English Literature - Stereotypes Common Term Paper

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In fact, most lawyers practice neither criminal law nor personal injury law; they assist individuals prepare wills, set up their businesses, protect themselves from financial risks, purchase homes, patent inventions, and respond to IRS tax audits. Most lawyers spend long hours working at their desks and never actually see courtrooms or accident victims (Haskell 1998). Certainly, some lawyers are dishonest people without moral scruples or ethics who will do almost anything to make money. But more often than not, that is a function of the type of person they are, just as some schoolteachers, postal carriers, and even members of the clergy are dishonest and immoral.

Telemarketers:

Telemarketers suffer from common stereotyping as being dishonest, rude, inconsiderate liars who care only about making a sales pitch. As with other stereotypes, some telemarketers may fit those negative characterizations, but assuming them to be true about everyone who happens to earn a living as a telemarketer is unfair to that individual.

On the other hand, certain occupations may indeed lend themselves to specific personality types by virtue of which common stereotypes about their class may actually reflect the truth more often than other stereotypes. In some respects, there is a fundamental difference between traditional salesmen and telemarketers in that salesman generally make sales pitches to people who contact them first, providing some reasonable basis for assuming they may be interested in purchasing the salesman's wares.

By definition, telemarketers generally do make "cold calls" which, frankly, does require a degree of self-centeredness because their purpose is more often to sell the idea that people need their goods or services. Nevertheless, telemarketers also provide goods and services that some people do need. While some telemarketers may fit their stereotype, others may be hard-working, honest people who simply need that particular job at that time in their lives; they apologize sincerely for the intrusion and never persist with a sales pitch once a contact indicates a lack of interest in response to their phone call. Expecting those individuals to meet stereotypical expectations without knowing anything else about them besides their occupation is unfair.

Used-Car Dealers:

Used-car dealers suffer from common stereotypes as dishonest cheaters who inflate the cost of their vehicles far above their value and who employ industry tricks of the trade to squeeze as much money from every customer as possible. Certainly, public records do reveal that used-car dealerships are among the worst offenders of business laws, but that does not justify assuming that necessarily to be the case in all circumstances.

Doing so is a fundamental injustice to any used-car dealers who happen to conduct a respectful business and simply earn an honest living providing a product on which many people rely as an alternative to purchasing a new vehicle. If anything, the fact that so many members of the class may indeed live up to negative stereotypes only makes it that much more unfair to punish those who make the extra effort to conduct business more honestly than might be common in the industry.

Conclusion:

In principle, every individual should be viewed with the proverbial "blank slate," regardless of their membership in any class associated with common stereotypes.

Whether or not those stereotypes happen to be true in the case of any specific individual, fairness and the goal of living in a healthy society requires that we give the benefit of the doubt in all cases, forming opinions about people based only on their actual behavior rather than on unfounded assumptions based on hearsay and anecdotal expectations.

References

Conlon, Edward. (2004) Blue Blood. New York: Riverhead

Gerrig, R.J., Zimbardo, R.G. (2005)

Psychology and Life 18th Ed.

New Jersey: Prentice Hall.

Haskell, Paul, G. (1998) Why Lawyers behave as They Do. Boulder, CO: Westview.

Henslin, J.M. (2002) Essentials of Sociology: A Down-to-Earth Approach. Boston: Allyn and Bacon Macionis, J.J. (2003) Sociology…

Sources Used in Document:

References

Conlon, Edward. (2004) Blue Blood. New York: Riverhead

Gerrig, R.J., Zimbardo, R.G. (2005)

Psychology and Life 18th Ed.

New Jersey: Prentice Hall.

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