An ethnic stereotype, national stereotype, or national character is a system of beliefs about typical characteristics of members of a given ethnic group or nationality, their status, society and cultural norms.
National stereotypes may be either about ones' own ethnicity/nationality or about a foreign or differing nationality or ethnicity. Stereotypes about ones' own nation may aid in maintaining a national identity due to a collective relatability to a trait or characteristic.
It is sometimes held that such stereotypes often contain a grain of truth. However an extensive study by personality psychologist Robert R. McCrae of the National Institute on Aging and colleagues found that in general they are not trustworthy.
Various anti-national phobias and prejudices operate with ethnic stereotypes.
Ethnic stereotypes are commonly portrayed in ethnic jokes, some of which some consider to be offensive to varying degrees. Richard M. Steers and Luciara Nardon in their book about global economy use the "You have two cows" joke to illustrate the concept of cultural differences. They write jokes of this kind:
- Russian company: You have two cows. You drink some vodka and count them again. You have five cows. The Russian Mafia shows up and takes however many cows you have.
- Californian company: You have a million cows. Most of them are illegals.
– are considered funny because they are realistic caricatures of various cultures, and the pervasiveness of such jokes stems from the significant cultural differences. Steers and Nardon also state that others believe that cultural stereotypes in jokes of this kind must be viewed with caution.
- List of archetypal names
- List of ethnic slurs
- National character studies
- National stereotypes
- Objectification of people
- Presumption of guilt
- Racial stereotyping in advertising
- Stereotypes of Americans
- Stereotypes about indigenous peoples of North America
- Stereotypes of Argentines
- Stereotypes of Jews
- Stereotypes of South Asians
- Terracciano A, Abdel-Khalek AM, Adám N, et al. (Oct 2005). "National character does not reflect mean personality trait levels in 49 cultures". Science. 310 (5745): 96–100. Bibcode:2005Sci...310...96T. doi:10.1126/science.1117199. PMC 2775052. PMID 16210536.
- "Why do people find racist jokes funny?". BBC News. 2002-05-07. Retrieved 2009-01-22.
- "The Inaccuracy of National Character Stereotypes", J Res Pers. 2013 Dec 1; 47(6), doi:10.1016/j.jrp.2013.08.006
- "Science gets the last laugh on ethnic jokes". MSNBC. (2005)
- Managing In The Global Economy, by Richard M. Steers, Luciara Nardon (2005) ISBN 0-7656-1551-7
- Alí, Maurizio. (2010). Medios de comunicación, asuntos étnicos e intercultura en Colombia. En Revista Razón y Palabra, 74 (nov.2010/ene.2011). México DF: ITESM Campus Estado de México. ISSN 1605-4806.
- Macrae CN, Stangor C, Hewstone M.(eds.) "Stereotypes and stereotyping." Guilford Press, 1996.