How can I cast a
I think it's a good idea to explain why the simple solution doesn't work and why you never, ever should use this.
Assume you could cast
List<String> (the same applies to Map, just a simpler interface). What would you expect to happen from the following code:
List<Object> m = Something; m.add("Looks good."); m.add(42); List<String> s = (List<String>)m; // uhuh, no we don't want that. String myString = s.get(1); // huh exception here.
Now you CAN hack it indeed using Bohemians/Chris solution, but you basically destroy Java's type system. DON'T DO THAT. You don't want a
List<String> to contain an Integer! Have fun debugging that later on - the additional code of looping through all variables will avoid lots of headaches and hardly is a performance problem.
If there's a reason to declare the Map as taking an Object instead of a String someone may add any object to it - usually you should be able to avoid this with a better generic.