See the first post in this series for an introduction to the negative stereotypes behind bad and ugly gossip.
If you use negative stereotypes about people who are different from you, you are inviting everyone who hears you to use negative stereotypes about you. Below are some of the negative stereotypes other people could use about you in your workplace.
I will update the categories in each stereotype blog post as I come across new examples. New stereotype examples in each category will be underlined.
Be sure to read the Points to Ponder at the end of this post.
People living at working class, low income and poverty levels
deviant for not being middle class
don’t work hard enough
don’t work at all
can’t improve themselves
feel bad about themselves
don’t make friends well
unable to defer gratification
lack of respect for or interest in education
apathetic or ignorant about birth control
no personal drive
no willingness to take risks
unwilling to work hard
fail to seize opportunities
take advantage of the health care system
deserve to live in poor neighborhoods near garbage dumps and
toxic waste, near noxious industries
deserve poorer school systems, inferior medical care, more
frequent arrests, harsher prison sentences, more severe
should pay for restaurant meals before they eat
should be watched closely in stores
should be publicly humiliated
believe everything they see on television
are the group most likely to have trouble paying their bills
Mothers receiving welfare
abuse the system
get something for nothing
sit at home
lack work ethics
keep having babies for free
live high on the hog
deserve contraceptive testing, involuntary sterilization,
and coercive treatment during pregnancy, prosecution
for drug use
sits in front of television all day eating potato chips
adopted a child so they could get welfare
Fathers of low income children
deadbeat dads (only good for financial support)
Social welfare programs are meant to help
low income people
Low income people are poor in
Low income parents
lack educational values
Low income children
do not value education
would not benefit from the kind of education offered in schools in
Low income women
neglect their children
Low income men
Points to Ponder
Did you notice that people living in poverty might not be able to improve themselves because other people think they “deserve” poorer school systems?
Did you notice the opposite stereotypes that people living in poverty “can’t improve themselves” but can “take advantage of the health care system”?
Did you notice that people living in poverty can take advantage of the health care system, but are poor in health?
Did you notice that people living in poverty might need to take advantage of the health care system because other people think they “deserve” inferior medical care?
How do people living in poverty “live high on the hog” when other people think they “deserve to live in poor neighborhoods near garbage dumps and toxic waste, near noxious industries”?
I wrote letters to the editor about poverty issues for several years. I was low income because a childhood injury to my spine was misdiagnosed for 33 years. Eventually, normal sitting and standing became extremely painful. How would you earn money if you couldn’t sit or stand normally?
Early in my letter writing years, a friend was in a baby sitting coop. My friend attended a meeting shortly after the newspaper had published one of my letters about poverty. One of the other women in the coop asked if anyone knew Paula Kramer. My friend said she did. The other woman asked:
“Is Paula fat and does she sit in front of TV set all day eating potato chips?”
My friend told me she set the woman straight.
My husband was part Native American and our daughter has his darker skin coloring. A neighbor asked me,
“Did you adopt your daughter so you could get welfare?”
Why would any adoption agency allow someone living at poverty level to adopt a child?
1. What’s happening?
2. Why is it important?
3. What don’t I see?
4. How do I know?
5. Who is saying it?
6. What else? What if?
Stereotype Thinking Questions
1. What is threatening my beliefs?
2. How can I make it unimportant?
3. What can I reject?
4. What can I laugh at?
5. How can I attack people who threaten my beliefs?
6. How can I deflect?
The stereotype thinking questions are mine, based on my observations of stereotype thinkers.
Online workshop that provides strategies to chip away stereotypes in both professional and personal relationships:
“After participating in the gossip power presentation, I know I now have a better plan to be more effective in understanding how gossip affects every area of a person’s personal and professional life. Using her strategies on gossip power and gossip ears I feel I will be better able to navigate these areas both inside and outside the office. Paula does a great job, using both scientific research and personal anecdotes and examples, to develop strategies for turning the power of gossip into positives for anyone attending her presentation. I left energized and excited about her message and what I learned and am definitely looking forward to learning more at her glass ceiling presentation.“
Paula M. Kramer
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Posts on this blog alternate with posts at the link below. Posts for both blogs are published on Wednesdays as they are ready to be published. Time between posts could be weeks or months.
Reputation Management Directory