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Categorization and stereotyping have happened to most people and we are all guilty of doing it, whether it be on purpose or subconsciously. Categorization happens when we think of someone from a different culture or group versus another culture or group. When we categorize we tend not to think of people as individuals but lump them all together with their culture. That is how stereotyping happens and it can have a negative effect on being able to collaborate with other people from different backgrounds.
I watched the movie Outsourced and part of the TV show Outsourced. The movie and TV show are about an American named Todd who moves to India to manage the call center for his company. The movie has a lot of stereotypes in it about Americans and Indians but shows how one can overcome the differences and come out a better more well-rounded person. The title “Outsourced” gives away to the struggles and adaptations that many faces when they expand their business’s globally.
In the beginning of the TV show there is a part where Todd and Rajiv Gidwani, Todd’s assistant manager, have just arrived at the call center office and Todd sees a cow hanging out by the window. He is taken a back and Rajiv says something along the lines of how Todd wouldn’t understand how sacred the cow is because Americans are so rich they eat hamburgers for “breakfast, lunch and dinner. ” Being from America, I can tell you with 100% certainty that this is not true. Many American’s are not in the top 1% of wealth. According to Bloomberg, “to be financially comfortable in America today requires an average of $1. 4 million…”. A very small percentage of people in America have that kind of wealth, therefore the categorization that “all Americans are rich” is false. This stereotype can lead to prejudices between Todd and his employees because they will automatically assume that Todd thinks he is better than them because he is “rich. ” This can lead to animosity between each other and a lack of trust between boss and employees.
The way to combat this categorization and its consequences is for Todd to bridge the gap between him and his employees. He needs to get them to see him as a person just like them and form trust between them. He can do this by using the process strategy of team building. By developing an opening for conversation, he can gain their trust. Todd should have lunch with his employees to have a more casual conversation. Todd can also focus more on a long-term relationship with his employees rather than short-term by individually getting to know them. By getting to know each of his employees he could establish trust and a better working relationship.
This stereotype was prevalent in both the tv show and the movie. In the TV show, Todd is in the lunch cafeteria and looks disgusted at the food they’re offering. He eventually ends up going with the “green stuff. ” Another American in the cafeteria, who brought a peanut butter sandwich and a ham sandwich is talking to Todd and telling him he is going to regret eating that food because it will make him sick for 5 days. The other American tells Todd that he has his “normal food” shipped to him from America. In the movie, Outsourced, this stereotype is noticed when Todd’s boss calls Todd in to tell him that the company has outsourced to India. Todd goes into his boss’s office and says “Is this gonna take a while? I just ordered from ThaiGarden…” and Todd’s boss responds “So you like spicy food? That’s interesting…”. Todd’s boss is stereotyping India by assuming Todd will fit in there because he enjoys spicy food. The American who is getting peanut butter and jelly shipped to him from home is being close minded and close mindedness can lead to many missed opportunities and advances.
The solution to this stereotype is to embrace other culture and everything they have to offer. Don’t not try things because of stereotype you heard, you could end up really enjoying it. Being open minded means that you listen to others and actually care about what they have to say. That could really benefit Todd or someone who works with other cultures because everyone has a different way of doing things and to not be open to doing something differently is a disadvantage. You will never succeed if you aren’t open to new ideas and opportunities.
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