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Stock-Stories and Counter-Stories Evaluation

Stock-stories are prevalent group stories, passed down through historiographic documents and commemorated through rituals, law, art forms, schooling, and mainstream press. They describe race issues in ways that defend the status quo and validate the white majority racial firm’s point of view. On the other hand, counter-stories in under-represented communities tell a story that represents their experience and perspective. The following study aims at assessing the Stock-stories encountered their effects, and how they affect an individual and the community in general. The research also aims at evaluating the counter-stories and how they combat stock-stories, that is, assumptions, stereotypes, and others. The counter-stories reflection will also be employed in the following study.

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Stereotypes and assumptions mark the major stock-stories I have experienced in my life. As I grew up, my mother was a housewife, and my father was a teacher. He used to be the only breadwinner of our family. We heard of a black American neighbor who was so lazy. He spent most of his time in mere idling and smoking. I grew up thinking that all black men are lazy and do not like working. Because my father would involve himself in other businesses to cater to his family, other men, too in our village, used to work hard by all means to better their families. So all I knew was that American men were the backbones of every family. Years later, when I joined college, I was surprised to learn that most black men could involve themselves in businesses and were hard-working. Even though men smoked along the streets, black men were busy in their businesses. I was surprised in one story of black men being lazy and idling while smoking to the point that I could not have expected any black man to be hard-working.

Additionally, another stereotype I have experienced is that women cannot do good job as men. Recently, I got involved in a discussion where my classmate said that it was a shame that most women could not do as good of a job as men. The classmate had read a novel with a women character depicted as lazy. I told the peer about an article called Men Suffering, and it was a pity that American men were murderers (Rosenblatt 311). This was said in mild irritation and thought while reflecting on the story. It would not have occurred to me that because a novel had a lazy character, she was somehow a representative of all women.

Moreover, racism is another stereotype I have encountered in my learning. The image of a dark-skinned little girl called, Janice illustrates well. Janice speaks so excellent English, which shocked me the very first day I met her. I was tempted to ask her where she had learned to speak English so well. Janice replied that Kenya happens to have English as its official language. I even went to the point of requesting to listen to her African stories. I was consequently surprised when Janice produced stories that I could not personally have imagined. She narrated of African environmentalists such as Wangari Maathai of Kenya. I had many assumptions, such as her inability to use a gas cooker. I had felt sorry for Janice even before I saw her. I had a single story of Africa; I had a default position towards her. I could not see any possibility of Africa being similar to me in any way. All I could feel was a pity for Janice and no possibility of a connection as human equals.

Another assumption I have encountered is that Americans are thought to be conceited, irritable, and assertive. I was involved in a class discussion that involved an Asian, an African, and I, an American. The Asian colleague was surprised when Michelle and I seemed to be sociable, compassionate, and considerate. She seemed so surprised to the extent that she stated that all Americans are conceited, irritable, and assertive. Our colleague had a single story of American catastrophe. The problem with stereotypes is that they steal; of human dignity. The stereotype is also incomplete; hence they may be accurate or not true. These single stories, or master narratives, can have a negative social and cultural impact by perpetuating stigmatizing stereotypical views about different demographics or damaging narratives’ veracity among specific populations.

Even after I left the situation in which I encountered negative stereotypes, the effects of coping with that situation persisted. Stereotypes influenced how I perceived others based on prior knowledge. Labels directed my attention away from some things and toward others, influencing what I noticed and remember later. The stereotypes also affected my classmates because they too are Americans and are affected too. Stereotypes make people overlook individual differences; as a result, people form opinions about people that may or may not be accurate.

The major drawback of judging someone based on stereotypes is that single stories may be incorrect, causing them to respond violently or, worse, displease somebody. It is oversimplified to assume that people share the same ideologies and character attributes since they share something prevalent, such as clothing, heritage, or musical style (Huang Hoon et al. 511). The stereotypical view is a negative concept, and it can be not comforting for the individual being critiqued, who could feel misinterpreted, mainly if the stereotypical view is race-related.

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The adage “Don’t judge a book by its cover” illustrates that a person’s sexuality alone is inadequate to comprehend who they are. Generalizations motivate people to form negative first impressions of others before permitting them to reveal their true selves (Rosenblatt). This negative classification of individuals can result in an “us” versus “them” mindset, which can cause issues in various social environments, such as the workplace, school, and the general public (Rosenblatt 314). If a female manager is in charge of a group of men, a negative classification may occur in the workplace.

To combat the above stock-stories, the counter-stories serve to analyze and challenge the stock-stories. Counter-stories challenge assumptions, confront exclusion, expose widely held inequitable beliefs, and advocate for power redistribution (Adichie 122). I could give stories of hardworking men and the backbone of their families to dismiss the single story that all men are lazy. Stories can be told by telling diverse stories of men who do not bother about the status of their families. Other students and I could as well read diverse stories that tell of distinct cultures. It is good to have the other side of the story and not to insist on the negative stories that overlook the positive stories. Of course, a country like America has racism, but other stories are not about catastrophe. I could also engage people with all stories of an individual or a place. I would also encourage my classmate to explore different cultures and study about different cultures.

Counter-stories have helped me share how environmental factors influence people’s educational experiences in the United States. They have shaped my life as well as the way I perceive things. Minority communities use counter-stories to tell stories that reflect their experiences and knowledge. Counter-stories call into question the stock narratives and great stories taught in schools and supported by the public. Since young children tend to speak forthrightly and share their reactions to literary works articulately, the counter-story can effectively inspire youngsters in the essential literacy school environment. To describe individuals, individuals should begin the stories with the pointing of indigenous people rather than the arrow of British Americans, and they will have a completely different story (Adichie 114). They should begin the story with the failings of African countries rather than the imperial establishment of sexual identity or ethnic states.

Stock-stories are popular group stories that describe race issues that defend the status quo and validate the white majority racial firm’s point of view. They are passed down through historiographic documents and commemorated through rituals, law, art forms, schooling, and mainstream press. On the other hand, under-represented communities use counter-stories to tell a story that reflects their experience and perspective. The argument of the above research has been primarily based on the dangers associated with stereotypes and assumptions. The research has also employed the counter-stories that can be employed to do away with stock-stories. The Stock-stories encountered have been employed, and a description of how they affect an individual has been employed. The research has incorporated the reflections on the counter-story and how it affects individuals.

Works Cited

Adichie, Chimamanda. “The Danger of a Single Story.” Ted.Com, 2021, Web.

Huang Hoon, Chng et al.” ‘The Danger of a Single Story:’ A Reflection on Institutional Change, Voices, Identities, Power, and Outcomes.” International Journal for Academic Development, vol. 24, no. 2, 2019, pp. 97-108. Informal UK Limited, Web.

Rosenblatt, Adam. “The Danger of a Single Story about Forensic Humanitarianism.” Journal of Forensic and Legal Medicine, vol. 61, 2019, pp. 75-77. Elsevier BV, Web.

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