The presence of numerous stereotypes in present-day society is one of the main obstacles to everyone’s well-being. However, they seem to be natural from the perspective of people’s tendency to compare themselves to others and, therefore, can hardly be avoided. Meanwhile, even though unjustified personal convictions are an integral part of life, they have a detrimental impact on some individuals. In other words, they lead to attributing the affected persons to vulnerable population groups, which require assistance. These considerations mean that improper attitudes towards low-income citizens and, more specifically, students as an example of the described phenomenon is a negative trend, which is still occasionally supported.
Background Information and Course Materials
In my experience, this stereotype was typical for my friend, and we always argued about this issue, which he believed to be related to academic achievements. From his point of view, poor children were facing more problems in accessing education and receiving positive results because their parents did not care much about this area and presented improper role models to them. In turn, my family background did not contribute to this standpoint since all of my relative’s value inclusion and an individualized approach to forming opinions about people.
In this case, the course assignment on this subject underpinned my conclusion on the feasibility of this method by providing a scientific explanation of the creation of stereotypes. For instance, the mentioned negative belief regarding this population group for my friend was not based on evidence and, consequently, when he was growing up, became a part of his unjustified perceptions. His encounters with individuals from this category underpinned unreasonable perspectives and led to the desire to promote them when communicating with others.
Relationships with People
The belief in the initially disadvantaged position of low-income students in educational institutions significantly affects the attitudes of others, who tend to consider them through the lens of typical issues attributed to this category of learners. Consequently, the opinion of my friend leads him to secretly express bias and avoid relying on these individuals when working on group projects. He does not trust their ability to meet the deadlines while claiming that they might be lazier than others, whereas researchers proved that it was a myth (Lynch, 2019). In addition, the opinion that these people are less intelligent than their wealthier peers, which is another misconception, prevents him from making friends among them (Lynch, 2019). As a result, building relationships with representatives of this group is impossible for my friend.
Challenges Concerning These Beliefs
Another aspect is challenging, which low-income students face due to the existence of the stereotype of their limited capabilities in terms of studying. They include the presence of microaggressions in a school setting, which are the causes of discrimination against these individuals based on hostile views of the group towards them (Locke & Trolian, 2018). Subsequently, such incidents might harm their self-esteem and confidence in pursuing academic success.
This outcome can prove to the others that their biased standpoints were correct, whereas it is the effect of these beliefs rather than its cause. Hence, class-based prejudices of this nature are frequently addressed by representatives of educational facilities, who strive to maintain equality through assistance to students from poor families (Locke & Trolian, 2018). These measures are efficient; nevertheless, they cannot influence the psychological underpinning of the problem.
Changes and Their Influence
In the situation of my friend, his beliefs did not change over time since this stereotype is still supported by society. Therefore, he does not openly state his opinion but continues to unfairly treat other students by neglecting their attempts to communicate with him. This habit can be explained by the importance of collective thought for one’s perspectives, which are promoted by common convictions.
For instance, the idea of children from families of low socioeconomic status, being perceived as warm yet less competent than others, is supported by negative cross-class encounters (Durante & Fiske, 2017). Even though conflicts can be attributed to any other reason different from the stereotypes, people find it easier to discuss them from this viewpoint. However, I tend to attempt to analyze them to see the real problems, and this approach saves me from bias.
In conclusion, unjustified negative perceptions of low-income students as less competent are detrimental to their academic success. As follows from my friend’s experience, they prevent these individuals from finding friends at school or university and lead to microaggressions from their wealthier peers. Thus, a change in this respect would be desirable since ignoring this problem means discriminating against one of the most vulnerable population groups.
Durante, F., & Fiske, S. T. (2017). How social-class stereotypes maintain inequality. Current Opinion in Psychology, 18, 43-48. Web.
Locke, L. A., & Trolian, T. L. (2018). Microaggressions and social class identity in higher education and student affairs. New Directions for Student Services, 2018(162), 63-74. Web.
Lynch, M. (2019). Five stereotypes about poor families and education. Web.