Stereotypes: The Impact of Prescriptions on Workers’ Experiences


  • Benjamin Liberman

Document type: Encyclopedia Entry

Appears in: Work and Family Encyclopedia

Year: 2007


  • Culture
  • Gender
  • Roles
  • Work and Family


  • Inter-/multi-disciplinary


Considerable research in the area of stereotyping demonstrates that stereotypes about the characteristics of men and women are persistent and widely known amongst individuals in society. Men are generally thought to embody agentic characteristics that include being assertive, bold, responsible, ambitious, independent, decisive, and confident, whereas stereotypes of women include communal characteristics such as being warm, sensitive, emotional, demure, intuitive, and nurturing (Eagly & Steffen, 1984; Eagly & Wood, 1991; Heilman, 2001; Prentice & Carranza, 2002). These stereotypes have remained relatively stable over the past few decades and have proven resistant to change. Moreover, the stereotypes of men and women are also in direct opposition to each other, as the characteristics that are perceived as common in one sex are also viewed as lacking in the other sex (Heilman, 2001). Furthermore, due to the historical division of social roles that men and women occupy in society (e.g., women as domestic caretakers and men as leaders/providers), males and females are continually stereotyped as agentic and communal, respectively (Eagly, 1987).

Link:Stereotypes-Prescriptions encyclopedia