We live in a world of categories: sky floor you shoe tree…This separating and lumping of the objects and spaces around us allow us to comprehend our world. Without them things would be meaningless, chaotic. So we divide the world into blocks. We infuse them with characteristics – positive and negative, real or otherwise – as per their category and function. These shared, simplified characterisations allow us to delineate and limit our world and the things in it. However, problems arise when this delineation and limitation oversimplifies things. To categorise is to reduce and to exclude certain possibilities.
To discriminate is to distinguish between one thing and another and yet, or rather as a result, it is also to treat differently. Are these two notions inherently inseparable? Are we as a species designed (and doomed) to continually reduce one another to mere generic simplifications? Simplifications are convenient, yet adhering to them without questioning their veracity and implications, without flexibility is, however merely simple (/simple-minded?).
In this issue we examine the presence and implications of stereotypes in our society.