The Politics of Denial

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MIT Press, 1996 - 292 pages
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What is the driving force behind the rage of America's white males? Emotion appears to be playing a growing role in politics, as evidenced by vociferous opposition to welfare, abortion, and immigrants, as well as by the rise of the radical Religious Right, antienvironmentalism, and the increasingly neoconservative slant of American public opinion. The Politics of Denial presents a compelling explanation of these phenomena, providing solid empirical evidence for the role of rigid, harsh child-rearing practices in the creation of punitive, authoritarian adult political attitudes. The authors, social psychologists, show how both the political and the public policy processes in the United States are distorted by the unresolved negative emotions (such as fear, anger, and helplessness) that remain from punitive parenting and by the politicians and conservative religious leaders who exploit those emotions. Among the many public figures discussed are Patrick Buchanan, Newt Gingrich, Ronald Reagan, and Billy Graham.

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Also in the year of 2020 this book has a relevance, as the success of Donald Trump in those states, where corporal punishment of children is still widely accepted shows. The authors have written a new book called "Raised to rage".

Contents

Hear No Evil See No Evil
13
No really Im fine
31
The Politics of Denial
53
Honor Thy Father and Mother
73
The Punitive Society
107
The Seduction of the Electorate
121
Denial Slavery and Racism in America
145
Governmental Violence and Denial
167
Denial and Environmental Destruction
201
Conclusion
223
Appendix
239
References
253
Index
281
Copyright

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About the author (1996)

Michael A. Milburn is Professor of Psychology at the University of Massachusetts Boston, where Sheree D. Conrad is Senior Lecturer Psychology.

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