Labels and Categories – How do they help us make sense of the world?
Choose 3 categories based on your group and where they’re from
- New Yorkers, Californians, Southerners
- Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, Kibbutz
- Teenagers, Parents, Grandparents,
- Create your own!
Ask the group to react with words
- Ask the group to give characteristics/words – up to 5 – that they associate with each category/stereotype.
- Good/bad/funny. There are no right or wrong answers.
- Jot the words down under their category header on a whiteboard if you have access, or write them down as you hear them for repeating later.
Review and respond to the the suggested words for each category area.
Ask the Group: Why do we create categories in the first place?
- Creating categories – established and of our own making – is a normal and human response. We want to put people in boxes (use your fingers to make a box). It’s how we make sense of the world.
- Who are we anyway? We know that not every New Yorker is loud and obnoxious, just like not every Israeli is pushy, and not all teenagers are angry.
- Acknowledge our category making and resolve to move past it as part of creating a more inclusive community.
- In order to create a truly inclusive community, we need break out of the box of stereotypes and get to know the person.