
- Cultural generalization: Looking at tendencies of a majority of people in a cultural group, their values, beliefs, and tendency to engage in certain patterns of behavior, and making generalizations about individual behavior based on group patterns.
- Cultural Stereotype: Automatically applying generalizations to every person in the cultural group, or making generalizations about the group based on the behavior of only a few individuals.
- Generalizations of cultural norms and values imply difference and not deficit.