Youth Stereotyping Session

Youth Stereotyping Session

This is a session plan for use with groups exploring themes of stereotypes and prejudice.

Worksheets for the session: Stereotypes Worksheets

Activity 1: Understanding stereotyping

• Write up words on a post-it that come into your mind when you hear the word stereotype.
• On a second post-it, write down an example of when you last heard or saw somebody stereotyping another person or group of people.
• Discuss the words, definitions and examples that the group suggests.
• Try and think of a celebrity or person that you know who does not fit with the traditional understanding you may have held in relation to a social group. Discuss.
• Form small groups and discuss various instances where stereotyping has had an impact on your life. Remember that these examples can be from everyday life

Activity 2: Understanding stereotyping

• Cut out advertisements from magazines and discuss if they reflect stereotypes about young people. Are these stereotypes negative or positive?
• Try to design your own advertisement without the use of any stereotypes

Activity 3: Stereotyping Profile

• Cut out advertisements from magazines and discuss if they reflect stereotypes about young people. Are these stereotypes negative or positive?
• Try to design your own advertisement without the use of any stereotypes.

Each participant needs to come up with a character with a specific profession or a hobby or an interest and/or family roles such as a teacher, a goth, a skater, a mother, business person, an emo, etc. (If your group is struggling to come up with a pool of characters, hold a brainstorming session).

Keep your characters SECRET from other participants. Place all suggestions in a hat and pass around the group. Pick out one. If you happen to get your own character back, return it and go again. Think about your character. What do you know about them? Photocopy and complete the activity sheet overleaf.

Activity 4: Gender and young people

What types of images to the following words conjure up for you?

• Young person                 • Youth/Minor                  • Teen
• Youngster                        • Vulnerable                       • A victim

Discuss in groups whether you think that any of the above words are mainly used when describing young men or young women?

Q. Why would the use of any of these labels keep stereotypes alive?
Q. Do you think society stereotypes women and men? Please give examples?
Q. Can you guess the gender of the following?

• “Teenager tells of 100 mile terror drive”
• “Young science writers sought for competition”
• “Teen diet-craze blamed on glossy magazines”
• “Youth convicted of joy riding again”
• “A minor appears in court for 80th time”

Q. If you were to be identified by your age, what label would you choose?

Stereotyping and comedy

Host a DVD night. Watch episodes of comedies such as ‘Little Britain’. Note how these comedies are based on commonly held stereotypes.

Choose a character such as Vicky Pollard for example and:

• Discuss the stereotypes on which the characters are based;
• Why are these characters so funny? Why exactly are you laughing?
• Could they be offensive to some? Why?
• By laughing at some of these stereotypes are you accepting some of the messages conveyed? Are they true?
• Are these characters multi-layered? Or are they just one dimensional portrayals of the social group?

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