The Anatomy of Prejudices

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Harvard University Press, 1996 - Family & Relationships - 632 pages
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Surveying the study of prejudice since World War II, Young-Bruehl finds a history riddled with assumptions, generalizations, and cliches. The Anatomy of Prejudices proposes a fresh start, and suggests an approach that distinguishes between different types of prejudices, the people who hold them, the social and political settings that promote them, and the human needs they fulfill. Young-Bruehl draws on theoretical and clinical, historical, and empirical literatures to show us prejudices from a variety of angles: there are those that help protect a group's identity (ethnocentrisms) and those that project a group identity (ideologies of desire); there are prejudices as socioeconomic phenomena, attitudes toward governments, products of historical periods, social mechanisms of defense, sexual fantasy structures, and puberty rites. Among the many forms of prejudice, Young-Bruehl pays particular attention to four - antisemitism, racism, sexism, and homophobia - which she exposes in their distinctiveness and their similarities.

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The anatomy of prejudices

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Clearly written and accessible to general as well as scholarly readers, this is a major work in personality and culture that asserts the plurality rather than the unity of prejudice. The author, a ... Read full review


Studying Prejudices
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About the author (1996)

Elisabeth Young-Bruehl was born in Elkton, Maryland on March 3, 1946. She received bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees in philosophy from the New School for Social Research in New York. She later trained as a psychoanalyst. She taught for many years at Wesleyan University and Haverford College. She wrote numerous books including Hannah Arendt: For Love of the World, Anna Freud: A Biography, Mind and the Body Politic, Why Arendt Matters, The Anatomy of Prejudices, and Childism: Confronting Prejudice Against Children. She died of pulmonary embolism on December 1, 2011 at the age of 65.

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