In modern school cultures, for instance, we often say, “Oh, theyre Asian, they must be smart.” So, the Asian-American person hears that they “must be smart, must overachieve, must get good grades.” They then come to believe that this is far more than what society expects of them, but instead, what they are supposed to be as a person. So, they become that person, they apply themselves a bit more, study a bit more, and soon the prophecy seen from the outside world is internalized and factual.
Of course, this idea may be pejorative as well — homosexuality being labeled as deviant, “you fag, you queer;” mental illness as “looney, nutty, off their rocker;” and so many negative ethic terms ones head would spin: “kike, spick, nigger, cholo, slant eye, towel head, beaner, etc.”
We must then ask, why do we label? Perhaps it is the human tendency to box or categorize quickly, without taking the time to really get beyond the physical appearance of someone or something, to take the easy way of finding a way to find the “other,” or the difference; rather than accentuating the similarities.
What we find, though, with some thought, is that we, too, are part of being labeled, and that our own self expectations are influenced by the labels we, and others, apply as well.
What is a carbon footprint? (2011, January). Retrieved March 2011, from CarbonFootprint.com: http://www.carbonfootprint.com/carbonfootprint.html
Yarrow, J. (2008). How to Reduce Your Carbon Footprint. San Francisco and London: Chronicle Books..