Prejudice: Its Social Psychology Paperback – 27 Oct 1995
|New from||Used from|
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
What other items do customers buy after viewing this item?
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Would you like to tell us about a lower price?
If you are a seller for this product, would you like to suggest updates through seller support?
"Brown analyzes prejudice from one viewpoint, the psychological, but with a variety of perspectives including personality, developmental, and applied. This reviewer was particularly pleased with the emphasis placed on both the social aspects of prejudice and its developmental nature. Brown′s chapter ′Prejudiced Individuals′ was compelling because of equal coverage given to the feasibility of such a concept and an open–eyed exploration of its limitations. Readers who are interested in that role that ′self′ may play in the process of developing and maintaining prejudicial views will find chapter 6 of particular note. The most significant aspect of this work, however, does not come until the end. In the final chapters, Brown critically addresses the questions of whether prejudice is truly declining and the heretofore elusive challenge of how one can reduce it ... a balanced analysis of the social–psychological roots of the past, present, and future of prejudice. Recommended for upper–division undergraduate, graduate, and faculty readers." Choice<!––end––>
Following in the tradition of Gordon Allport and Henri Tajfel, Rupert Brown presents a cogent analysis of prejudice as a central social psychological phenomenon. He takes the reader on an organized journey through the literature on stereotyping, social categorization, and intergroup relations. Brown s writing is both intelligent and accessible, and his examples are well chosen. Professor Kay Deaux, City University of New York
Rupert Brown one of the foremost social–psychological scholars of intergroup relations has provided a wonderful, up–to–date alterative to Gordon Allport s (1954) classic, The Nature of Prejudice. Like Allport, Brown writes with enviable clarity and renders even the most complex ideas accessible. Responding to the burgeoning research since Allport, Brown s book deals with all the key issues including social cartegorization, stereotyping, modern forms of racism and , for me, the burning question of how prejudice might be reduced. His book will both interest researchers and delight students, as it deserves to do. Professor Miles Hewstone, University of Wales College of Cardiff
The material is impressive and up–to–date. There is nothing dogmatic about this book: each approach is presented in a fair and critical fashion. Students will get an accurate view of what social psychologists know about prejudice. When this is done with such talent, what more can one ask for? Professor Jacques–Philippe Leyens, Catholic University of Lowvain
From the Back Cover
Prejudice is one of the most enduring and widespread social problems facing the world today. This book tackles prejudice from a social psychological perspective, and contributes to both its understanding and its reduction. Throughout the book readers are introduced to the major theoretical and empirical achievements in the field in a lively and interesting fashion. The author emphasizes the social nature of prejudice, viewing the phenomenon primarily as an intergroup phenomenon, one rooted in particular societal settings and shared amongst the members of different groups in those settings. Both classic and contemporary research is presented and illustrates, and the book includes many examples from contemporary life and different kinds of prejudice. Each chapter also concludes with a summary of the main points, together with suggestions for further reading. Rupert Brown s new book will be welcomed by both teachers and their students as a balanced and readable introduction to this important topic.See all Product description
Top customer reviews
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
On page 2, the author's self-description of this, his own work, is that of being a "collection of insights." I would more accurately call them a "recalled collection" of, or, "updated collection" of insights. And as important as these recalled insights are, taken together, they are just a further fleshing-in of details that we already know about. And with one exception to be discussed subsequently, they do not in any way break any new ground, nor, more importantly, do they constitute even as much as a proto-theory -- not to mention a full-blown theory -- of prejudice.
And thus even though I like this book as much as I did the one by Allport, I was very disappointed with its hidden thesis because I believe that anyone who has studied issues of prejudice, racism and discrimination as long and as hard as this author obviously has, knows that all roads inevitably do indeed lead back to social psychology. However, that said, once he has arrived at the gates of social psychology, it is not enough to just stand outside the gate with a megaphone and pontificate from on high. I think at the very least it is incumbent upon such an individual to then "kick the gate in; go inside, look around, and see what is actually inside this black box, and how a theory can then be fashioned from what is found inside. " In my view, it is the author's solemn duty to get inside that social-psychological black box and see what is in there that really makes the notions of prejudice tick? Once inside, the devil then does indeed lie in the proverbial details.
And thus, with all due respect to the author for what is clearly a fine piece of work here, I do not believe that he has even attempted to knock the gate in. Is it that he is too self-satisfied with just being able to stand outside the gate with his megaphone reciting the litany of things we already know about prejudice? It is almost as if he believes that the "Allport-Brown perspective" of "recollected insights on prejudice" is in itself sufficient as "stand-in" for "settled theory?" But I am here to tell them both, that it is not so. The author's (and by inference, Allport's) collection and recollection of insights is not the end, or even the beginning of the end, but is indeed just the beginning of a narrow pathway that should eventually lead to a sound theory of prejudice. In short, it is not enough to just suggest in grand style as the author has done here that prejudice is a universal phenomenon. In fact, once that is said the game is already up, isn't it? Once prejudice has been universalized by divine assertion, there is nothing else left to be said about it, right? Its "check" and "mate:" No longer is there any need to look for responsible parties, or to assign blame, perpetrators have no return addresses: We are all equally complicit in it, right?
Everything then neatly evaporates into the ether of inchoate references to the "human condition." Once prejudice is covered under (and covered up by) the laws of being universal and thus a part of the human condition, it carries with it the unearned authority of being final settled but forever implied theory, implied theory that will always remain in the halfway house of assertions and insinuations that are nowhere ever fully explicated and that almost never accord with the hard known facts on the ground of the human condition.
The brutal and incorrect backdoor implication, that prejudice is somehow universal becomes its own best self-justification. But the truth is that such assertions are little more than ready excuses and global rationalizations that give all subcultures the permission they need to engage in prejudice without accepting any responsibility for it. By invoking this global umbrella excuse early in the book, the author makes the rest of it an academic exercise about how best to tie down the other inessential details of this implied global theory?
But in point of fact, I think this backhanded way of theorizing is not the end of the story of prejudice at all. What is wrong with this approach is that all that it does is insinuate an implicit proto-theory of prejudice that cannot be easily tested, one that in the end becomes little more than a global excuse to be deployed by every subculture to justify its own local brand of prejudice. How easy is it to rationalize any prejudice whatsoever if you have as "top cover" the global rationalization that all prejudice is just an incurable part of the universal human condition? The logical corollary to this sweeping hidden and untested axiom of course is that nothing can be done about prejudice. QED
Unfortunately, a book review is not the best place to deploy a full-fledged theory of prejudice, however, this book of insights does give us some hints as to the direction we should be headed if we are to knock down the gates of Social Psychology and get inside its black box. The first and perhaps most important clue is in the compound phrase "Social-Psychology," which in my view should be reversed to be "Psychology-Social," where it then places the proper emphasis on the interactive and dynamic effects between "the psychology of the individual" and "the inhibitions (or lack thereof) that society imposes upon him and his psychology." It is the devil inside these details and their dynamic interplay that is where the "Holy Grail" of prejudice actually lies -- not in a single all-encompassing edict from on high that prejudice is universal, and therefore is the end of the story.
In this regard, I want to respectfully suggest two authors who have indeed "knocked the social psychological gate down. One is Mr. Brown's compatriot, Dr. Robert Young, and especially in chapters 7-9 of his magnum opus "Mental Spaces." And as a second reference, may I also respectfully suggest a careful re-reading of the brilliant Social Psychologist, Eric Fromm's book "Escape from Freedom," especially the Appendix called "Character and Social Process."
Both of these authors push aside the notion of prejudice being just another universal part of the human condition to be tolerated, and actually get into the nitty-gritty of what's inside the social psychological black box that might make this so. And what they find there in the dynamic interplay between the psychology of the individual and the rules of society, is the Holy Grail of prejudice. It is the same as what Freud and Darwin had already found, and what the Christian Bible repeatedly still tells us about in so many indirect ways: that much of human culturally derived prejudice is about simple, primitive, even primordial male fears about the need to maintain rules and walls of sexual exclusivity. It is why Arab women are still wearing Burkas, and why Americans still become uncomfortable when they see a black male holding hands with a white woman.
It is undeniable that these too are part and parcel to the universal human condition, but of quite a different color -- one that in addition to the two authors cited above, also include both Freud and Darwin, and more recently a host of other scholars, who all have recognized that primitive and primordial male sexual fears as being an integral part of the substrate of the human condition that causes prejudice. And true, while this too only knocks down the door, it is not a full theory of prejudice either, but at least it does not stand in the way of making further progress as calling prejudice a universal part of the human condition does. Five stars.
Look for similar items by category
- Books > Health, Family & Lifestyle > Psychology & Psychiatry
- Books > Science & Nature > History & Philosophy > Philosophy of Science
- Books > Society, Politics & Philosophy > Academic Sociology
- Books > Society, Politics & Philosophy > Social Sciences > Discrimination & Racism
- Books > Society, Politics & Philosophy > Social Sciences > Sociology