Stereotypes are “generalizations” about members of a group. Usually these are generalisations of members of an out-group (meaning a group we don’t belong to) for example: the immigrants, the homosexuals, women/men and so. The problems with stereotypes are that:
Stereotypes are dangerous not only because of their own nature, but also because they lead to prejudice and discrimination. Suggested reading: Plous. S. (2003) Understanding prejudice and discrimination, New York: McGraw-Hill.
Accepting the existence of different value systems, beliefs and being able to recognise stereotypes and avoid their negative effect on our behaviour towards other people is an essential part of organisational and community awareness. Sensitivity to diversity includes acceptance and respect, while recognizing our individual differences and uniqueness.