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Stereotypes - TOK Presentation

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Melissa Uwera

on 5 June 2014

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Transcript of Stereotypes - TOK Presentation

Language and History:
Language VS Human Sciences
Language and Emotion

knowledge issue question
To What Extent Can Language Influence our Understanding of the Truth?

What types of stereotypes occur in this world?
Who is affected by them?
To what extent do we base our perception of a certain group on the stereotypes we hear about them?
To what extent can these stereotypes actually be true?


Back to stereotypes
- stereotypes affect us all
- both of us personally face stereotypes (racial, gender, personality)
- important to understand stereotypes come from, how they help or hinder perception of truth.
Why we chose this topic:

Research found, can it be truthfully written?
Human behavior, observed, able to be communicated using language. What we observe from humans, we use language to describe what we see and to eventually put a label or definition to that behavior.

Example, sociology deals with investigating social classes and status in humans. The use of high, middle, and low as social categories
The choice of words to describe empirical research from human behaviour often has a revealing and concealing aspect in regards to its truth.

When studying human sciences and behavior, bias is more prominent when investigating humans.
Observers will be more drawn to searching for and investigating results that will support their prejudices.
It is harder to be open minded when dealing with humans than say, animals or chemicals.
To answer this question we will be using Human Sciences, Emotion, Indigenous Knowledge Systems, History.
The definition of 'True' according to the Merriam Webster dictionary is, "agreeing with the facts, not false; real or genuine; having all the expected or necessary qualities of a specified type of person or thing." True is 'being that which is the case rather than what is manifest or assumed.'
Our presentation will not focus on whether what someone believes is the actual truth, but rather on how that person's perception of truth is affected.
Many times what we say is influenced by our emotions and our emotions are influenced by the type of language we hear around us.
If you feel something deeply enough, does that make it true?
If we let our feelings and emotions get in the way of our reason and rational decisions, how reliable can those decisions be?
Emotion leads to pride and hatred, all in one.
Even though emotion is many times considered an unreliable source of knowledge, some may argue that it is reliable.
“Psychologist Antonio Damasio speculates that emotions help us to make rational decisions about things by narrowing down our options so that we can choose between a manageable number of them.”
•The expectations you have for yourself or others are also tied to your emotions and these are influenced by the stereotypes you here around you. For example, study by Robert Rosenthall and Lenore Jacobson
teachers had different expectations from different students and the students acted accordingly.
people, even young children, pick up on cues about the expectations of others and the messages given to them by a setting, though they may not be conscious of these messages."(Hall, 2012)
Identity Contingency
To what extent can emotion change our truth?
When we deal with indigenous knowledge systems, language comes into play due to the fact that we classify indigenous peoples according to the definition, stating “those ethnic groups that were indigenous to a territory prior to being incorporated into a national state,; and who are politically and culturally separate from the majority ethnic identity of the state that they are a part of”.
The names of these indigenous groups, most are recognized by their respective language names; they are not translated.

This could be a positive perspective with Indigenous systems and language, since to some extent, the names that these groups have are manly true to the fact that their meaning was not lost in translation from say a certain language to English.
How is the language we use to describe a group and the 'truth' of that language affected by history?
When we look at the second aspect of indigenous knowledge systems; we can see how a negative perspective with relation to language can arise.
studying the dynamics of different indigenous groups, we tend to look at them from different angles, their cultural interactions with other cultures, thereby skewing their orginal meaning.
To what extent are stereotypes based on historical fact or observation?
Language and history work together to influence our understanding of truth. Language in the form of stereotypes is born from history. All the stereotypes that are here are the result of some event or observation from the past.
Historical Language tends to influence what we think is true. Many times, some event that we read about for example in, our social textbook, we tend to believe eyes closed. Sometimes these historical events paint a particular group in a certain way and we believe it.
Winston Churchill once said, "history is written by the victors." We see examples of this all the time.
Through this, we can say that history working together with language actually hinders our understanding of the truth.
However, others may argue that history actually helps our understanding of the truth. They may argue that history provides us with proper evidence and case studies that may work to refute certain stereotypes.
the truth behind Stereotypes

"Attempting to get at truth means rejecting stereotypes and cliches."
Harold Evans

"All stereotypes turn out to be true. This is a horrifying thing about life. All those things you fought against as a youth: you begin to realize they're stereotypes because they're true."
David Cronenberg

Many of the first peoples in Canada are often referred to as the Aboriginal people of Canada.
looking at their history from the time before European contact, to today, observers tend to incorporate their dynamics overtime with the Canadian culture as a whole, because they are the Native peoples of Canada.
To what extent should studies on indigenous knowledge systems be condoned if they are ultimately initiating the stereotypes that are often born as a result of the ambiguity language?
To What Extent Can Language Influence our Understanding of the Truth?
different perspectives in order to fully understand a concept.
language a useful tool in understanding the meaning behind truth
assumptions being made on certain groups
inevitable creation of “boxes”
Language connected to everything, on its own, it is nothing.
It is who has used it, when, in what circumstances that make it relevant.
thousands upon thousands of languages that are used in the world
language carries with it different circumstances, environment, culture where originates.
complete truth difficult to be understood
makes these stereotypes false or true
cycle of these observations and investigations
come from way back and have been modified
religion, media, some laws or policies literature accuracy
different perspectives
Some Questions to keep in mind:
Analysis of:
Human sciences
Indigenous knoweldge systems
A TOK Presentation by Chandrima Gupta and Melissa Uwera
Human Sciences:
Can research found be truthfully written?
Indigenous Knowledge Systems:
To what extent should studies on indigenous knowledge systems be condoned if they are ultimately initiating the stereotypes that are often born as a result of the ambiguity language?
To what extent can emotion change our truth?
How is the language we use to describe a group and the 'truth' of that language affected by history?
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