Are Stereotypes True?

Stereotyping is of course evil, but top of the BBC News website’s most shared list today is an Adam Gopnik piece:

Yes, I’m about to engage in national stereotyping – but without apologies, because it is the thrum of our normal talk about our experience of the world.

The more likely reason it is OK is that the nations he’s stereotyping — America, France, Canada, and Britain – are fair game for that sort of thing.

He concludes:

The irrationalities of nations are inextricably linked to the permanent national virtues: the insularity of America is linked to its openness; the insecurity of France to its love of ceremony and courtesy; the absence of obvious passion in Canada to its informality and decency; and the condescension of the British to the beautiful continuity of their institutions

Stereotyping: largely true?


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