Review: Whistling Vivaldi: And Other Clues to How Stereotypes Affect Us

Whistling Vivaldi: And Other Clues to How Stereotypes Affect Us Whistling Vivaldi: And Other Clues to How Stereotypes Affect Us by Claude M. Steele
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

If you want to understand the profound effects of stereotype threat, then Steele's book is a great resource. If you want to understand how pernicious stereotypes are and remain to be, then this would be the book to read. Steele shows through a variety of work that he and others have down, how when stereotypes are evoked in a person, it can threaten his or her ability to succeed. That is, it's not just about how others perceive someone, but it is how that someone thinks of himself/herself in relation to a group identity that has a negative stereotype. A person is likely to perform worse when he/she belongs to a group identity that is stigmatized when that person's group identity have been emphasized. This has stark implications for education, work, and the culture at large. Steele provides a variety of different examples of how this happens but also shines a light on ways to circumvent stereotype threat.

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