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Is It Wrong To Generalize?

Travel Forums Off Topic Is It Wrong To Generalize?

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1. Posted by Wocca (Inactive 3745 posts) 11y

Is it wrong to generalize about individuals or groups from a particular culture, OR cultural background ... even if the generalizations are correct?

2. Posted by samsara_ (Travel Guru 5353 posts) 11y

What do you think Wocca?

3. Posted by samsara_ (Travel Guru 5353 posts) 11y

Quoting Wocca

Is it wrong to generalize about individuals or groups from a particular culture, OR cultural background ... even if the generalizations are correct?

Only if you do it in the General Talk forum it seems.

4. Posted by daveh (Travel Guru 1027 posts) 11y

That's a good question Wocca. I watched a TV programme set in Turkey called 'The Tourist Trap', basically it was about 4 nationalities of holiday makers - Brits, Germans, Americans and Japanese. They were staying at a remote hotel and were victims of numerous set-ups (a few actors were implanted into these groups as well). The various nationalities all stayed at the hotel at seperate times (also they filmed a lot of groups, not just one group of each nationality).
Basically, they then film how they react to different scenarios - waking up to no hotel staff, boat on a lake breaking down, one of the actors always queue-jumping etc.) Each nationality did respond in different ways to each scenario. The Japanese came across as very honest in some scenarios, in other scenarios they lacked any leadership for a while and then once someone had the courage to take charge they worked well to solve their problems. The Brits helped themselves to free food and beer and only thought about their situation when the booze and food ran out, although they took nothing seriously. The germans quietly gone on with it, looking very unhappy with it all. The Americans joked about their situation but everyone wanted to take charge and not much got done.

It doesn't answer your question but this particular program showed that particular cultures do react in very different ways to the same scenarios.

5. Posted by Wocca (Inactive 3745 posts) 11y

Quoting samsara2

What do you think Wocca?

I think the word "forum" refers to open discussion. Great comments, daveh. It surprises some people when they travel, that there are actual differences between various nationalities. Even between the people from the different native English-speaking countries. Funny how we're not all the same

Quoting samsara2

Quoting Wocca

Is it wrong to generalize about individuals or groups from a particular culture, OR cultural background ... even if the generalizations are correct?

Only if you do it in the General Talk forum it seems.

I must have misinterpreted some of the following words:

" General Talk
Anything travel related, that you cannot categorise, should be posted in this discussion area"

6. Posted by Isadora (Travel Guru 13926 posts) 11y

I don't feel "gerenalization" can be fully classified as either right or wrong normally. A generalization about any particular group can aid in recognition of cultural differences without becoming derrogatory in nature. But, (and I am guilty of this too) comments like "All Brits are snobs" or "You can always tell Japanese tourists by the way they huddle together resembling a flock of pidgeons" does fall into the "wrong" catagory. (I commented on Americans being whiners in another thread. Guilty as charged.)

7. Posted by tway (Travel Guru 7273 posts) 11y

I find that when people use generalizations to 'prove' their point, that's when things get frustrating. I could say "Italians are very touchy-feely" or "Australians are very laid back", and people would understand that's the 'vibe" I get from the people there.

But when you start saying, for example, "the XX are stuck up" or "the XX are racist" or some such thing, then you're using a generality to make a derogatory blanket statement about an entire population.

One could reply "my cousin's from Australia and he's actually pretty uptight" and you'd have a conversation going, but you'd get pretty p***** off if someone said the people from your country are a bunch of biggots.

8. Posted by Rraven (Travel Guru 5924 posts) 11y

i agree no one seems to mind a happy or nice generalisation but if its at all negative then people start to protest and act defensive, i try not to do it to others but somethings its a slip of a word that hangs you, for example before my mates met my boyfriend they thought oh he's from Holland he must be a druggie (he's not) and really laid back (he is), its the same as saying that just because i'm from Ireland i talk too much, drink too much, Irish dance all the time (only when drunk) and follow dreams for the hell of it ( okay i am a bit of all those things but only in an okay way ;))whoopps

9. Posted by areinstein (Travel Guru 2788 posts) 11y

Quoting Wocca

Is it wrong to generalize about individuals or groups from a particular culture, OR cultural background ... even if the generalizations are correct?

There is always an element of truth behind a every stereotype but for the most part I think it is wrong to generalize a particular culture or group. Doesnt that make us a bit judgemental? The saying "what goes around comes around" is particularly true for people that tend to judge others for the color of their skin, their religious beliefs and cultural traditions. So the moral to the story is, "Never judge other people", chances are we may end up all in the same boat some day...

10. Posted by daveh (Travel Guru 1027 posts) 11y

I think it's human nature to generalise certain groups and cultures, but then i think people are usually pleasantly suprised when they start speaking to them as individuals.