Stereotyp grupy zawodowej. Analiza odpowiedzi na pytania otwarte o jej typowego przedstawiciela
Wejland, Andrzej Paweł
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Stereotypes, as a particular kind of beliefs involved in a system of perception by people of e.g. occupational groups, have their formal shape and their content, The form of a stereotype is determined in linguistic expression first of all by the name, which relates to a certain group and evokes – once it is used – particular cognitive associations; besides, the name suggests positive or negative attitude toward the group, etc. A number of names relating to the same group – but evoking various, cognitive associations or having a different emotional aura – constitute the nominational frame of a stereotype. The form of a stereotype is also composed of a predication matrix by means of which to the group are assigned various traits. Such a matrix may embrace different modifiers (including quantifiers) — but as a rule, the linguistic expression of a stereotype is deprived of them (the phenomenon of ellipticity). Various names and various predication matrices may appear in different formal combinations. The content of a stereotype is made up of the traits assigned to a given group. In respect of its content a stereotype may be more or less complex which means that the number of traits making it may be smaller or greater. A comparison of the stereotypes of different groups makes it possible to reveal the traits that are common and those which are different. Certain traits may relate to the same aspect of life and work of these groups, others may constitute oppositions, etc. Moreover, the traits may appear in various combinations filling in linguistic forms of different kinds. The study presents the form and the content of the stereotypes of three occupational groups: peasants, clerks and workmen. The stereotypes of each of these groups were revealed in an interview by means of an open-ended question concerning a typical representative of the group. In describing peculiarities of form and content of these stereotypes particular consideration was given to the degree to which their formal properties and the traits making their content were widespread socially, i.e. to what extent there appeared social regularities in the perception of peasants, clerks and workmen as occupational groups. Taken up was the question whether the stereotypes, of peasants, clerks and workmen – considered as wholes in respect of form and content – are widespread socially to such an extent that it is justified to treat them as social stereotypes. Analysed were so-called social images of the groups, i.e. the images obtained by studying and interpreting the frequency lists of the traits. Criticized were those approaches which present the study of social images as the study of social stereotypes. Another question raised in the study was whether the stereotypes with the properties assumed when using open-ended questions about a typical representative do actually exhaust socially relevant ways of a stereotyped perception of occupational groups of peasants, clerks and workmen. In this connection, the “stereotyped thinking” was related with the perception of inter-group relationships so that the appearance of stereotypes was linked with the phenomenon of identification with particular occupational groups.