Way With World: Race – The Trap Of Positive Stereotypes

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(Way With Worlds is a weekly column on the art of worldbuilding published at Seventh Sanctum, Muse Hack, and Ongoing Worlds)

So last column I talked about stereotypes in creating races. Mostly it was:

  • Don’t do it.
  • Be sure not to mix up culture versus racial/species traits.
  • Really, don’t do it.
  • Did I mention conflating culture and biological traits really is bad?

However there’s a specific kind of stereotyping of races I want to call out in worldbuilding. One that’s insidiuous in real life and in fictional world creation. One that often goes unexplored.

The Positive Stereotype.

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Stereotype-Fu: Find the Positive

So when confronted with people stereotyping you on the job there are many ways to turn it to your advantage.  This is a necessary strategy to learn as:
A) People will use stereotypes – often with no malice.
B) You're a geek, fanboy, fangirl, otaku, tech-head, game fanatic, etc.  As of this writing people like us do get stereotyped.

One method you may use, when you realize an interviewer, client, or co-worker is accidentally stereotyping you is to dive straight into the stereotype – and find the positive in it.

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