Why do people generalize each other in society so much?

Yoshi

All my enemies started out friends
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Hey all, Yoshizilla315 here, and I'd like to have a serious political discussion on something that has been on my mind for a long time. Despite being 14, I have a lot of opinions, and I'll come out and say most of my views can be considered leftist, but I do believe I share some opinions with the right as well. One thing I notice in this society is that we like to generalize things, whether it be socially or economically (although more so socially). A more familiar term to describe this phenomenon would be stereotypes. You mostly here that word when talking about ethnicity and race, but it can also be involved in the whole left vs right debate as well. A lot of people think that anyone from the right is completely anti-gay marriage, but I know that is certainly not true. It can even be said in reverse, that the left is completely pro gay marriage.

I think that the left and the right are complete garbage terms, and probably literally applies to no one. Everyone has views that can be considered "leftist" views, and some that can be considered "right wing" views. To me, it makes no sense why we try to box people in this sort of way, when what the world needs is the complete opposite. Unity is key if we want to get through the political crisis in our current time. The reason I linked the above video is because it sort of captures what some people treat the whole "left vs. right" thing is, as well as the overall generalization. Dave Brat constantly refers back to the Nancy Pelosi liberal agenda. Why? Simply because both Spanberger and Pelosi are "on the left" and are both Democrats. In the end, Spanberger ends up probably winning the debate because she calls him out on that bullshit, but it really just makes you wonder.

So, really my question is: Why do we generalize as a society so much? What makes us want to box people in to a certain quota, when we all have different political views at our core?
 

Martin

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People put other people into boxes because if you put person into a box like “raving feminist” or “bigot” you have justified to yourself that you shouldn’t listen to what they say.

That, and because people just really like to arbitrarily categorise things. Catgories allow you to get a point across a lot faster than you could if you had to explain things in full, and while I do think that people often misuse the terminology to refer to things that simply can’t be put under that label, I wouldn’t go as far as saying that people who are firmly left wing/right wing don’t exist or that any of the labels which are commonly associated with social left/social right don’t exist either. There are certain combinations of traits which are just fundamentally incompatible with any concept of left wing (and vice versa), and while using this as an excuse to say “you’re wrong because you’re a liberal (BAN ME PLEASE)” is decidedly an unhealthy mindset cat has very much permeated modern political discussion, it doesn’t expressly mean that said person isn’t what they’d call a “liberal (BAN ME PLEASE)”, or by extension a “racist brexiteer”, “alt right idiot”, “far left hypocrite” etc.

The only “political category/subcategory” that I’d argue doesn’t exist is centrist, as most of the time when someone identifies as centrist they’re either politically apathetic or otherwise unwittingly biased towards one side or another (although that isn’t to say that one person can’t be indecisive/open to the other side or otherwise more “centrally” aligned than another).
 

internet

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Our brains and languages just treat people in this way, so we can more easily think and talk about large groups of humans without taking them all individually.

Every word can describe multiple individual beings or objects, be it human, American, cat, siamese, plant, rose, rock, granite, is loaded with a swath of generalizations about the members of the set.

Prejudices are just the ugly back end of the way we come to definitions.
 
Internet is right, it is human nature to mentally categorize people into certain groups, because it is a way to help us understand the complex world around us. Unfortunately that leads to the unpleasant side effect of prejudice.
 

internet

getting paid to moderate
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I would like to reiterate that we don't put people into groups and subgroups especially: we do it to everything to an extent that depends on how much we think and talk about it. We just talk and think about people a lot.
 

Pyritie

TAMAGO
is an Artist
A lot of people think that anyone from the right is completely anti-gay marriage, but I know that is certainly not true. It can even be said in reverse, that the left is completely pro gay marriage.

I think that the left and the right are complete garbage terms, and probably literally applies to no one. Everyone has views that can be considered "leftist" views, and some that can be considered "right wing" views. To me, it makes no sense why we try to box people in this sort of way, when what the world needs is the complete opposite. Unity is key if we want to get through the political crisis in our current time. The reason I linked the above video is because it sort of captures what some people treat the whole "left vs. right" thing is, as well as the overall generalization. Dave Brat constantly refers back to the Nancy Pelosi liberal agenda. Why? Simply because both Spanberger and Pelosi are "on the left" and are both Democrats. In the end, Spanberger ends up probably winning the debate because she calls him out on that bullshit, but it really just makes you wonder.
This is also more or less an exclusively american problem due to your election process heavily favouring a two-party system, so opinions can only belong into one of two groups. In the vast majority of other countries, there are far more political parties with different combinations of opinions. You also get narrow parties that only focus on one or two issues instead. With two parties you get problems with tribalism.
 

Martin

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This is also more or less an exclusively american problem due to your election process heavily favouring a two-party system, so opinions can only belong into one of two groups. In the vast majority of other countries, there are far more political parties with different combinations of opinions. You also get narrow parties that only focus on one or two issues instead. With two parties you get problems with tribalism.
I mean, the UK also has what is functionally a two-party system itself; lib dems/greens/UKIP etc. are basically just slightly more powerful equivalents of US third-party candidates.
 

Pyritie

TAMAGO
is an Artist
I mean, the UK also has what is functionally a two-party system itself; lib dems/greens/UKIP etc. are basically just slightly more powerful equivalents of US third-party candidates.
I don't disagree, first past the post is a shit system, but it hasn't influenced our culture to the extent that it's influenced the US's quite yet
 

Myzozoa

to find better ways to say what nobody says
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I mean, the UK also has what is functionally a two-party system itself; lib dems/greens/UKIP etc. are basically just slightly more powerful equivalents of US third-party candidates.
"[In 2017]With no party having received an outright majority in the UK Parliament, the DUP entered into an agreement to support government by the Conservative Party."

the like would never happen in contemporary american politics
 

THE_IRON_...KENYAN?

Banned deucer.
Isnt it ironic - isnt it ironic that you complain about generalization yet in the thread TITLE you generalize by saying "why do people generalize"? Is the irony lost on anyone else here? Or is it just me? lol
 

Soul Fly

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"[In 2017]With no party having received an outright majority in the UK Parliament, the DUP entered into an agreement to support government by the Conservative Party."

the like would never happen in contemporary american politics
that's because there are no other parties with any parliamentary process and the entire civic structure is monopolised by 2 parties. coalition politics is super common literally almost everywhere else in the world. the question of such politics don't arise in america because it is effectively an absolute duopoly. The scenario will never exist in american politics to begin with.... happening or not happening is a moot question.
 

Myzozoa

to find better ways to say what nobody says
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Hence “more powerful equivalents”
that's because there are no other parties with any parliamentary process and the entire civic structure is monopolised by 2 parties. coalition politics is super common literally almost everywhere else in the world. the question of such politics don't arise in america because it is effectively an absolute duopoly. The scenario will never exist in american politics to begin with.... happening or not happening is a moot question.
which is it, are american 2 parties equivalent to labour and tory or are they an ABSOLUTE DUOPOLY
 

Myzozoa

to find better ways to say what nobody says
is a Tiering Contributor Alumnusis a Past WCoP Champion
Isnt it ironic - isnt it ironic that you complain about generalization yet in the thread TITLE you generalize by saying "why do people generalize"? Is the irony lost on anyone else here? Or is it just me? lol
you also think that people who talk about race actually make racism worse, isn't it ironic?
 

McGrrr

Facetious
is a Contributor Alumnus
People are lazy and generalisations are expedient.

It's convenient to label your opponents and easy to attack a caricature.

Reality is nuanced and nobody has time for that.
 

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