Google Custom
CivicLifeSportsSchoolsBusinessFoodOur HomesLetters/OpinionsCalendar

Published April 25th, 2012
Social Stereotypes-Don't Judge the Book by Its Cover
By Arianna Tong

Cheerleaders, jocks, nerds, you name the label . . . high school has a reputation for stereotypes. Social stereotypes impact the collective atmosphere creating an unjust social system. An individual's reputation is created before we ever meet them.
By "judging the book by its cover," we miss opportunities to encounter very interesting and influential individuals who could be different from ourselves. Stereotyping ignites a chain reaction, similar to fireworks. The net effect is an assumption based on the label plus a judgment with limited knowledge without personal interaction.
Why do we teenagers have the need to misjudge and misinterpret one another simply based on reputation or looks?
"I would define social stereotypes as a mental organization of people that I use to determine who I might or might not be comfortable with," said Miramonte senior Arjang Asadi. "Social stereotypes define the hierarchy at our school, at any school in fact. It's like how economic indicators define an economic hierarchy." Campolindo sophomore Hannah Grubs added her thoughts. "I think social stereotypes are the way people frame other people by who they hang out with or how they act. It's not just teenagers who do it. I did when I was five and I will probably do it when I'm older. It's a bad habit I have and need to work on," commented Grubs.
Christina Cisneros, a soccer player and sophomore at Acalanes feels there are cliques at her high school. "People with similar interests spend time together. For example, students on teams tend to eat together. If you are on the baseball team, you sit with you're your players. Drama club members seek out their fellow actors. People have opinions about who is cool and who is not. Those choices don't affect me. I don't have lunch with my soccer team. I eat with my friends who are on the lacrosse team."
In the end, no matter where we go, or whom we encounter, social stereotypes play a large role in our lives as high school students. Whether it is "the jock" that sits next to you in physics, or that "band geek" in your PE class, instead of judging by first glance, open the book to get to know the person. Stereotyping stigmatizes. Cliques exclude. Anyone can be cool when given a chance.
Arianna Tong is a sophomore at Miramonte high school. She is an avid water polo player, future journalist for the Mirador, and is part of the Miramonte public speaking program

The opinions expressed in Teen Scene are those of the writer and not necessarily those of the Lamorinda Weekly.

print story

Before you print this article, please remember that it will remain in our archive for you to visit anytime.
download pdf
(use the pdf document for best printing results!)

Send your comment to:
Reach the reporter at:

Quick Links for LamorindaWeekly.com
send artwork to:
Classified ads
Lamorinda Service Directory
About us and How to Contact us
Letter to the Editor
Send stories or ideas to:
Send sports stories and photos to:
Subscribe to receive a delivered or mailed copy
Subscribe to receive storylinks by email
Our Homes

Copyright Lamorinda Weekly, Moraga CA