Bogomir Doringer on Flirting with Stereotypes

To explain different stereotypes of today, I would use a TV program as an example.

To illustrate this even better, I would also like to add a group of people in front of the screen showing that same flashing TV program. So, I am adding a group of people watching something that is programmed, it is cold outside and they are seating in a cosy set up. We could call this set up “a mentality”.  

These people are just people. They have basic needs, just like any other people, such as food, water, air, a new phone, and summer holidays. Some of them are expecting everlasting love, some are hoping to build a family, and some are already belonging to one. They learn by repeating. They have good and bad sides, but they are doing well. At least until now…

Anyhow, what is important here is the TV program. It is consisting of news, films and reality shows (I am writing this in 2012).

This glossy screen is broadcasting different information about those people, and other people, depending on political intentions and agendas.  This TV program is finding references in some other manipulative mediums from the past that used to serve to divide “them and us”. While watching or listening to this program people slowly start accepting what has been told about “them” and “the others”. That way this image or idea of who they are and what they should be is getting embedded in their behaviour. Because they want to be part of the group they identify themselves with in the program and therefore act as such.

For most people it is relieving to know what role you are about to play or are already playing. Defining your position and self is not an easy task, but jumping out of the group is even less easy.

Stereotypes are omnipresent in TV programs. They give easy clues, for those who are repeating or copying them and those who are performing them. Once the program is broadcasted it takes ages to go back. So the problem does not lie within stereotypes but within the different ‘broadcasting companies,’ as well as in our own nature, and need to belong to a group or to explain the other group that is far away.

Just like everybody else, I do recognize those stereotypes, the only way to avoid them is to avoid the TV program, or change channels all the time.

For those who never leave home, because they are ‘addicted’ to television, stereotypes are helpful guidelines to explain the outside World and confirm their belonging to a certain group.