- What is "simply grouping"?
The process of grouping people together means more of an objective reason for doing so. For example, a basic example of grouping people together might be creating age limits for certain activities - only over a certain age can you do a certain activity. This age limit is an obvious, discernible characteristic, which will allow the age limits to be created. Grouping makes the job of processing large numbers of things easier, by assigning them into groups based on obvious characteristics.
- How is stereotyping different from this?
The act of stereotyping involves the process of grouping people together, by conceptions and assumptions based on prejudices against a group of people. So, if someone were to stereotype, it would be to group a bunch of people together, based on a characteristic that they may not have. For example, someone might be stereotypically assumed to be Jewish, because they have a big nose (as that is the common misconception). Or that Italian people are greasy. Stereotyping is the over-generalization of a group based on (usually negative and wrong) characteristics.
- So what is the difference between grouping people and stereotyping?
The difference between simply grouping people together, and stereotyping them, is that grouping people has no negative connotations. Stereotyping can also be described as the act of making a judgment based on appearances, not just on issues of race or religion. Any form of stereotyping is a prejudiced and unfair way of grouping people together.
The two kinds of grouping are very different. However, you need to be very clear when grouping people or things together, what criteria you are basing it on. Stereotyping is basing grouping on an attribute that will cause unrest or anger in people based on that characteristic.