Why We Hate

Why We Hate

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by Jack Levin
     
 

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Not why they themselves hate, or even why sociologists hate, but why large groups of people hate other large groups of people, is the question Levin and Rabrenovic (both: sociology, Northeastern U.) take up. They examine hate as expressed in widespread violence, fear, and revenge; and explore its roots in human nature, the mass media, culture, politics, and the

Overview

Not why they themselves hate, or even why sociologists hate, but why large groups of people hate other large groups of people, is the question Levin and Rabrenovic (both: sociology, Northeastern U.) take up. They examine hate as expressed in widespread violence, fear, and revenge; and explore its roots in human nature, the mass media, culture, politics, and the economy. Annotation ©2004 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
The title of this book lacks a question mark, but it needs one, because sociology professors Levin (The Violence of Hate, etc.) and Rabrenovic (Community Builders) ask far more questions in this hollow book than they answer. The project they have outlined, one made more immediate after September 11, is to understand hatred-and how that hatred so often leads to violence. Unfortunately, the project becomes mired in analytical quicksand. The problem is one of approach, and the authors include far too many isolated incidents and long-standing geopolitical disputes to offer a cohesive argument about, or prescriptions for, the admittedly complex nature of hatred. Rather than careening from instance to instance to diagnose the apparent pandemic of hatred (in the space of two pages, the authors move from Nazi Germany to violence against females in Uzbekistan and the anti-Semitic graffiti of disaffected youth), Levin and Rabrenovic would have done better to use fewer examples and offer more analysis to yield more valuable conclusions. Instead, they dance around the role in hatred of fear, revenge, evolutionary psychology and other factors. Also disappointing is the authors' tendency to oversimplify otherwise valid causes of hate and prescriptions for it with statements such as "[L]ike attracts like. When it comes to their peers, human beings seem almost universally to be predisposed to prefer being among people like themselves" and offer such advice as "Those who are victimized should seek help from the proper authorities, and they should act accordingly." Noble and worthy statements, but the authors' project proves unwieldy within the confines of this slim yet sadly inelegant volume. (June) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
The world is confronted by a great deal of hate from a variety of sources and for a variety of reasons. In this book, Levin (Hate Crimes Revisited) and Rabrenovic (Community Builders) examine whether hatred is a propensity we are born with or something we learn. Other topics discussed include the growing worldwide anti-Americanism, anti-Semitism, anti-Muslim sentiments, terrorism, "organized hate" (e.g., by white supremacists and civilian militias), and many of the trouble spots around the world. Levin, who frequently appears in the national media, is a well-established expert on hate crimes, and his expertise is clearly displayed here. Chapter 8, for example, provides an insightful review of how prevalent hate is in popular culture. In this chapter, the authors point out that media celebrities such as Don Imus, Rush Limbaugh, G. Gordon Liddy, and Howard Stern constantly bombard the airwaves with discriminatory talk, and certain rap stars promote "killing whitey." Provocative and well written, this book is recommended for all public and academic libraries.-Tim Delaney, SUNY at Oswego Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781615926480
Publisher:
Prometheus Books
Publication date:
06/01/2004
Sold by:
Penguin Random House Publisher Services
Format:
NOOK Book
File size:
314 KB

Meet the Author

Jack Levin, Ph.D. (Boston, MA), is the Brudnick Professor of Sociology and Criminology at Northeastern University, as well as the director of the Brudnick Center on Violence and Conflict. He is the author of many critically acclaimed books on criminology, including Hate Crimes Revisited (with J. McDevitt) and The Violence of Hate, and is frequently quoted in the national media. He often appears on national television, including The Today Show, Oprah, The O’Reilly Factor, Larry King Live, 20/20, 48 Hours, and many other programs.
Gordana Rabrenovic, Ph.D. (Boston, MA), is associate professor of sociology at Northeastern University and the associate director of the Brudnick Center on Violence and Conflict. She is the author of numerous professional articles and one book, Community Builders, and the coeditor of Community Politics and Policy.

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