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Paul Butler
A few weeks ago, a filmmaker friend of mine told me that, on visiting England, he had been surprised to find that there were working-class people in the south and upper middle-class people in the north. He had gone with the naive preconception, he now realizes, that northern England was a place of dark satanic mills, smoking industrial chimneys and coalmines; and that southern England was pretty villages, gentle pasture and affluent towns.

     We often see the world this way, in pre-packaged compartments, and we’re sometimes disappointed when the reality is more complex and interwoven than our minds had painted it. But where do we get the stereotypes from in the first place? Do we think of them by ourselves or do we get help from outside?

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