Wayzata High School has hundreds of extracurricular activities, yet there seems to be a social stigma wherever you end up going. Our school offers standard sports, robotics, and band kids,
each one more different than the last.
Most large after-school clubs tend to have a stereotype of who’s involved. Speech has been
dominated by Indian females for the longest time, debate is criticized for being a rich kids club,
and many other activities seem to be dominated by one or two ethnicities. Sports are usually dominated by people of Caucasian or African-American descent.
If you see a person of Asian/Indian descent, you’d most likely think that they’re involved in debate, robotics, or quiz bowl. These stereotypes being commonly enforced creates an expectation that is often followed.
This same phenom can be seen in academics as well. In a 1995 study conducted by by psychologists Claude Steele and Joshua Aronson, Stanford students were required to take an academic exam accompanied by questions regarding their race. According to Steele, “Just listing their race undermined the black students’ performance.”
This study demonstrates how people will often conform to the stereotypes given. If it’s a common assertion that a particular race is not as smart, it is likely this will become true.
By directing stereotypes towards what sorts of people construct different clubs, society sets students up to fail by only participating in activities they are expected to do.
Looking around the school, there aren’t many clubs that have a wide range of diversity. There is a diversity club and more social groups that promote the melting pot, but they haven’t gained the popularity of larger extracurriculars.
People tend to hang out with those in their clubs or social circles, meaning that less and less people have friends of other backgrounds.