The Danger of Stereotypes

How stereotypes shape our views and perspectives.

Miami University of Ohio

It is safe to say that all students at Miami University are affected by common stereotypes about the student body. These assumptions are reflective of the academic and social environments created within the Oxford community. Once something is seen as socially acceptable, it seems that the original generalization soon becomes encompassing of an even larger percentage of students. This is enhanced as student’s surrender to trends based on a need to follow the social norms outlined by peers. Although in many cases standards popularized by a specific community create negative misjudgments, it seems that Miami students almost take pride the in the stereotypes defined by many college networks.

Miami’s classy red brick buildings, tree lined sidewalks, and open greens create a picturesque campus and the perfect scenery for it’s most common stereotype: “The J. Crew U”. This title is not only an image, but also a lifestyle. The students at Miami University are primarily Caucasian, Christian, and Conservative. Dressing with a style that reflects these views, most students suggest an upper-middle societal class upbringing. Based on this formal society created by their peers, students confess to holding themselves to higher standards. These principles suggest that dressing down, even for an eight am lecture, is simply unacceptable. Although students follow this social norm, not all students agree with the preppy image. One Miami student tweeted “it sucks that I go to a school where it is socially unacceptable to wear sweatpants to the library”. Many other students admit to changing their views and attitudes as well as improving their wardrobe based on the stereotypes associated with Miami. Even though many students disagree with Miami’s trademark image, the majority of the student body continues to follow the classy trend in more aspects than just their appearance. It is clear that many factors contribute to the “J. Crew U”, but the leading reinforcement for this label is still the staple outfit for both genders: a tucked in button down, fitted, belted pants, and boat shoes; a classic J. Crew outfit.


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