British stereotypes

How do different British stereotypes influence the way we see Britons?

If you think of a stereotype, you instantly focus on what it describes. The images you
create are then used to recognize both populations and countries, and the stereotype
is used as a basic layer to gather information. So, the stereotypes often make the first
impression of (for instance) a country. The knowledge is important as it also can give
you the will to find out more about the country. This is both positive and negative,
because the population is also exposed, which brings us to the question: How do
different stereotypes influence the way we see Britons?
The British stereotypes influence our vision upon the
Britons, by giving us an idea of how they act or
behave as human beings. However, some of the
allegations are true, but the majority of stereotypes
are created as a product of our own imagination.
This is why we have to consider whether to believe
in the stories or not, and also figure out where
these stereotypes origin and why they were made.
Stereotypes in general presents a population in a
“typical” point of view, as the statements are
based on what we know about their society, or what
the rest of the world believes.

A mental picture
A stereotype is a mental picture of a population,
where the population is stereotyped because of a
common quality. In this context the mental picture
doesn’t only affect us, the creators of the
stereotypes, but also the Britons. Some stereotypes
are in a way meant to be funny, as long as you know
which ones are true and not. Otherwise, the
stereotyped people sometimes become victims of
stereotypes held by others, which are looked upon
as unfair statements. This common quality is often
a “frozen picture” of how the population once
where, but on the other hand (as mentioned) it is
also a small connection to a country, which
sometimes is needed.

When you are focusing on stereotypes, the aim should be for the positive side,
where the “British picture” basically is a picture of structure. The positive half of
the British stereotypes says that Britons are intellectual and cultural, which comes
down to their structure. Britons are for instance assumed to have a strict queue
system, which is a simple statement, but still show a positive and wealthy side of
the British people. These positive stereotypes are quite uncomplicated, but still
they got their charm, which is more then enough to be a convincible fact. If the
stereotypes generally mean no harm, the positive side should be enlightened, and
the Britons would appear polite and structural.

Two sides, but necessary
The positive stereotypes are not always the majority of our allegations.
Even though the British people are stereotyped as structured, there are simple ways
of over exaggerating the fact, which is an attempt of ruining the British picture. The
reasons for outcomes like this are many, as they could vary all the way from
incompetence to jealousy, which makes the stereotypes tell a rather different story.
The intellectual, cultural and structured Briton is turned into an arrogant, cold and
humorless monster. Unfair statements like these are frustrating but the Britons are
not alone. Even though the British people are victims in this context, all stereotypes
(at least the negative ones) share the same structure. Bad stereotypes are made
because it is obviously easier to find the weak sides of a society.stero.gif

Without stereotypes, the world would have lost a rather big part of the bonding
between populations, as these create the founding of our knowledge. By stating that
stereotypes are bad, and created to harm people, we certainly miss the point. It is still
wrong to conclude that stereotypes are positive, but they are not just negative either.
However, the solution is not to remove the stereotypes (which is only imaginary, as we
would never be able to go through with such a procedure), but in a way complete them.
The effort should not be put into the work against the stereotypes, but rather help
others to open their eyes, and add new information.

The stereotypes affect us because not everyone is able to tell why we got these
in the first place. Most stereotypes are actually cultural facts, and really give
information about what the stereotypes describe. Although most stereotypes give us
this advantage,others are getting too old. Like the rest of the world, the British society
is developing, andthere are important changes which influence the value of the
stereotypes. They are mainly based on traditions, memorable objects and what the
country is known for. This is why we have to consider what we know about Britain,
before we judge their way of living out of the stereotypes.

The text is based on reflections upon read literature/ article summaries:
“The Psychology of Stereotyping”, by David J. Schneider

Breaking Away From Subtle Biases”, by J. William Breslin
Misperception”, by Paul Wehr

Why do we see the Britons the way we do? Why do we have the stereotypes that we have, and are they by any means true?

All over the world people have stereotyped all kinds of people and the Britons
are no expeption.Some of the things the Britons are stereotyped with is that they
are old fashioned. All they do is to drink tea and eat crumpets acting all snobby
with their posh and broad accentsbritish_brain.jpgand worship their beloved queen. But why do
we see the Britons the way we do?
Why do we have the stereotypes that we have, and are they by any means true?

Stereotypes - simplified conceptions of groups
The main reason for why we see Britons the way we do is because of the stereotypes we have made up in our minds. We have made up a commonly held brief about how every single individual in a social group act and behave as human beings. For instance are the Britons stereotyped as extremely polite and their main priority is their afternoon tea. Further are they stereotyped as people spending their entire spare time playing cricket and ascot. But is it really that way? Does this refer to every Briton?

Hardly not, but of course it refers to some people. As earlier mentioned Britons are stereotyped as snobby with posh and broad accents, but another important point is that according to an
on Daily Mail’s website (source: Daily Mail), Britons are considered as Europe’s worst behaved tourists. Hoteliers also named Britons as the messiest, most complaining and worst tippers among tourists. Many Britons, especially the younger generation get arrested for drunk and assault and vandalism.If you set that against the tea and crumpets and their snobby and proper way of living,there is something that is not quite right. However, this does not mean that everyBriton
act that way, but it tells us a bit about whether we should believe if the
stereotypes are true or not.

All over the world people have stereotyped all kinds of nations. Stereotypes exist
because of human beings natural tendency to classify things. We can hold lots of
information about a particular person, but when it is a mass of people we tend to group
them all together, and make the information concise, that way we can handle it more
efficiently. Stereotypes in general present a population in a “typical” point of view, as
the statements are based on people’s knowledge about the society, believes and
expectancies, in which a lot of the allegations come from the media and how the media
present famous personalities.


In modern society, the form by which most stereotypes are transmitted by is though the
mass media that can be everything from television and movies to newspapers and
literature. Having bad teeth, for instance, is one allegation that is often used to describe
a typical Briton. British celebrities like The Oasis star, Noel Gallagher and Hugh Grant are
some of the British celebrities who are presented as people with bad teeth, which could
be one of the reasons for why Britons are being stereotyped with bad teeth.

Britons are also connected with being smart. That could be because of their posh and
broad accents that sound more sophisticated and
refined than most languages. The
allegation can also be connected with the large number of well known British inventors
and scientists. Sir Issac Newton, for instance, got hit by an apple and discovered gravity
forces. He is now one of the greatest scientists the world has ever known. This way we are
given a picture of how some Britons act, and it automatically classifies all Britons in
one group.

The way various social groups are stereotyped play a significant role in the social
that can cause misunderstandings. Media images are especially powerful
because visual messages are products of our sense of sight, not our cognition. When
certain British individuals, especially famous personalities, appear as only old-fashioned
or having bad teeth, it’s easy to forget the rest of the majority of the people, regardless
of how the media present a certain social group.

No matter how you look at it, stereotypes are practically inevitable. Where ever you go
in this world people have made up their minds of how a specific social group or
types of individuals act or behave. Moststereotypes are based on cultural facts,
what is said in the media and the way most famous personalities are made to look.
That way it is easy to classify people. However, not every statement and allegation
that is defined about the Britons are true. Being snobby is a typical allegation about
the Britons, which is connected with how people find Britons form the media and so on,
but that does not change the facts on how it is in the reality. Furthermore could having
bad teeth just be a myth, but the fact that they’re old fashioned and cultural could be true
with view to the fact that the Britons like sticking to their old traditions, it’s a part of their
culture. However, as the Briton Harold Evans once said“Attempting to get at truth means
rejecting stereotypes and clichés” (source: quote)


Daily Mail:

The text is based on reflections and ideas from:
"Stereotypes and Prejudice", by Charles Stangor
"The Psychology of Stereotyping", by David J. Schneider
"Stereotypes, Cognition and Culture", by Perry Roy Hinton