Date of Award


Degree Type

Master's Essay - Restricted

Degree Name

Master of Education (MEd)


Educational Policy & Foundations


Educational Policy and Leadership

First Advisor

Dr. Anees A. Sheikh


In 1922 Walter Lippmann, a noted journalist, coined the ) ; term stereotype . By stereotype he meant a relatively fixed "picture in the head" which persons have of various aspects of their world . He reasoned that since we do not directly or totally perceive anything, our perception always contains previous forms of information from others and from our previous experience . This information we arrange in functional categories . These categories are embellished and stabilized through interaction with new stimuli and are also provided readymade by "significant others" during a lifetime of socialization.

In 1945 Allport wrote what is still considered the classic theoretical work on the Nature of Prejudice. In his work he defined stereotype in the context of the process of prejudice . He lists category cognitive organization, linguistic label and stereotype as four aspects of this complex mental process . He sees stereotype as the ideational content (the image) bound in with the category.

Allport defines stereotype, whether favorable or unfavorable as "an exaggerated belief associated with a category . Its function is to justify (rationalize) our conduct in relation to that c2tegory." He maintains that Lippmann was confused in equating stereotype with category, because a cate gory is essentially neutral and different groups will have various images about members of a category.