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The Rise Of Victimhood Culture by Bradley Campbell
The Rise of Victimhood Culture offers a framework for understanding recent moral conflicts at U.S. universities, which have bled into society at large. These are not the familiar clashes between liberals and conservatives or the religious and the secular: instead, they are clashes between a new moral culture—victimhood culture—and a more traditional culture of dignity. Even as students increasingly demand trigger warnings and “safe spaces,” many young people are quick to police the words and deeds of others, who in turn claim that political correctness has run amok. Interestingly, members of both camps often consider themselves victims of the other. In tracking the rise of victimhood culture, Bradley Campbell and Jason Manning help to decode an often dizzying cultural milieu, from campus riots over conservative speakers and debates around free speech to the election of Donald Trump.
Moral Time by Donald Black
Conflict is ubiquitous and inevitable, but people generally dislike it and try to prevent or avoid it as much as possible. So why do clashes of right and wrong occur? And why are some more serious than others? In Moral Time, sociologist Donald Black presents a new theory of conflict that provides answers to these and many other questions. The heart of the theory is a completely new concept of social time. Black claims that the root cause of conflict is the movement of social time, including relational, vertical, and cultural time--changes in intimacy, inequality, and diversity. The theory of moral time reveals the causes of conflict in all human relationships, from marital and other close relationships to those between strangers, ethnic groups, and entire societies. Moreover, the theory explains the origins and clash of right and wrong not only in modern societies but across the world and across history, from conflict concerning sexual behavior such as rape, adultery, and homosexuality, to bad manners and dislike in everyday life, theft and other crime, racism, anti-Semitism, anti-Americanism, witchcraft accusations, warfare, heresy, obscenity, creativity, and insanity. Black concludes by explaining the evolution of conflict and morality across human history, from the tribal to the modern age. He also provides surprising insights into the postmodern emergence of the right to happiness and the expanding rights of humans and non-humans across the world. Moral Time offers an incisive, powerful, and radically new understanding of human conflict--a fundamental and inescapable feature of social life.
The Cult Of True Victimhood by Alyson Manda Cole
Demonstrates how the campaign against "victim politics" and the "victim mentality" has profoundly altered Americans' understanding of victimhood, and investigates the consequences of this change in politics, law, culture, and the "war against terror."
The Coddling Of The American Mind by Greg Lukianoff
Something is going wrong on many college campuses in the last few years. Rates of anxiety, depression, and suicide are rising. Speakers are shouted down. Students and professors say they are walking on eggshells and afraid to speak honestly. How did this happen? First Amendment expert Greg Lukianoff and social psychologist Jonathan Haidt show how the new problems on campus have their origins in three terrible ideas that have become increasingly woven into American childhood and education: what doesn’t kill you makes you weaker; always trust your feelings; and life is a battle between good people and evil people. These three Great Untruths are incompatible with basic psychological principles, as well as ancient wisdom from many cultures. They interfere with healthy development. Anyone who embraces these untruths—and the resulting culture of safetyism—is less likely to become an autonomous adult able to navigate the bumpy road of life. Lukianoff and Haidt investigate the many social trends that have intersected to produce these untruths. They situate the conflicts on campus in the context of America’s rapidly rising political polarization, including a rise in hate crimes and off-campus provocation. They explore changes in childhood including the rise of fearful parenting, the decline of unsupervised play, and the new world of social media that has engulfed teenagers in the last decade. This is a book for anyone who is confused by what is happening on college campuses today, or has children, or is concerned about the growing inability of Americans to live, work, and cooperate across party lines.
Victimhood In American Narratives Of The War In Vietnam by Aleksandra Musiał
This book revisits the American canon of novels, memoirs, and films about the war in Vietnam, in order to reassess critically the centrality of the discourse of American victimization in the country’s imagination of the conflict, and to trace the strategies of representation that establish American soldiers and veterans as the most significant victims of the war. By investigating in detail the imagery of the Vietnamese landscape recreated by American authors and directors, the volume explores the proposition that Vietnam has been turned into an American myth, demonstrating that the process resulted in a dehistoricization and mystification of the conflict that obscured its historical and political realities. Against this background, representations of the war’s victims—Vietnamese civilians and American soldiers—are then considered in light of their ideological meanings and uses. Ultimately, the book seeks to demonstrate how, in a relation of power, the question of victimhood can become ideologized, transforming into both a discourse and a strategy of representation—and in doing so, to demythologize something of the "Vietnam" of American cultural narrative.
Culture War by Alexander Adams
Why has identity become so central to judging art today? Why are some groups reluctant to defend free speech within culture? Has state support made artists poorer not richer? How does the movement for social justice influence cultural production? Why is Post-Modernism dominant in the art world? Why are consumers of comic books so bitterly divided? In Culture War: Art, Identity Politics and Cultural Entryism Alexander Adams examines a series of pressing issues in today’s culture: censorship, Islamism, Feminism, identity politics, historical reparations and public arts policy. Through a series of linked essays, Culture War exposes connections between seemingly unrelated events and trends in high and popular cultures. From fine art to superhero comics, from political cartoons to museum policy, certain persistent ideas underpin the most contentious issues today. Adams draws on history, philosophy, politics and cultural criticism to explain the reasoning of creators, consumers and critics and to expose some uncomfortable truths.
Popular Trauma Culture by Anne Rothe
In Popular Trauma Culture, Anne Rothe argues that American Holocaust discourse has a particular plot structure—characterized by a melodramatic conflict between good and evil and embodied in the core characters of victim/survivor and perpetrator—and that it provides the paradigm for representing personal experiences of pain and suffering in the mass media. The book begins with an analysis of Holocaust clichés, including its political appropriation, the notion of vicarious victimhood, the so-called victim talk rhetoric, and the infusion of the composite survivor figure with Social Darwinism. Readers then explore the embodiment of popular trauma culture in two core mass media genres: daytime TV talk shows and misery memoirs. Rothe conveys how victimhood and suffering are cast as trauma kitsch on talk shows like Oprah and as trauma camp on modern-day freak shows like Springer. The discussion also encompasses the first scholarly analysis of misery memoirs, the popular literary genre that has been widely critiqued in journalism as pornographic depictions of extreme violence. Currently considered the largest growth sector in book publishing worldwide, many of these works are also fabricated. And since forgeries reflect the cultural entities that are most revered, the book concludes with an examination of fake misery memoirs.
Kindly Inquisitors by Jonathan Rauch
“A liberal society stands on the proposition that we should all take seriously the idea that we might be wrong. This means we must place no one, including ourselves, beyond the reach of criticism; it means that we must allow people to err, even where the error offends and upsets, as it often will.” So writes Jonathan Rauch in Kindly Inquisitors, which has challenged readers for more than twenty years with its bracing and provocative exploration of the issues surrounding attempts to limit free speech. In it, Rauch makes a persuasive argument for the value of “liberal science” and the idea that conflicting views produce knowledge within society. In this expanded edition of Kindly Inquisitors, a new foreword by George F. Will strikingly shows the book’s continued relevance, while a substantial new afterword by Rauch elaborates upon his original argument and brings it fully up to date. Two decades after the book’s initial publication, while some progress has been made, the regulation of hate speech has grown domestically—especially in American universities—and has spread even more internationally, where there is no First Amendment to serve as a meaningful check. But the answer to bias and prejudice, Rauch argues, is pluralism—not purism. Rather than attempting to legislate bias and prejudice out of existence or to drive them underground, we must pit them against one another to foster a more vigorous and fruitful discussion. It is this process that has been responsible for the growing acceptance of the moral acceptability of homosexuality over the last twenty years. And it is this process, Rauch argues, that will enable us as a society to replace hate with knowledge, both ethical and empirical. “It is a melancholy fact that this elegant book, which is slender and sharp as a stiletto, is needed, now even more than two decades ago. Armed with it, readers can slice through the pernicious ideas that are producing the still-thickening thicket of rules, codes, and regulations restricting freedom of thought and expression.”—George F. Will, from the foreword
One Nation Two Cultures by Gertrude Himmelfarb
The renowned historian and cultural critic provides an eye-opening study of the dichotomy in American society--one a conservative, Puritan influence and the other based in the counterculture of the 1960s--examining their influence on family, religion, law, values, and political life. Reprint. 12,500 first printing.
Suicide by Jason Manning
The conventional approach to suicide is psychiatric: ask the average person why people kill themselves, and they will likely cite depression. But this approach fails to recognize suicide’s social causes. People kill themselves because of breakups and divorces, because of lost jobs and ruined finances, because of public humiliations and the threat of arrest. While some psychological approaches address external stressors, this comprehensive study is the first to systematically examine suicide as a social behavior with social catalysts. Drawing on Donald Black’s theories of conflict management and pure sociology, Suicide presents a new theory of the social conditions that compel an aggrieved person to turn to self-destruction. Interpersonal conflict plays a central but underappreciated role in the incidence of suicide. Examining a wide range of cross-cultural cases, Jason Manning argues that suicide arises from increased inequality and decreasing intimacy, and that conflicts are more likely to become suicidal when they occur in a context of social inferiority. As suicide rates continue to rise around the world, this timely new theory can help clinicians, scholars, and members of the general public to explain and predict patterns of self-destructive behavior.