Term of Art: Stereotype

“Stereotype, Stereotyping: Derived from Greek (stereos = solid, typos = mark), and applied in the late eighteenth century as a technical term for the casting of a papier mache copy of printing type, the concept was developed by the North American journalist Walter Lippmann in his book Public Opinion (1922) to mean the fixed, narrow ‘pictures in our head,’ generally resistant to easy change. It usually carries a pejorative meaning—in contrast to the sociological process of typification.”

Excerpted from: Marshall, Gordon, ed. Oxford Dictionary of Sociology. New York: Oxford University Press, 1994.

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