Conflict Is Not Abuse: Overstating Harm, Community Responsibility, and the Duty of Repair

Conflict Is Not Abuse: Overstating Harm, Community Responsibility, and the Duty of Repair

by Sarah Schulman

Paperback

$19.95
View All Available Formats & Editions
Choose Expedited Shipping at checkout for delivery by Friday, April 16

Overview

From intimate relationships to global politics, Sarah Schulman observes a continuum: that inflated accusations of harm are used to avoid accountability. Illuminating the difference between Conflict and Abuse, Schulman directly addresses our contemporary culture of scapegoating. This deep, brave, and bold work reveals how punishment replaces personal and collective self-criticism, and shows why difference is so often used to justify cruelty and shunning. Rooting the problem of escalation in negative group relationships, Schulman illuminates the ways cliques, communities, families, and religious, racial, and national groups bond through the refusal to change their self-concept. She illustrates how Supremacy behavior and Traumatized behavior resemble each other, through a shared inability to tolerate difference.

This important and sure to be controversial book illuminates such contemporary and historical issues of personal, racial, and geo-political difference as tools of escalation towards injustice, exclusion, and punishment, whether the objects of dehumanization are other individuals in our families or communities, people with HIV, African Americans, or Palestinians. Conflict Is Not Abuse is a searing rejection of the cultural phenomenon of blame, cruelty, and scapegoating, and how those in positions of power exacerbate and manipulate fear of the "other" to achieve their goals.

Sarah Schulman is a novelist, nonfiction writer, playwright, screenwriter, journalist and AIDS historian, and the author of eighteen books. A Guggenheim and Fulbright Fellow, Sarah is a Distinguished Professor of the Humanities at the City University of New York, College of Staten Island. Her novels published by Arsenal include Rat Bohemia, Empathy, After Delores, and The Mere Future. She lives in New York.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781551526430
Publisher: Arsenal Pulp Press, Limited
Publication date: 10/04/2016
Pages: 288
Sales rank: 51,486
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x (d)

About the Author

Sarah Schulman: Sarah Schulman is a novelist, nonfiction writer, playwright, screenwriter, journalist and AIDS historian, and the author of eighteen books. A Guggenheim and Fulbright Fellow, Sarah is a Distinguished Professor of the Humanities at the City University of New York, College of Staten Island, and on the advisory board of Jewish Voice for Peace.

Table of Contents

Introduction: A Reparative Manifesto 15

Methodology 17

Facing and Dealing with Conflict 19

Positive Change Can Happen 22

Part 1 The Conflicted Self and the Abusive State

Chapter 1 In Love: Conflict Is Not Abuse 35

The Dangerous Flirt 37

Email, Texts, and Negative Escalation 42

Reductive Modes of Illogic 46

Chapter 2 Abandoning the Personal: The State and the Production of Abuse 55

Understanding Is More Important than Determining the Victim 61

Authentic Relationships of Depth vs. Bonding by Bullying 64

When the Community Encourages Overreaction 70

False Accusations and the State 74

Chapter 3 The Police and the Politics of Overstating Harm 81

The Police as Arbiters of Relationships 83

"Violence," Violence, and the Harm of Misnaming Harm 92

Calling the Police on Singular Incidents of Violence 96

Calling the Police on Your Partner, When It's Your Father Who Should Have Gone to Jail 106

Chapter 4 HIV Criminalization in Canada: How the Richest Middle Class in the World Decided to Call the Police on HIV-Positive People in Order to Cover Up Their Racism, Guilt, and Anxiety about Sexuality and Their Supremacy-Based Investment in Punishment 113

Privileges and Problem-Solving in the Canadian and US Contexts 114

Think Twice Before Calling the Police 115

The Racial Roots of Canaditan HIV Criminalization 116

Viral Load and the State 117

Being "Abused" Instead of Responsible as State Policy 119

Criminalizing Human Experience 121

Women as Monsters 124

Crimes that Can't Occur 126

Claiming Abuse as an Excuse for Government Control 127

Claims of Abuse as Assertions of Normativity 130

In Conflict: Real Friends Don't Let Friends Call the Police 134

Part 2 The Impulse to Escalate

Chapter 5 On Escalation 139

Supremacy Ideology as a Refusal of Knowledge 140

Traumatized Behavior: When Knowledge Becomes Unbearable 144

Interrupting Escalation Before It Produces Tragedy 149

Control is at the Center of Supremacy and Traumatized Behavior 152

The Making of Monsters as Delusional Thinking 157

The Cultural Habit of Acknowledging Distorted Thinking 158

The Denial of Mental Illness 161

Chapter 6 Manic Flight Reaction: Trigger + Shunning 165

Trigger + Shunning #1: Manic Plight Reaction (Historical Psychoanalysis) 168

Trigger + Shunning #2: Borderline Episode (Psychiatry and Pop Psychology) 172

Trigger + Shunning #3: Fight, Flight, Freeze (Mindfulness, American Buddhism) 178

Trigger + Shunning #4: Detaching with an Axe (Al-Anon) 183

They All Agree: Delay and Accountable Community 186

Chapter 7 Queer Families, Compensatory Motherhood, and the Political Culture of Escalation 189

Good Families Don't Hurt Other People 192

Rethinking the Family Ethic as a Form of Harm Reduction 194

Queer Families and Supremacy Ideology 197

Compensatory Motherhood and the Need to Blame 200

Part 3 Supremacy/Trauma and the Justification of Injustice: The Israeli War on Gaza

Chapter 8 Watching Genocide Unfold in Real Time: Gaza through Facebook and Twitter, June 2 - July 23, 2014 209

The Strategy of False Accusation 210

When We Need to Be "Abused," the Truth Doesn't Matter 220

Conclusion: The Duty of Repair 271

What's So Impossible about Apologizing for Your Part? 272

Feeling Better vs. Getting Better 274

Acknowledgments 283

Works Cited 287

Citations by Page 293

Customer Reviews