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This provocative and highly original work by one of the Netherlands’ leading psychologists provides an introduction to what is perhaps the oldest and most interesting psychology ever developed: the psychology of the contemplative life. As de Wit points out, contemplative psychology has not been developed by practitioners of academic disciplines, but rather by intelligent and sensitive practitioners of the contemplative and spiritual traditions themselves. As such, it has developed its own psychological understanding of contemplative and religious growth, and it has created its own methods of acquiring knowledge and insight into the nature of the human mind and experience. Contemplative psychology therefore addresses the fundamental issue of how our profane mode of experience comes about, what its nature is, why we hold onto it as real, and how it carries over into our words and deeds. Moreover, this psychology examines why and how the profane mode of experience can be transformed into the spiritual or religious experience of reality through the practice of contemplative disciplines. By contrasting it with conventional and scientific psychology and theology, de Wit outlines contemplative psychology as an auxiliary discipline within the contemplative traditions. His very readable overview has been written from an interreligious point of view. De Wit investigates the most important themes and contours that psychologies of different religions have in common. His presentation offers many directions for the development of a genuine contemplative psychology, something that is basically lacking in our present western culture This book will be of great value not only to psychologists of religion and theologians, but also to contemplatives, pastoral caregivers, counselors, and psychotherapists.
Social Categories, Social Identities, and Educational Participation
Since the end of legal segregation in schools, most research on educational inequality has focused on economic and other structural obstacles to the academic achievement of disadvantaged groups. But in Contesting Stereotypes and Creating Identities, a distinguished group of psychologists and social scientists argue that stereotypes about the academic potential of some minority groups remain a significant barrier to their achievement. This groundbreaking volume examines how low institutional and cultural expectations of minorities hinder their academic success, how these stereotypes are perpetuated, and the ways that minority students attempt to empower themselves by redefining their identities. The contributors to Contesting Stereotypes and Creating Identities explore issues of ethnic identity and educational inequality from a broad range of disciplinary perspectives, drawing on historical analyses, social-psychological experiments, interviews, and observation. Meagan Patterson and Rebecca Bigler show that when teachers label or segregate students according to social categories (even in subtle ways), students are more likely to rank and stereotype one another, so educators must pay attention to the implicit or unintentional ways that they emphasize group differences. Many of the contributors contest John Ogbu’s theory that African Americans have developed an “oppositional culture” that devalues academic effort as a form of “acting white.” Daphna Oyserman and Daniel Brickman, in their study of black and Latino youth, find evidence that strong identification with their ethnic group is actually associated with higher academic motivation among minority youth. Yet, as Julie Garcia and Jennifer Crocker find in a study of African-American female college students, the desire to disprove negative stereotypes about race and gender can lead to anxiety, low self-esteem, and excessive, self-defeating levels of effort, which impede learning and academic success. The authors call for educational institutions to diffuse these threats to minority students’ identities by emphasizing that intelligence is a malleable rather than a fixed trait. Contesting Stereotypes and Creating Identities reveals the many hidden ways that educational opportunities are denied to some social groups. At the same time, this probing and wide-ranging anthology provides a fresh perspective on the creative ways that these groups challenge stereotypes and attempt to participate fully in the educational system.
A History of Behavioral Psychology
Behaviorism has been the dominant force in the creation of modern American psychology. However, the unquestioned and unquestioning nature of this dominance has obfuscated the complexity of behaviorism.
Control serves as an antidote to this historical myopia, providing the most comprehensive history of behaviorism yet written. Mills successfully balances the investigation of individual theorists and their contributions with analysis of the structures of assumption which underlie all behaviorist psychology, and with behaviorism's role as both creator and creature of larger American intellectual patterns, practices, and values.
Furthermore, Mills provides a cogent critique of behaviorists' narrow attitudes toward human motivation, exploring how their positivism cripples their ability to account for the unobservable, inner factors that control behavior. Control's blend of history and criticism advances our understanding not only of behaviorism, but also the development of social science and positivism in twentieth-century America.
Some social theorists claim that trust is necessary for the smooth functioning of a democratic society. Yet many recent surveys suggest that trust is on the wane in the United States. Does this foreshadow trouble for the nation? In Cooperation Without Trust? Karen Cook, Russell Hardin, and Margaret Levi argue that a society can function well in the absence of trust. Though trust is a useful element in many kinds of relationships, they contend that mutually beneficial cooperative relationships can take place without it. Cooperation Without Trust? employs a wide range of examples illustrating how parties use mechanisms other than trust to secure cooperation. Concerns about one’s reputation, for example, could keep a person in a small community from breaching agreements. State enforcement of contracts ensures that business partners need not trust one another in order to trade. Similarly, monitoring worker behavior permits an employer to vest great responsibility in an employee without necessarily trusting that person. Cook, Hardin, and Levi discuss other mechanisms for facilitating cooperation absent trust, such as the self-regulation of professional societies, management compensation schemes, and social capital networks. In fact, the authors argue that a lack of trust—or even outright distrust—may in many circumstances be more beneficial in creating cooperation. Lack of trust motivates people to reduce risks and establish institutions that promote cooperation. A stout distrust of government prompted America’s founding fathers to establish a system in which leaders are highly accountable to their constituents, and in which checks and balances keep the behavior of government officials in line with the public will. Such institutional mechanisms are generally more dependable in securing cooperation than simple faith in the trustworthiness of others. Cooperation Without Trust? suggests that trust may be a complement to governing institutions, not a substitute for them. Whether or not the decline in trust documented by social surveys actually indicates an erosion of trust in everyday situations, this book argues that society is not in peril. Even if we were a less trusting society, that would not mean we are a less functional one.
Mapping Student Resistance at an Urban School
For many students, the classroom is not the central focus of school. The school's corridors and doorways are areas largely given over to student control, and it is here that they negotiate their cultural identities and status among their peer groups. The flavor of this "corridor culture" tends to reflect the values and culture of the surrounding community.
Based on participant observation in a racially segregated high school in New York City, Corridor Cultures examines the ways in which school spaces are culturally produced, offering insight into how urban students engage their schooling. Focusing on the tension between the student-dominated halls and the teacher-dominated classrooms and drawing on insights from critical geographers and anthropology, it provides new perspectives on the complex relationships between Black students and schools to better explain the persistence of urban school failure and to imagine ways of resolving the contradictions that undermine the educational prospects of too many of the nations' children.
Dickar explores competing discourses about who students are, what the purpose of schooling should be, and what knowledge is valuable as they become spatialized in daily school life. This spatial analysis calls attention to the contradictions inherent in official school discourses and those generated by students and teachers more locally.By examining the form and substance of student/school engagement, Corridor Cultures argues for a more nuanced and broader framework that reads multiple forms of resistance and recognizes the ways students themselves are conflicted about schooling.
From Enlightenment Ideals to Socialist Realities
The idea of eliminating undesirable traits from human temperament to create a "new man" has been part of moral and political thinking worldwide for millennia. During the Enlightenment, European philosophers sought to construct an ideological framework for reshaping human nature. But it was only among the communist regimes of the twentieth century that such ideas were actually put into practice on a nationwide scale. In this book Yinghong Cheng examines three culturally diverse sociopolitical experiments—the Soviet Union under Lenin and Stalin, China under Mao, and Cuba under Castro—in an attempt to better understand the origins and development of the "new man." The book’s fundamental concerns are how these communist revolutions strove to create a new, morally and psychologically superior, human being and how this task paralleled efforts to create a superior society. To these ends, it addresses a number of questions: What are the intellectual roots of the new man concept? How was this idealistic and utopian goal linked to specific political and economic programs? How do the policies of these particular regimes, based as they are on universal communist ideology, reflect national and cultural traditions? Cheng begins by exploring the origins of the idea of human perfectibility during the Enlightenment. His discussion moves to other European intellectual movements, and then to the creation of the Soviet Man, the first communist new man in world history. Subsequent chapters examine China’s experiment with human nature, starting with the nationalistic debate about a new national character at the turn of the twentieth century; and Cuban perceptions of the new man and his role in propelling the revolution from a nationalist, to a socialist, and finally a communist movement. The last chapter considers the global influence of the Soviet, Chinese, and Cuban experiments. Creating the "New Man" contributes greatly to our understanding of how three very different countries and their leaders carried out problematic and controversial visions and programs. It will be of special interest to students and scholars of world history and intellectual, social, and revolutionary history, and also development studies and philosophy.
In his eye-opening book Why?, world-renowned social scientist Charles Tilly exposed some startling truths about the excuses people make and the reasons they give. Now he's back with further explorations into the complexities of human relationships, this time examining what's really going on when we assign credit or cast blame.
Everybody does it, but few understand the hidden motivations behind it. With his customary wit and dazzling insight, Tilly takes a lively and thought-provoking look at the ways people fault and applaud each other and themselves. The stories he gathers in Credit and Blame range from the everyday to the altogether unexpected, from the revealingly personal to the insightfully humorous--whether it's the gushing acceptance speech of an Academy Award winner or testimony before a congressional panel, accusations hurled in a lover's quarrel or those traded by nations in a post-9/11 crisis, or a job promotion or the Nobel Prize. Drawing examples from literature, history, pop culture, and much more, Tilly argues that people seek not only understanding through credit and blame, but also justice. The punishment must fit the crime, accomplishments should be rewarded, and the guilty parties must always get their just deserts.
Brilliantly conceived and masterfully written, Credit and Blame is a book that revolutionizes our understanding of the compliments we pay and the accusations we make.
In many African countries, mental health issues, including the burden of serious mental illness and trauma, have not been adequately addressed. These essays shed light on the treatment of common and chronic mental disorders, including mental illness and treatment in the current climate of economic and political instability, access to health care, access to medicines, and the impact of HIV-AIDS and other chronic illness on mental health. While problems are rampant and carry real and devastating consequences, this volume promotes an understanding of the African mental health landscape in service of reform.
Sigmund Freud on the Sence of Guilt
Sigmund Freud, in his search for the origins of the sense of guilt in individual life and culture, regularly speaks of “reading a dark trace”, thus referring to the Oedipus myth as a myth on the problem of human guilt. The sense of guilt is indeed a trace that leads deep into the individual’s mental life, into his childhood life, and into the prehistory of culture and religion. In this book this trace is followed and thus Freud’s thought on the sense of guilt as a central issue in his work is analyzed, from the earliest studies on the moral and “guilty” characters of the hysterics, via the later complex differentiations in the concept of the sense of guilt, unto the analyses of civilization’s discontents and Jewish sense of guilt. The sense of guilt is a key issue in Freudian psychoanalysis, not only in relation to other key concepts in psychoanalytic theory, but also in relation to debates with others, such as Carl Gustav Jung or Melanie Klein, Freud was engaged in.