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Rhetoric and Stereotypes in Society


Stereotyping has been used as a tool in persuading others to embrace a certain cause. Therefore, with regard to the following given groups; Politicians, tattooed persons, feminists and senior citizens, they have been stereotyped in a particular way in the society on a daily basis (Fletcher, 2009). With relation to these, the paper discuses briefly on each group while at the same time providing explanation of how these groups invoke image to all persons, that is, positively, negatively or both. It gives a description of the rhetoric and language used in reinforcing the stereotypes in the groups. The paper is divided into four sections whereby each describes particularly the mentioned group.

Stereotypes Associated with Different Groups


To start with, politicians are best known for stereotyping one another in order to influence the voting decisions of their citizens as well as gaining the respect that they need. For instance, politicians are usually referred to as liars and deceivers; this is simply because of the unpractical policies that they set to lure the attention of the citizens. They mainly enter into politics to fulfill a certain obligation and once they have gotten the votes, they forget everything. They may not be able to fulfill the promises and meet the demands of the citizens as they stated before. The lying stereotype is hence common among politicians that have basically made it difficult for people to trust them (Fletcher, 2009).

Tattooed persons

Many cultures consider tattooing as a mark of an important ceremony, which defines development and passage into adulthood. It is hence an ancient practice that signifies that one is eligible to participate into certain group activities. In modern society, tattooed persons are considered to be weird, freaks and criminals. Further, women with tattoos on their backs are stereotyped as easy sexual partners by the society, this however been proved to be false. Tattooing can be harmless in nature and basically a means through which a person chooses to express their natures in a particular form. People with tattoos have been mistakenly to possess the stereotype of sexual promiscuity. Despite this traditional attitude, tattoos have been used differently by certain communities to identify who their embers are and also as a form of paying allegiance to certain practices. Tattooing is done for various reasons, but regardless of this fact, the general public and the society associate tattoos with criminals and violent people. In a religious context, those with tattoos are considered as foolish individuals that don’t respect their bodies. Biblically, it is sinful to mark the body like the case of tattooing.


Feminism began with the struggle for equal rights and fairness under the law between men and women whereby women wanted similar rights as men and thus calling for an equal status with men. The feminists in the society are stereotyped as gay; man haters and lesbians. This fact is due to the reasoning that they desire the happenings around them to work to their favor. They seem to be uncomfortable about their feminine nature and always expect much more than the world can offer them (Ruggiero, 2008). It has traditionally believed that women are supposed to be homemakers with the main role of serving their husbands and children. This is a responsibility that modern women are opposed to and basically want to be found in leadership roles like the men.

Senior citizens

For the citizens that are considered to be senior in the society, they are viewed as people that resist changes due to their slow and senile nature. They are generally slack in their conducts and demand more than the society can deliver. They always think they are still young and can thus do things just as they did in their youthful years. They are generally stubborn individuals that are not ready to embrace change. They feel they can influence the society with their ancient thoughts that they insist are the best.

There are different perspectives that are held towards the stereotypes mentioned above. Every community has a specific way of looking at them in consideration of the main behavior that has been recorded in them. For instance, not all politicians are selfish and greedy, there are actually those that have the needs the citizens at heart and will strive at fulfilling what they promised (Ruggiero, 2008). On the other hand, tattooed persons are seen to produce a negative stereotype an attitude that is likely to affect their behavior. The feminine stereotype can not always be considered to be negative in nature. When viewed in terms of their abilities and capabilities, they have the ability to be equally as productive as their male counterparts do. Finally, senior citizens can be good sources of advice considering their experience that naturally come with age.

Various languages and rhetoric are used to reinforce the stereotype of different groups. Research proves that stereotyping and rhetoric language can have negative effects on targeted groups and individuals due to the attitudes that they hold topwards them (Noel, 2008). For instance, use of rhetoric language is enhanced through persuausion whereby different techniques are used. For instance, persuasive comparison, persuasive definition and persuasive explanation.

In the case of politicians, they tend to rely on persuasive explanation where they intend to influence the behavior and attitude of their people in order to convince and win them (Moore & Parker, 2007). Use of words such as personal attack by politicians help stir emotions against an issue which makes them to be described by these kind of language. Tattooed persons are commonly described by their language in that, they are unhappy, unsuccessful and use drugs. Feminists are described by common language which is quoted as; ‘women are man haters and power driven’. The kind of language used produces a negative effect on a listener’s or reader’s attitude towards something which may be persuasive in its manner. Senior persons are defined by their own language in that, people complain they are slow, gets confused easily and always in need of supervision (Moore & Parker, 2007).


Different indivdiuals will be viewed differently in the society. This is also accompanied by the state of development within the society. Stereotyping of different groups remains constant in majority of the societies while it might as well vary within other societies. As observed, in general terms, majority of people will have varying viewpoints on different groups of people. Such groups incldue politicians, senior citizens, feminists among others. From these groups, there’s fulfilling nature of stereotype and thus there appear to be an element of truth in the stereotypical language used. These serves to reinforce the stereotyped preconceptions of an individual which they may develop about a certain group of people. This has made it difficult for people to appreciate each other due to personal attitudes they may hold. When you keenly look at each group and take into account of what each group stands for, you find that there are higher chances that prove to what the society thinks about the mentioned group is true (Moore & Parker, 2007). From the above given groups, I have learned that there is an element of truth regarding stereotypical language which clearly defines the relation between the identified groups and the entire society.


Fletcher, J. (2009). History & Archaeology, Tattoos: The Ancient and Mysterious History. New York: New Press.

Moore, B. & Parker, R. (2007). Critical Thinking, Ashford University 8th. Ed. Boston: McGraw-Hill.

Noel, M. (2008). Critical Thinking. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Ruggiero, V. (2008). Thinking Critically about Ethical Issues. New York: McGraw Hill.


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