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The authors Jost and Hamilton wrote the article “Stereotypes in Our Culture”. In this article, the authors’ central argument is that categorization is a necessary but not sufficient cause of prejudicial attitudes. In their article, they explore the themes that Allport developed in his book “Nature of Prejudice”. These themes were that categorization is a critical process that gives rise to stereotyping prejudice. In addition, Allport argues that all the contents of stereotypes are mostly shared forms of justification that turn out to be false. In this article, the two authors argue that different groups vary largely compared to how they are perceived to possess entitativity. Interaction among the members of a group in addition to how they share their goals determines how they perceive their “groupness”. Social groups are artificial categories. Despite this, people view groups as natural kinds. According to Jost and Hamilton, stereotypes act as justificatory device. They act as justificatory devices through group justification, system justification and ego justification. Members belonging to a disadvantaged group will have favorable attitudes towards members of an advantage group. In contrast, they will have unfavorable attitudes towards members of their own group.

Several things puzzled me in the reading “Stereotypes in Our Culture”. Jost and Hamilton argue that members from a disadvantaged group always hold ambivalent and contradicted attitudes against their own group memberships. This fact puzzled me, since I expected that members from this group to trust and support each other, so that they are able to escape a situation that may be facing them. I was also puzzled by the study on African-Americans that revealed that they accepted unfavorable stereotypes of their own group stating that members of their group are irresponsible, lazy and violent. I did not expect a member belonging to a particular group to talk negative things about the other members in their group since they share common things and features. I was also puzzled by the study by Jost on gays and lesbians that revealed that 37.5 percent of gay and lesbian respondents held implicit attitudes that were better towards heterosexuals compared to the attitudes against homosexuals. I expected the homosexuals to have positive attitudes towards each other, since they belong to the same sexuality.

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I did not understand several things in this reading. Jost and Hamilton argue that for members belonging to a group that is advantaged have an in-group ambivalence that decreases as system justification tendencies increase. The authors did not explain how this concept applies making it hard for me to understand. The concept of stereotyping and rationalization of social roles that Jost and Hamilton defined happens in the current world. Jost and Hamilton argue that members of low status groups are stereotyped in more communal way and social emotional terms, while members of the high status groups are stereotyped as achievement oriented. People always view the poor as people who like to practice teamwork in order to assist each other. In contrast, people always view the rich as people who like to live alone and pursue their own goals and desires.

This reading has several strengths. Jost and Hamilton used studies conducted by other scholars to support their assertions. They cited literature and studies done by Oakes, Turner, Macre, Lippmann, Katz, Kay and Pelham. This helped in ensuring that the facts that they stated in their research were credible and reliable. In addition, the reading relied on recent studies. Jost and Hamilton also used many examples while explaining their arguments. They used examples from different races, social classes and cultures in order to explain their points on different stereotypes.

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