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BS: Racial stereotypes in retellings?

McGrath of Harlow 01 Dec 11 - 02:08 PM
MorwenEdhelwen1 30 Nov 11 - 08:56 PM
MorwenEdhelwen1 18 Nov 11 - 07:40 PM
MorwenEdhelwen1 17 Nov 11 - 10:12 PM
MorwenEdhelwen1 16 Nov 11 - 09:45 PM
McGrath of Harlow 16 Nov 11 - 02:05 PM
MorwenEdhelwen1 15 Nov 11 - 06:30 PM
MorwenEdhelwen1 15 Nov 11 - 04:37 PM
MorwenEdhelwen1 15 Nov 11 - 04:32 PM
McGrath of Harlow 15 Nov 11 - 02:30 PM
MorwenEdhelwen1 15 Nov 11 - 02:49 AM
MorwenEdhelwen1 14 Nov 11 - 11:28 PM
MorwenEdhelwen1 14 Nov 11 - 08:25 PM
McGrath of Harlow 14 Nov 11 - 07:00 PM
MorwenEdhelwen1 14 Nov 11 - 04:47 PM
McGrath of Harlow 14 Nov 11 - 09:32 AM
MorwenEdhelwen1 14 Nov 11 - 02:56 AM
MorwenEdhelwen1 13 Nov 11 - 06:47 PM
McGrath of Harlow 13 Nov 11 - 06:21 PM
MorwenEdhelwen1 13 Nov 11 - 05:46 PM
MorwenEdhelwen1 13 Nov 11 - 05:09 AM
MorwenEdhelwen1 12 Nov 11 - 07:37 PM
Little Hawk 12 Nov 11 - 05:43 PM
MorwenEdhelwen1 12 Nov 11 - 05:35 PM
MorwenEdhelwen1 12 Nov 11 - 05:35 AM
MorwenEdhelwen1 11 Nov 11 - 10:44 PM
MorwenEdhelwen1 11 Nov 11 - 10:40 PM
McGrath of Harlow 11 Nov 11 - 05:57 PM
MorwenEdhelwen1 11 Nov 11 - 05:22 PM
McGrath of Harlow 11 Nov 11 - 08:35 AM
MorwenEdhelwen1 11 Nov 11 - 02:59 AM
MorwenEdhelwen1 10 Nov 11 - 07:11 PM
MorwenEdhelwen1 10 Nov 11 - 06:55 PM
MorwenEdhelwen1 10 Nov 11 - 06:39 PM
GUEST,999 10 Nov 11 - 05:17 PM
MorwenEdhelwen1 10 Nov 11 - 04:18 PM
McGrath of Harlow 10 Nov 11 - 10:24 AM
GUEST,999 10 Nov 11 - 10:03 AM
MorwenEdhelwen1 10 Nov 11 - 02:49 AM
MorwenEdhelwen1 10 Nov 11 - 02:34 AM
MorwenEdhelwen1 09 Nov 11 - 07:19 PM
MorwenEdhelwen1 09 Nov 11 - 05:45 PM
MorwenEdhelwen1 09 Nov 11 - 05:28 AM
MorwenEdhelwen1 08 Nov 11 - 04:01 PM
MorwenEdhelwen1 08 Nov 11 - 03:45 AM
MorwenEdhelwen1 08 Nov 11 - 01:05 AM
MorwenEdhelwen1 08 Nov 11 - 12:10 AM
MorwenEdhelwen1 08 Nov 11 - 12:06 AM
MorwenEdhelwen1 07 Nov 11 - 11:02 PM
MorwenEdhelwen1 07 Nov 11 - 10:54 PM

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Subject: RE: BS: Racial stereotypes in retellings?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 01 Dec 11 - 02:08 PM

I suppose there may be some Chinese people who don't have dark hair, ever and above those who are completely bald...


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Subject: RE: BS: Racial stereotypes in retellings?
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 30 Nov 11 - 08:56 PM

Another thing. There's a difference (I'm starting to think) between a stereotype that is a stereotype because it's an exaggerated version of some form of truth (ie something that's truth for some people in a particular group) and a stereotype that just exists because it's a malicious rumour with no basis in fact. Often these stereotypes cannot be defined in just one category and that's why they're a problem . There's a difference between saying (for example) "All X have red hair", or dark skin, or blue eyes,or whatever physical feature that's thought of as "typical" for that group and simply saying "People from X group can have these features" versus saying "People from X group eat children". One of these is a stereotype that is based on fact for some members of a group but that's being applied to all members of it. The other is an observation about some members of that group. The third's got no basis in fact.

The reason why stereotypes of appearance are a problem is because it's hard to tell whether or not a person is using it for racist reasons; ie whether they're using it for intentional derogatory comments, or whether there's another purpose. If you don't know anything about the composer, you can't really tell. You can guess, but you won't really know unless you've got a definite statement or they're your close friend/acquaintance.


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Subject: RE: BS: Racial stereotypes in retellings?
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 18 Nov 11 - 07:40 PM

Refresh


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Subject: RE: BS: Racial stereotypes in retellings?
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 17 Nov 11 - 10:12 PM

The other thing about stereotypes is... some stereotypes have a greater impact on some groups of people than others. That's why racial, ethnic or religious cultural organisations are cautious about them, because in the past those stereotypes were behind those groups' persecution. You can create a character who's Christian and a miser, say, but if you create a character who's Jewish and a miser , people can take it the wrong way-- because that's a much more significant stereotype in a Jewish context than a Christian one.


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Subject: RE: BS: Racial stereotypes in retellings?
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 16 Nov 11 - 09:45 PM

Yeah...


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Subject: RE: BS: Racial stereotypes in retellings?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 16 Nov 11 - 02:05 PM

A parallel with pedlars is the Internet - everyone knows the Internet is a good place to buy stuff. But it's also a great place for getting ripped off.

So we're a bit suspicious of bargains, and exchamge stories about scams - including get rich emails supposedly from Nigeria, for example. But that doesn't mean we don't value our access.


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Subject: RE: BS: Racial stereotypes in retellings?
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 15 Nov 11 - 06:30 PM

"The period" means "the Victorian era as a whole".


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Subject: RE: BS: Racial stereotypes in retellings?
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 15 Nov 11 - 04:37 PM

Of course, that doesn't mean that a lot of people in the English/Australian/American countryside didn't have differing attitudes, as you said, transport was rarer and it would have cost a bit more to get to shops, if the nearest shop to your house/town/village is (say) 90 miles away.


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Subject: RE: BS: Racial stereotypes in retellings?
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 15 Nov 11 - 04:32 PM

There's various (usually uncomplimentary) references to Jewish men collecting and selling old clothes and other second-hand goods. The hawkers/pedlars were often suspected of receiving, especially scrap metal traders in rural (and possibly urban) areas. Cartoons from the period also show what the upper/upper-middle class' predominant attitude towards poor Jewish traders was; often prejudiced. Apparently (or so I've read) street traders were frequently persecuted by the police.


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Subject: RE: BS: Racial stereotypes in retellings?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 15 Nov 11 - 02:30 PM

I don't think there was any assumption about pedlars being foreign in the 19th century. They were a valued part of life for people living out in the country far from any shops, and with no transport.


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Subject: RE: BS: Racial stereotypes in retellings?
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 15 Nov 11 - 02:49 AM

BTW, in my story the Fagin character is not a cheat either

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Subject: RE: BS: Racial stereotypes in retellings?
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 14 Nov 11 - 11:28 PM

Refresh


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Subject: RE: BS: Racial stereotypes in retellings?
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 14 Nov 11 - 08:25 PM

Is the old-clothes/second-hand goods seller stereotype technically unfavourable, though ? I know that most caricatures of travelling pedlars from the 19th century gave them strong accents and broken English, using immigrant/working class/religious status to make fun of them and implying that they were cheaters... that could be the unfavourable part.. because it was seen as a low occupation. I'm reminded of a scene in "Anne of Green Gables" where Anne Shirley says that she bought some hair dye off a Russian immigrant pedlar, and the hair dye turns her hair green (she wanted to dye it black), so the implication would be that the pedlar cheated her by selling cheap hair dye.. that's unfavourable I guess.


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Subject: RE: BS: Racial stereotypes in retellings?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 14 Nov 11 - 07:00 PM

I take it you mean should you - obviously you can always have a character who matches some stereotype that people don't believe any more.

I suppose if you think that doing that might somehow give that stereotype fresh life (and it's an unfavourable stereotype) that might be a reason to hesitate.


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Subject: RE: BS: Racial stereotypes in retellings?
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 14 Nov 11 - 04:47 PM

Yes. And some stereotypes no longer exist for a particular group, like that one of the Jewish old-clothes/secondhand goods dealer . Or they apply across several different groups, which can get pretty messy I'd imagine. MGoH, do you believe that you can use a stereotype if it no longer exists for a particular group? .


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Subject: RE: BS: Racial stereotypes in retellings?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 14 Nov 11 - 09:32 AM

Is there a difference between "thinking of Jews as misers" and "thinking of misers as Jews?" No. But there's a big difference between thinking of a miser as a Jew, or thinking of a Jew as a miser, and thinking of misers as Jews, or thinking of Jews as misers.

I'd question whether it makes sense to talk about "a stereotypical" any ethnic group, because any group will have a range of stereotypes, which are not consistent with each other.


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Subject: RE: BS: Racial stereotypes in retellings?
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 14 Nov 11 - 02:56 AM

Refresh. Is there a difference between "thinking of Jews as misers" and "thinking of misers as Jews?" Because I don't see any difference. People still refer to Jewish misers/cheapskates, which is similar.


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Subject: RE: BS: Racial stereotypes in retellings?
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 13 Nov 11 - 06:47 PM

Oops, forgot a word; the issue is the stereotype of the Jewish miser.


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Subject: RE: BS: Racial stereotypes in retellings?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 13 Nov 11 - 06:21 PM

A miser who happened to be Jewish can conform to a stereotype of a miser even if there aren't any other misers who happen to be Jewish, and people don't think of Jews as misers (quite the revrse actually, I'd say). There's no suggestion that Scrooge, or all the other misers in literature, were Jewish.

Of course it'd be perfectly possible to have a miser who didn't conform to the general stereotype of misers, who are thought of as being crabby and unsocial. I mean, you could have a cheerful and affable miser. Actually Fagin is quite like that - not a stereotype miser at all, really.


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Subject: RE: BS: Racial stereotypes in retellings?
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 13 Nov 11 - 05:46 PM

I think so.


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Subject: RE: BS: Racial stereotypes in retellings?
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 13 Nov 11 - 05:09 AM

Anyone want to talk about shifting stereotypes? Is a stereotype able to be used if it no longer applies to a specific group of people?


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Subject: RE: BS: Racial stereotypes in retellings?
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 12 Nov 11 - 07:37 PM

ha, ha, ha. It depends on whether the stereotype still applies to the particular group. If anyone can give me an example of a contemporary (1960s-onwards) play, movie, or TV show ("Oliver" doesn't count, for obvious reasons) in a more recent setting which uses the Jewish fence stereotype, I would love to look at it. I think the only reason the Jewish fence stereotype is even known in the 21st century is because of Dickens' novel. If OT hadn't been so popular, would anyone who isn't an academic know about that stereotype? I think no.


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Subject: RE: BS: Racial stereotypes in retellings?
From: Little Hawk
Date: 12 Nov 11 - 05:43 PM

Ah....!

How refreshing. ;-)


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Subject: RE: BS: Racial stereotypes in retellings?
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 12 Nov 11 - 05:35 PM

Refresh again.


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Subject: RE: BS: Racial stereotypes in retellings?
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 12 Nov 11 - 05:35 AM

Refresh.


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Subject: RE: BS: Racial stereotypes in retellings?
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 11 Nov 11 - 10:44 PM

*characters*


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Subject: RE: BS: Racial stereotypes in retellings?
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 11 Nov 11 - 10:40 PM

Another interesting thing is something I read that "stereotypes shift" ie. stereotypes that used to refer to the Irish ie. drunk, neglect their children apparently now apply to Black people. So, for example, you can create an Irish character who drinks, or is a miser (by that I mean they won't spend a thing) and (I assume) very few people might call you out on that. Create a Jewish character who's a fence. That's also fine, as far as I know, because from what I've read and heard and assume, very few people think of Jews as criminals in that way anymore, now it's shifted to Black (American + British) people and Roma people (I've heard A LOT of things about Roma adults supposedly maiming Roma children's limbs to train them as beggars, training them as pickpockets etc, from my friends who were on holidays in Europe, particularly France and Italy, with their parents. I've got no doubt that Roma in some European countries tend to be more highly profiled and noticed in petty crime, due to the old prejudices against them which generally still exist in Europe, as you may know. It makes me uncomfortable when my friends say stuff like that). I think it's because Roma people also tend to be the last ethnic group a person can get away with offending, because people in general- the ones I know- think they don't exist or that they aren't an ethnic group) or Italian people (Mafia stereotypes) there's a difference between that and the stereotype of the Jewish cheapskate/miser, which some people still hold. One is still in existence, the other has (apparently) faded. So, that's why if I plan to write about Jewish (or Roma, especially Roma) I want to avoid stereotypes like the miser or the magical fortune teller


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Subject: RE: BS: Racial stereotypes in retellings?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 11 Nov 11 - 05:57 PM

That's a question that might call for a thread of its own up in the music section... It might get rough!


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Subject: RE: BS: Racial stereotypes in retellings?
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 11 Nov 11 - 05:22 PM

And what's that stereotype, MGoH?


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Subject: RE: BS: Racial stereotypes in retellings?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 11 Nov 11 - 08:35 AM

Some misers are Jews, most misers aren't Jews and most Jews aren't misers. And "misers" is a very flexible term, with a range of meanings - what some people might call miserly others would call thrifty, and vice versa.

And while we are all in one sense unique, we all actually have enough qualities in common with some other people to make it reasonable to class us together as the same type. Ethnicity is just one of the aspects involved, by no means the most important in most circumstances. Consider the stereotype "Morris Dancer"...


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Subject: RE: BS: Racial stereotypes in retellings?
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 11 Nov 11 - 02:59 AM

Refresh


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Subject: RE: BS: Racial stereotypes in retellings?
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 10 Nov 11 - 07:11 PM

IMO, a stereotyped appearance only becomes a stereotype if the rest of the character is a complete stereotype too. As a btw, my version of the Fagin character is not a miser.


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Subject: RE: BS: Racial stereotypes in retellings?
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 10 Nov 11 - 06:55 PM

Correction: *might be justified*


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Subject: RE: BS: Racial stereotypes in retellings?
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 10 Nov 11 - 06:39 PM

Okay (thinking for a while), 999, I didn't say stereotypes were true, as in completely true for all members of a particular group. Perhaps I should have said, they are exaggerations and misinterpretations of historical truths or elements of historical truths, which do not apply to all members of particular group(s). What I meant was this; basically, a lot of stereotypes arose because of things (occupations, names etc) that were more common among certain ethnic or religious groups. The dominant majority culture sees these things and due to common beliefs in their own cultural context about those groups (and prejudices due to fear of the unknown, fear of being overtaken by another culture for example) misinterpret and notice these things - names, dialect, that seem to be common among people from those groups, and they basically take it as the be-all and end-all about that group.

Your above example of the stereotype of Jews being miserly, as you said, came from the fact that from the Middle Ages on to the 17th and 19th centuries, a common occupation of Jewish people was usury, and that this was a common occupation for them because the Christian Church forbade Christians to lend money with interest.
Getting to the point; if I was (I'm not) writing a historical novel about Medieval England, I would probably be justified in creating a Jewish moneylender for reasons of historical accuracy, but I wouldn't be justified in portraying this hypothetical character as a miser. So back to this story, I would be justified in creating a Jewish fence character who just happens to "look like a Jew", (in the eyes of some people who think that Jews all look a certain way)   but I obviously would not, as in the medieval example, be justified in portraying him as a miser. Do you get what I'm saying? Basically, the issue is the stereotype of the miser. And no, none of them is a stereotype.


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Subject: RE: BS: Racial stereotypes in retellings?
From: GUEST,999
Date: 10 Nov 11 - 05:17 PM

So, are the other characters in your story going to be stereotypes?

ME1: I've said pretty much all I have to say on this thread to do with this topic. I feel like I'm in a revolving door. I wish you well with the story.


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Subject: RE: BS: Racial stereotypes in retellings?
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 10 Nov 11 - 04:18 PM

The thing is that, 999, that stereotypes of appearance and naming are more difficult to avoid. Often those stereotypes exist because those names and physical features tend to be more common in the stereotyped group. They're not the truth about the group, but some people in the group do fit them. So, for example, if a writer has a character named Patrick who's Irish, redheaded, and speaks in a thick Irish accent and uses stock Irish phrases, would he or she necessarily be just reinforcing the stereotype? because it's not like there aren't Irish people who are redheaded and have thick accents and possibly use stock phrases. Of course, my question is more about appearance and only a little bit about dialect, but the example is similar.


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Subject: RE: BS: Racial stereotypes in retellings?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 10 Nov 11 - 10:24 AM

There are multiple stereotypes for any group - being miserly is only one among many for (say) Jews or Scots. Other stereotypes for the same group might involve people who enjoyed spending lavishly.

If a character is memorable and doesn't conform to any existing stereotype they are liable to give rise to a new stereotype.

Of course some stereotypes can be the reverse of offensive. That doesn't make them any more (or less) true.


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Subject: RE: BS: Racial stereotypes in retellings?
From: GUEST,999
Date: 10 Nov 11 - 10:03 AM

Stereotypes do not work necessarily because they are true; they work because the characteristics they play on are perceived to be true.

For example, to support claims of 'the Jew' as being criminal, the Nazis who had outlawed all occupations for Jewish people then reasoned that if they were able to remain alive and fed, they MUST be law breakers by virtue of the fact they hadn't starved to death.

In England, there has been a history of Jew hating, mostly based on stereotypes that were unfounded in anything we recognize as reality today. We have Shakespeare for example who was unlikely to have met any Jewish people in his time. Nor is it likely that Marlowe or Chaucer did either. Yet they drew on an established stereotype and were able to play to the audiences' prejudices, prejudices that resulted from the stereotypes leading to further stereotypes resulting from the prejudices ad nauseam.

The miser stereotype results from church dogma that disallowed Christians to lend money. Because Jews were not included in that, an area of business they were able to work in was money lending. So for this, they were misers. Oy!

The question of whether Chaucer, Marlowe and Shakespeare were anti-Semites is puerile. None of them knew any Jews, so how could they have spoken from experience?

Fagin was a crook, plain and simple--well, maybe not so plain and not so simple, but a crook he was. But there are no handy stereotypes for crooks, and there's the rub.

I think that perpetuating the 'myth' actually perpetuates hatred towards Jewish people. It continues a long tradition of that in England, a tradition that led to more modern writers (Eliot, Chesterton, Belloc) getting sucked in, also. At some point it has to stop.

I do not use terms like 'to welsh on a bet' or 'gyp someone'. Nor do I use the phrase 'to jew someone down'. Nor do I allow those terms to be used in my presence or household by people with whom I speak or guests at my door.

The use of stereotypes can also be seen as laziness on the part of the author, and in many cases it is, for it is far more difficult to create a character from scratch--good or bad--than it is to call upon old prejudices and stereotypes.

IMO


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Subject: RE: BS: Racial stereotypes in retellings?
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 10 Nov 11 - 02:49 AM

Something I'd like to add is that this question is one with no easy answer, based on the fact that most stereotypes are exaggerations of the truth and as McGrath of Harlow said earlier on, there will be people who fit part of the stereotype. The problem is the fact that stereotypes are used as a way of identifying a person; this person is X, so they must like Y, for example, and can affect the ways some others see the stereotyped group. Thanks everyone who posted on this thread for your opinions and thoughts on this question.


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Subject: RE: BS: Racial stereotypes in retellings?
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 10 Nov 11 - 02:34 AM

Refresh


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Subject: RE: BS: Racial stereotypes in retellings?
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 09 Nov 11 - 07:19 PM

OK. The reason that Fagin is a stereotype (as I posted several times before on this thread) is that he is a miser. So in my opinion, if someone wrote a version of OT in which Fagin is not a miser, he would no longer be a stereotype.


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Subject: RE: BS: Racial stereotypes in retellings?
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 09 Nov 11 - 05:45 PM

Does anyone share my opinion that if you got rid of Fagin's miserliness, he would no longer be a stereotype?


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Subject: RE: BS: Racial stereotypes in retellings?
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 09 Nov 11 - 05:28 AM

Refresh.


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Subject: RE: BS: Racial stereotypes in retellings?
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 08 Nov 11 - 04:01 PM

Does anyone still want to continue this discussion? I apologize if I accidentally offended anyone.


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Subject: RE: BS: Racial stereotypes in retellings?
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 08 Nov 11 - 03:45 AM

Refresh again.


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Subject: RE: BS: Racial stereotypes in retellings?
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 08 Nov 11 - 01:05 AM

Refresh. I am working on the story while posting.


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Subject: RE: BS: Racial stereotypes in retellings?
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 08 Nov 11 - 12:10 AM

Because I actually want to do this in a way which isn't stereotypical and is respectful without being patronising or sounds like a person who doesn't follow a religion trying to teach others about it .


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Subject: RE: BS: Racial stereotypes in retellings?
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 08 Nov 11 - 12:06 AM

There's another question and it is; can you take a character that was originally a stereotype and not make them a stereotype? Or are originally stereotypical characters always stereotypes?


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Subject: RE: BS: Racial stereotypes in retellings?
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 07 Nov 11 - 11:02 PM

Actually, people wouldn't just laugh , they would do a double-take and laugh . I don't know any ATSI people personally, and I have never been faced with that situation, so that's probably another assumption, but the thing is, stereotypes tend to be more accepted when they come from insiders than outsiders.


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Subject: RE: BS: Racial stereotypes in retellings?
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 07 Nov 11 - 10:54 PM

999- OK. I don't think I made myself clear, and I don't think before I act. All I can say is this: I did some research which indicates that in a life-and-death situation, if you (general) are a Jew or a Muslim, according to religious authorities from both faiths, and the sites I've looked at have really comprehensive information, a lot which comes from a religious Jewish perspective, like yours. Apparently a person is allowed exemptions from religious law if they are in a life-threatening (emergency) situation; i.e. they are nearly starving and there is literally nothing else to eat but religiously prohibited food, or desperately need a blood transfusion and the only way to get it is in a way which breaks religious laws.    I don't wish the world to be a certain way, and I'm sorry if I came off like I was stereotyping.. as in "I'm not racist, but..." , only it would sound like "I'm not anti-Semitic, but..." The thing is, some Jewish people fit the stereotyped appearance. For most stereotypes of appearance, there exists a person/people who fit that stereotype i.e. I have the stereotyped Chinese "slanted eyes". A lot of stereotypes are exaggerated versions of truths.

The thing is, they're not the whole or complete truth for everyone in that particular group and the thing that creates a stereotype based on observation is when they are applied to an entire group ; ie. "All Chinese and Japanese have slanted eyes". No they all don't. Only some. "All Jews have hooked noses". No they all don't. Only some.     Not all stereotypes are like this, but a lot are . Can you describe someone as having a stereotypical feature without reinforcing the stereotype? Can you quote a prayer from someone else's religion without being seen as disrespectful toward that religion? Those are hard questions. It's difficult to handle other cultures and religions respectfully and well in writing, especially when you're handling a story that a significant percentage of people from that group find offensive. People (and I hope I don't sound again like I'm making an assumption) inside a minority group, and even in a majority group, tend to accept certain things (ie stereotypes) from people inside that group (born, married, raised) in it that they wouldn't accept from outsiders. If an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander person made ATSI (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander) jokes, people would just laugh, but if a non-ATSI person made that joke, they would be called a racist. But I'm going to try to be respectful, without being patronising, and I hope I can do that.


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