The Danger of Stereotypes

How stereotypes shape our views and perspectives.

The North East: Boston, Connecticut & New Yawk Stereotype

Stereotypes don’t just apply to college students and races of people but they apply to people that live in different regions of the United States. I can say from person experience that when an introduction is made and a person is not from the same place as you assumptions are immediately created. Major stereotypes based on the region you are from in the West Coast, East Coast, South and the Mid-West (Novak). Like other stereotypes these are not necessarily true.

I go to a university in the Mid-West; the majority of the students that attend this school are also from the Mid-West. I am from Long Island, New York. Based on recent reality televisions shows such as Jersey Shore, The Real House Wives, NYC Prep and many more, there are many new stereotypes created about people from this area. One day I was talking to a group of my friends and we were saying what our first impressions of each other were. Two of the impression that I gave off was “that bitch from New York” and “she must be rich, doesn’t pay in-state tuition and she lives near New York City.” Both of these impressions are not true. Yes, I do live an hour from New York City but my families wealth is an incorrect assumption. The person that said I was a “bitch” took back what she said and corrected herself by saying I was one of the nicest people and she was really glad we became friends. Shows such as Jersey Shore are creating incorrect views of people that live in New York and New Jersey (Friedman). From shows like The Real House Wives of New York, stereotypes are created that all New Yorkers are snobby and better than everyone else. (urbandictionary.com)

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These shows are making a new stereotype that we are trashy people with fake tans. I was introduced to a friend of a friend and he asked where I was from and I said “Long Island,” he then proceeds to say “you’re really tan.” This is just one example of the false opinions many people have. Shows like Jersey Shore aren’t just giving residents of New York and New Jersey a bad name but also this show is created a stereotype that all Italians are like this. From this stems the stereotype that all people from Long Island are Italian. The regional stereotype involves much more than just how you act, talk and dress. The stereotype of being from New York also brings about other stereotypes which are hard to break people of. Many people I meet say, you don’t have a New York accent and that is because not everyone speaks the way imagined. Just because you are from Long Island or New York City doesn’t mean you are going to “waaaaalk, taaaaalk and drink cawwffee and waaaater.” Yes every region has a different accent but the accent associated with New York makes it seem trashy. From reading other online blogs, I was able to gather information that some people either think Guido or Hamptons when thinking about people from Long Island. Guidos being the people associated with show like Jersey Shore and the Hamptons being rich, preppy, snobby people (skyscrapercity.com).

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Recently, New York and the surrounding area have had a lot of publicity. Many reality and popular television shows are being based in New York. Other New England States have stereotypes as well. Some stereotypes associated with Connecticut are that everyone is rich and preppy (yahooanswers.com). After further research, many of these stereotypes come from the Stepford Wives (IMDb.com), which portrays these people to have perfect lives. Similar to New York, Boston has the stereotype of the accent. I have friends from school that live there and I have family that lives there and they don’t say everything with a Boston accent. Many people base opinions about others from where they are from. Most of those stereotypes are not true and the occurrence of these opinions are giving the area a bad reputation.

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