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Culture of prejudice : arguments in critical social science

Author: Judith C Blackwell; Murray E G Smith; John Sorenson
Publisher: Toronto : Higher Education, University of Toronto Press, 2008.
Edition/Format:   Print book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
Contesting the putative ʺeven-handednessʺ of many introductory social science texts, this innovative book presents strong and provocative arguments on contemporary social issues that will stimulate readers to think critically. The principal theme of the book is that social science is at its best, and most exciting, when it confronts and refutes ʺcultures of prejudiceʺ-intricate systems of beliefs and attitudes that  Read more...
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Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Judith C Blackwell; Murray E G Smith; John Sorenson
ISBN: 9781442600034 1442600039
OCLC Number: 857896072
Notes: Reprint. Originally published: Peterborough, Ont. : Broadview Press, 2003.
Description: 359 pages ; 23 cm
Contents: Part 1. Introduction to the book and its authors --
Part 2. Nationalism, racism, fundamentalism & terrorism. "My country, right or wrong" : notorious motto of nationalistic jingoism --
"Everybody is a racist; it's part of human nature" : fatalistic belief condoning the perpetuation of racial oppression --
"I'm not a racist, and nobody I know is either" : a worthy statement which invites discussion of "colour-blindness" --
"Immigrants are threatening our way of life" : centuries-old fear expressed about every new wave of immigration, even by members of the last wave of immigration --
"God is on our side" : common belief, usually held by "both" sides in armed conflict --
"Either you are with us or you are with the terrorists" : a mind-numbingly ridiculous Hobson's choice offered up by US President G.W. Bush, September 20, 2001 --
Part 3. Colonialism and globalization. "Third world poverty is the result of traditional values" : first world conceits about "backward" societies --
"The USA promotes freedom throughout the world" : America as saviour of the global community --
"Free markets pave the way for social development" : the World Trade Organization as benign force for social good --
Part 4. Poverty and social dispossession. "The welfare state rewards laziness" : the poor are different from "the rest of us" prejudice --
"Idle hands are the Devil's workshop" : more myths about poverty --
"Indians shouldn't have any special rights" : belief that Aboriginal peoples are "just another minority group" --
"If unemployed people can't find jobs, they should start their own businesses" : anachronistic view concerning "individual responsibility", work, and the sanctity of small business enterprise --
"Recent trends toward falling living standards show that there are 'natural limits' to the expansion of human prosperity" : naturalistic explanation for why the rich get richer and the poor get poorer --
"The real culprit for the poverty gap (between rich and poor countries) is not uneven trade, but excessive population growth" : neo-Malthusian prejudice. Part 5. Social class. "Class inequality is an inevitable feature of the human condition" : misanthropic belief that "there will always be a ruling class" --
"As a rule, the rich deserve their wealth" : corollary to the absurd notion that the poor deserve to be poor --
"A classless society in a complex and economically developed society is impossible; it is an unrealistic utopia" : excuse for gross social inequality amidst tremendous wealth and productive capacity --
"Most people belong to the middle class" : myth of the "middle-class society" --
Part 6. Feminism and the women's movement. "Feminists are just 'male bashers'" : misogynist notion representing a step up from "bra burners". Better not to be thought of only for denouncing one's underwear --
"Feminism is no longer relevant" : delusional statement by people who think women "have it all" --
Part 7. Health, sexuality, and reproduction. "Doctor knows best" : dubious homespun advice encouraged by medical professionals everywhere --
"Modesty and virtue are the essence of femininity" : who needs genital mutilation, when ideology can cripple sexual fulfillment just as effectively? --
"Homosexuality is unnatural" : or, why my orgasm is better than yours --
"Abortion is murder" : anti-woman hysterical rhetoric of the anti-abortion movement --
"The family is a haven in a heartless world" : the "family values" myth --
Part 8. Policing the culture of prejudice. "Lock 'em up and throw away the key!" : expensive, inefficient, inhumane, and remarkably simple-minded solution to the modern "crime problem" --
"Just say 'no' to drugs" : or, why my drugs are okay and yours aren't, as propounded by Nancy Reagan, leading lady to former actor and US President Ronald, c. 1980s --
"Support your local police" : popular propaganda of dubious value to protesters of the culture of prejudice --
"In America justice is blind" : myth of "equality before the law" --
Part 9. Ecology and animal liberation. "People come first" : conceits of anthropocentrism --
"Eating meat is natural" : preference defined as inevitability --
"Hunting is part of human nature" : "human nature" as a rationalization for the inhumane --
Part 10. The economy. "When corporations win, everyone wins" : or, why big business is our saviour, as explained in a letter to the editor, The St. Catherines Standard, August 9, 1997 --
"Unions are too powerful; they are detrimental to the economy" : anti-labour sentiment in a world dominated by big capital --
Part 11. Politics and ideology. "He who says organization says oligarchy" : the anti-democratic prejudices of Robert Michels --
"Radicalism of the left and right are equally deplorable" : the "golden mean" prejudice --
Vote for the candidate of your choice, but vote" : the "democratic" prejudice. --
Epilogue. "Black September" and the culture of prejudice.
Responsibility: Judith C. Blackwell, Murray Smith, and John Sorenson.

Abstract:

The principal theme of the book is that social science is at its best, and most exciting, when it confronts and refutes "cultures of prejudice"-intricate systems of beliefs and attitudes that sustain  Read more...

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