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The identity trap : a story of ideas and power in our time / Yascha Mounk.

Mounk, Yascha, 1982- (author., Author).

Summary:
For much of history, societies have violently oppressed ethnic, religious, and sexual minorities. It is no surprise that many who passionately believe in social justice came to believe that members of marginalized groups need to take pride in their identity to resist injustice. Over the past decades, a healthy appreciation for the culture and heritage of minority groups has transformed into a counterproductive obsession with group identity in all its forms. Mounk believes a new ideology aiming to place each person's matrix of identities at the center of social, cultural, and political life has become influential, but it stifles discourse, vilifies mutual influence as cultural appropriation, and insists that the way governments treat their citizens should depend on the color of their skin. This identity trap will ultimately make it harder to achieve progress toward the genuine equality we desperately need. -- condensed from publisher info
"One of our leading public intellectuals traces the origin of a set of ideas about identity and social justice that is rapidly transforming America--and explains why it will fail to accomplish its noble goals. For much of history, societies have violently oppressed ethnic, religious, and sexual minorities. It is no surprise that many who passionately believe in social justice came to believe that members of marginalized groups need to take pride in their identity to resist injustice. But over the past decades, a healthy appreciation for the culture and heritage of minority groups has transformed into a counterproductive obsession with group identity in all its forms. A new ideology aiming to place each person's matrix of identities at the center of social, cultural, and political life has quickly become highly influential. It stifles discourse, vilifies mutual influence as cultural appropriation, denies that members of different groups can truly understand one another, and insists that the way governments treat their citizens should depend on the color of their skin. This, Yascha Mounk argues, is the identity trap. Though those who battle for these ideas are full of good intentions, they will ultimately make it harder to achieve progress toward the genuine equality we desperately need. Mounk has built his acclaimed scholarly career on being one of the first to warn of the risks right-wing populists pose to American democracy. But, he shows, those on the left and center who are stuck in the identity trap are now inadvertent allies to the MAGA movement. In The Identity Trap, Mounk provides the most ambitious and comprehensive account to date of the origins, consequences, and limitations of so-called "wokeness." He is the first to show how postmodernism, postcolonialism, and critical race theory forged the "identity synthesis" that conquered many college campuses by 2010. He lays out how a relatively marginal set of ideas came to gain tremendous influence in business, media, and government by 2020. He makes a nuanced philosophical case for why the application of these ideas to areas from education to public policy is proving to be so deeply counterproductive--and why universal, humanist values can best serve the vital goal of true equality. In explaining the huge political and cultural transformations of the past decade, The Identity Trap provides truth and clarity where they are needed most."-- Provided by publisher.

Record details

  • ISBN: 9780593493182
  • ISBN: 0593493184
  • Physical Description: 401 pages ; 25 cm
  • Publisher: New York : Penguin Press, 2023.

Content descriptions

Bibliography, etc. Note:
Includes bibliographical references (pages 295-383) and index.
Formatted Contents Note:
Introduction: The lure and the trap -- Part I. The origins of the identity synthesis. Postwar Paris and the trial of truth ; The end of empire and the embrace of "strategic essentialism" ; The rejection of the civil rights movement and the rise of critical race theory ; The identity synthesis -- Part II. The victory of the identity synthesis. The identity synthesis goes mainstream ; The short march through the institutions ; Dissent discouraged -- Part III. The flaws of the identity synthesis. How to understand each other ; The joys of mutual influence ; Speak freely ; The case for integration ; The path to equality ; On structural racism, gender, and meritocracy -- Part IV. In defense of universalism. A response to the identity synthesis ; A brief case for the liberal alternative -- Conclusion: How to escape the identity trap -- Appendix: Why the identity synthesis isn't Marxist.
Subject: Identity politics > United States.
Identity (Psychology) > United States.
Social justice > United States.

Available copies

  • 0 of 1 copy available at Lehigh Valley Library System.

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  • 0 current holds with 1 total copy.
Show Only Available Copies
Location Call Number / Copy Notes Barcode Shelving Location Status Due Date
Bethlehem Main Library 305 (Text) 33062009832636 New Adult Nonfiction Checked Out 02/27/2024


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