A stereotype is also very difficult to change. It’s protected by cognitive, linguistic and behavioral processes that make it very resistant to change. If we experience something that is against the stereotype, it can be seen as an exception to the rule. (For example, Judy says that Nick is not “that kind of predator”, generalizing that all predators are dangerous, but Nick is an exception).
The way to change a stereotype, and in consequences the way to change an ideology to reach equality, may be an accumulation of information that contradicts it with repeated consistency, but is not always that efficient.
One of the best ways to cancel a prejudice is experienced by Judy: by personal contact, or by acknowledging an individual as on its own (Nick), and not as one of the members of its outgroup (“a predator”).
The second way is instead experienced by the media in Zootropolis: the impact of a very strong information that radically change the ingroup mindset (Bellwether was lying, the predators go savage because of a drug, they are not actually dangerous).
In conclusion, experienced by the whole society, there is a lesson about humanistic culture, the acknowledging of every class in a globalized system, and the message that we should appreciate each other looking for a common purpose: equality.
Prejudices and stereotypes are not phenomenas on their own, but are supported and reinforced by thoughts, associations, emotions or laws; the challenge for the future is to incorporate the many complexities that these phenomena involve, without forgetting the social and civil responsibility that everyone should have, not only in denouncing what doesn’t work, but in trying to change our interpretations of the world, our patterns. To build a decent world we must learn to empathize, to understand the people living beyond our borders and to question ourselves. With empathy, we will acquire the ability to understand others’ perspective, and this is precisely the main tool provided to overcome our preconceptions and boundaries: this, is the great solution against inequality.