Stereotypes

Stereotypes 

Stereotypes are a general set of characteristics that are associated with a particular group of people. These characteristics usually have a negative connotation.

The following texts are taken from the AQA English Language B (AS) textbook.

Read texts A and B below.

Text A

The Mothers and Toddlers Group is a very welcoming and friendly meeting place for mums to chat while their children can play safely and in a fun environment. We welcome mums with children of all ages and would love to see you whenever you can make it.

Whilst the children play, the mums can relax and chat and enjoy tea or coffee with biscuits.Many of our members enjoy this time to talk about their families and share experiences of their children.

Text B

The Mother/Father/Grandparent/Nanny and Toddler Group

Please come and join us for a cup of tea or coffee whilst your children enjoy some play time, refreshment and a craft activity

Only £1.00 for your Toddler (Babies 50p)

We meet in the Pavilion every Tuesday from 9.45am – 11.45am

Everybody is welcome.

If you would like to borrow the tables and chair for a private party at home, they are available. 

To help raise funds a small donation (£2 to £5) would be appreciated

Questions…

To what extent do you feel that Text A presents a stereotypical view of women (and excludes men) ?

Text A is a stereotypical text. Again and again it stereotypes its audience. 

Firstly, it has a very narrow audience because all the way through the written discourse it address the reader as ‘mums’ ‘mother’ etc. This neglects other relations a child might have e.g. grandma, sister etc. Also, characteristics are assigned to ‘mums’ e.g. ‘talk about their families and share experiences of their child’. This assumption can both work successfully and unsuccessfully because if this what somebody is like they will feel the invitation has connected with them whereas someone with a different personality may feel that this is not for them as that is not they are like.

What do you make of the alternate text B?

Text B has a wider audience because it does not stereotype its audience. Also it does not limit who it attract e.g. in text A it says ‘ we welcome mums’ whereas in text B it says ‘ Everybody is welcome’. Text A is too a certain extent more personal than text B because if that is what the reader is like then it is doing a good job at synthetic personalisation but if not it is loosing out on a wide range of readers. In text B has an unlimited audience but it doesn’t connect with the audience too well because its lack of stereotyping.

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