Last Updated on June 19, 2019, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 182
Whistling Vivaldi is a book that gives an account of stereotypes and how they affect American culture. The title of the book is inspired by an incident described in the book, where an African American student has to whistle Vivaldi tunes while walking home through a white neighborhood just to make the residents feel safe. The book is divided into eleven chapters that discuss different racial and gender stereotypes, why these stereotypes exist, the negative effects of such stereotypes, and what society can do to get rid of them. The author uses years of research as evidence of the existence of some stereotypes. For example, the author discusses how gender and ethnicity may affect the performance of a female student in math. According to the book, a female student is more likely to perform poorly math test if she believes that women are not good at the subject. However, an Asian woman's attitude may change and she may perform better than the men if she believes a positive stereotype about her ethnicity (i.e., that all Asian people are good at math).