Ethnic stereotype  

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This reproduction of a 1900 minstrel show poster, originally published by the Strobridge Litho Co., shows the transformation from white to "black".
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This reproduction of a 1900 minstrel show poster, originally published by the Strobridge Litho Co., shows the transformation from white to "black".

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The Birth of Venus (detail), a 1486 painting by Sandro Botticelli
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The Birth of Venus (detail), a 1486 painting by Sandro Botticelli

An ethnic stereotype is a simplified and often misleading representation of an ethnic group, composed of what are thought to be typical characteristics of members of a given ethnic group. These images of a particular group are used to communicate underlying messages about status, society and cultural norms.

Ethnic stereotypes are commonly portrayed in ethnic jokes, most of which usually considered to be offensive in various degrees.

Jokes of this kind:

What’s heaven? Heaven is where the police are British, the chefs are French, the mechanics are German, the lovers are Italian and the organizers are Swiss.
So then, what’s hell? Hell is where the police are German, the chefs are British, the mechanics are French, the lovers are Swiss and the organizers are Italian.
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– are considered funny because they are realistic caricatures of various cultures, and the pervasiveness of such jokes stems from the significant cultural differences.

Ethnic stereotypes can sometimes reinforce positive values that will benefit one group over another. Such as the typical American hero of Hollywood who will intelligently triumph against all odds.

Various anti-national phobias and prejudices operate with ethnic stereotypes.

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Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Ethnic stereotype" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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