Stereotype versus Stereotyping as a noun

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New Member
I am having a bit of trouble with understanding when to use "stereotype" and "stereotyping" as a noun. In particular, I believe the second sentence sounds more correct, but I am not sure. What do you think?

"This article shows that they attempt to escape the cultural pattern of negative stereotypes and mistrust that they experience by using a functionalistic staging of efficiency."
"This article shows that they attempt to escape cultural patterns of negative stereotyping and mistrust by using a functionalistic staging of efficiency."
  • suzi br

    Senior Member
    English / England
    I think the second is probably better, since the THEY in the sentence are on the receiving end of this stereotyping, so it seems marginally better to use the gerund.

    That rather leaves to one side what the heck the rest of that sentence is on about! :D Functionalistic staging of efficiency!


    Senior Member
    British English
    Welcome to the forum. It's for you to decide which you think works best - that's a matter of personal style and the precise meaning you intend. Otherwise we'd be proofreading your text.

    Stereotyping is a process, the product of which is one or more stereotypes. You need to decide if you are describing the process or the outcome. I have to confess that your sentence means nothing to me as I have no idea what "a functionalistic staging of efficiency" is supposed to mean.


    Senior Member
    English - England
    the cultural pattern of negative stereotypes = noun -> someone seen as having the popularly perceved traits and attributes of a race or group; a typical but generalised (usually over-generalised) example -> "He is a stereotype of those who believe the earth is flat."

    cultural patterns of negative stereotyping = verbal noun -> the action of categorising someone as typical of a race or group -> "You have stereotyped Michael as typical of all people from Rumbabwe: they are not all thieves and liars." or the action of categorising an entire race or group as having certain attributes. "The people of Tamistan indulge in negatively stereotyping (i.e.stereotype) all Ruritanians as lazy, musical geniuses."
    (Rumbabwe, Tamistan, and Ruritania are all fictitious countries)

    Stereotype and its derivatives are invariably seen as negative when applied to humans. However, with animals and objects, they are neutral.



    New Member
    Thank you for all your responses!
    @Andygc, thank you for your useful insight: "stereotyping" = a process and a product of more stereotypes. Makes a lot of sense.
    @PaulQ, very meticulous description of the meaning of the word, thank you!

    I was mainly concerned with the use of the word stereotype and not "a functionalistic staging of efficiency", which I understand is a heavy form of gobbledygook. ;)

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