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Stereotypes in Literatures and Cultures

International Reception Studies

Edited By Rahilya Geybullayeva and Peter Orte

Imaginative representations of different cultures are one of the major stumbling blocks to understanding, deepening the gap between people as they are passed from one text to another, especially in periods of historical transition. These transfers are sometimes innocent, while at other times they serve political agendas. The sample of images and estimations of others becomes a priority and, frequently for this reason, stereotypical. This is the subject of investigation for the majority of the authors in this collection. This book with articles presented here is an attempt to understand the core of confirmed or standardized social norms.
The book contains articles in English and in Russian language.

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Chapter 3. Stereotypes and Methods of Literary and Cultural

Extract

81 As is the case with any opinion, the resulting impression can stretch from being relatively objective to being absolutely individual. And, as is the case with every epoch, it is accompanied by both positive and negative traits. But once ap- proved and accepted by the majority of people, any idea, any style, label or im- pression becomes stereotypical. This becomes a sensitive issue when others do not accept the label assigned by the majority. And thus, an offensive quality comes to tinge the label, especially when its purpose is to shape the image of the “things other than oneself”. This problem, a struggle over images and opposing represen- tations, concerns both collectives and individuals, though it is most notable among nations, ethnicities, countries. Systematizing Cultural and Political stereotypes comes in the following ways: With regard to ethnicity, nation, race (Caucasian ethnicities as enthusiasts of war, guest workers in Russia, and vendors; the Scots - people with violent cus- toms; the Russians and the Irish – heavy drinkers, Africans –suffering from hun- ger, and illnesses representative of black continent); Regarding country, for example, the political perception of the USSR by the USA as «the country of evil» until Gorbachev's glasnost (1) (in second half of XX-th century); and Iran, again, for the USA (during George Bush's Presidency). These perceptions are usually reflected in bans, deprivations, and penalties im- posed on these countries as a means of exercising political pressure. Stereotypes concerning groups of the countries that are officially fixed, apart from...

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