What’s Wrong with Stereotypes? The Falsity Hypothesis

Social Theory and Practice 47 (1):33-61 (2021)
  Copy   BIBTEX


Stereotypes are commonly alleged to be false or inaccurate views of groups. For shorthand, I call this the falsity hypothesis. The falsity hypothesis is widespread and is often one of the first reasons people cite when they explain why we shouldn’t use stereotypic views in cognition, reasoning, or speech. In this essay, I argue against the falsity hypothesis on both empirical and ameliorative grounds. In its place, I sketch a more promising view of stereotypes—which avoids the falsity hypothesis—that joins my earlier work on stereotypes in individual psychology with the work of Patricia Hill Collins on cultural stereotypes. According to this two-part hybrid theory, stereotypes are controlling images or ideas that enjoy both a psychological and cultural existence, which serve a regulative social function.

Author's Profile

Erin Beeghly
University of Utah


Added to PP

354 (#24,002)

6 months
67 (#11,760)

Historical graph of downloads since first upload
This graph includes both downloads from PhilArchive and clicks on external links on PhilPapers.
How can I increase my downloads?