Subtle sterotypes

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It was a little difficult to find something to blog about because I initially wanted to write about Asians that were in any movies because it was the most obvious choice.   Instead of doing that I wanted to take another route which was doing something about subtle racism/stereotypes.  So I thought of a few shows that I watch and I thought I the Big Bang Theory.   It was something that I never really thought would be stereotypically, but it sure was not that I think about it.

The show is about four very intelligent characters, Sheldon, Leonard, Rajesh (Raj is his nick name), Howard, they are perceived as “geeks” and they all like comics.  Also Penny is another main character and is their neighbor and waitress at the local diner.

Sheldon, Raj and Leonard have their doctorates in some type of engineering/physics very tough fields.  However Howard does not have his Doctoral just his Masters.  Since Howard doesn’t “compare” to the other characters he gets back lashed for it even though he as a masters!

Raj is a foreigner and it shows.  He is from India and has an accent.  He is treated like an outsider and a lot of time people do not understand what he is saying.   He is shy around women and has some feminine characteristic to him.  He does encounter some racist jokes from others and is forever a foreigner.

Sheldon is perceived to be the smartest one out of them all.  He got his PhD when he was at 16 and has the highest IQ of them all.  Since his main focus is being so smart he loses a lot of other characteristic such social skills.  Which I believe is a common stereotype of smart people.  He doesn’t have any social skills and has a hard time understanding sarcasm, but his friend has to teach him what sarcasm is.  He is also perceived Cold hearted because the lack of social skills and have a lot of OCD ways of doing things.

Penny plays the “token Hot Girl” with that attribute; she never completed school and an aspiring actress.   As the token hot girl she obviously perceived out going, very talkative and dumb (of course).  Since she’s the token hot girl she obviously dated guys that were good looking, but also very dumb.

I never thought this show had any prejudice in it because it is a comedy and about people how are very well off with their lives.  However it does and it seems more subtle than I thought and it took me to pay attention to what they are actually saying and talking about.  In this show these people have very specific characters and obviously lack the common characteristic that would be stereotypical for those “types” of people.   Taking this class made me look at this show that I like which I didn’t think carried any stereotype, but it does.  It is very subtle, but it is there.  The good thing about this show is they all have specific stereotypes, but they help each other with their flaws and they are a family to each other.  Though they have their ups and their down they all help build each other up and to me that’s what society should be like, bring us all together not tear us apart..  Regardless of what background you come from we all should be able to get a long and help each other with our flaws and not perceived each other.  This class made me more aware of how people have hidden messages behind how they talk and make me observe others.  At the end of the day there always will be some subtle remarks.  People don’t intend for it to be that way, but it does happen.

 

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2 thoughts on “Subtle sterotypes

  1. I like that you analyzed a show that your regularly watch and questioned some of the “taken for granted” ways that the characters are portrayed and how they reinforce some of the controlling images of Asian American men. Do you think as the show has progressed that the characters are becoming less one dimensional?

    • Throughout the season they don’t really get one dimensional. They still have the same attributes for the most part. Since it is a comedy they still poke as the stereotypes. Though there was one episode where Sheldon was being taught sarcasm, where we would ask his fellow friends if it was sarcasm and his friends would respond. He would get excited if we was correct. These little subtle images reinforce the things we hear all the time. Not only does it control images of race, but also stereotypes. It shows one view of that person and perceived anyone in that category to be believed to be the same. Everyone is different regardless of skin type. You can’t explain or describe how one person is based on how they look. It takes more than that, but we all must see pass the race before we see who they really are and are open minded to accept/respect their differences in culture and beliefs.

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