People: Not as frightening as you might think

An outline of a gingerbread man/personI’m at the other end of the country this week, running a session on equality and diversity for the Clore Social Leadership Programme. When they sent me the list of attenders through, I nearly fell of my chair as I read – biog after biog of fantastic achievers – people who had started this, run that, gained the other and all of whom had already made immense differences to the lives of those around them.

Frankly, I was scared. Continue reading

Beware stereotypes and check out the impacts they have

Police in riot gearStereotypes – now they are interesting things.

I came across two very different definitions this week:

A stereotype is “…a fixed, over generalised belief about a particular group or class of people.” (Cardwell, 1996)


“The dehumanizing process [that] is necessary to feed the oppressors’ sense of being justified and to alleviate the feeling of guilt.” (Eric Stoller, 2008)

The first sounds cosier for sure – yes, its over generalised but no real harm done. The second way more political and in your face.

So which should we go with? Maybe we should look at some of the impacts of stereotypes to help us make up our minds…

Common stereotype number one: Black people are more likely to be criminals

We know its not true. We have statistics to prove its not true and yet still we see it played out again and again within popular culture.

And the police’s response?

Just check the ‘stop and search’ statistics from a recent report:

Across England & Wales, average number of stops and searches:

      • Average                   22 per 1,000 people
      • White population      17 per 1,000 people
      • Asian population      40 per 1,000 people
      • Black population    129 per 1,000 people

Now which definition of the word stereotype do you think is more accurate?

Thanks to Kashklick for the image and remember if you have enjoyed this and want to read more, you can subscribe to Jo Verrent’s blog by email.