Stereotypes and social representations as intercultural dialogue facilitators or impediments

Yanka Totseva

European Polytechnical University


Margarita Bakracheva

European Polytechnical University


Abstract: The study is focused on the relations among social stereotypes and social distance, shared values in terms of culture and conspiracy theories related stereotypes. The outlined gender, age, education and social status effects can differentiate the profiles and the motivation for commencing communication and, respectively, avoidance of communication and intercultural dialogue. The dynamics of the social context and the related uncertainty may be a factor reinforcing stereotypes supported. The opportunity of establishing intercultural dialogue is therefore impeded, however it can be stimulated by the more general picture, delineating the groups that are more likely to engage in dialogue and through them the barriers maintained by the unwilling participants to be circumvented. To this end the results can be implemented for targeting the mechanisms promoting willingness and motivation for inclusion.

The questions that we try to answer, are: Is there a difference in the stereotypes concerning the familiar Self and the new Other? What is the social distance in this respect? How in particular are stereotypes associated with the maintained personal attitudes and affiliations? Which are the indicators/markers, according to which we take someone like self or other/alien? What are the qualitative categories that we use in categorising in-groups and out-groups?

Keywords: stereotypes, social representations, intercultural dialogues.

Rhetoric and Communications E-journal, Issue 35, July 2018,,, ISSN 1314-4464

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