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Black and White Styles in Conflict Paperback – August 15, 1983

ISBN-13: 978-0226449555 ISBN-10: 0226449556 Edition: Reprint

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 184 pages
  • Publisher: University of Chicago Press; Reprint edition (August 15, 1983)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0226449556
  • ISBN-13: 978-0226449555
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.4 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #492,168 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

24 of 25 people found the following review helpful By A Minnesota Jew on September 26, 2001
Format: Paperback
This book changed my life for the better. I highly recommend it, but it needs to be read carefully and with understanding.
Kochman examines several differing cultural "styles" of American Blacks and Whites. Then he shows how people can misinterpret these stylistic differences and thereby reinforce their own stereotyped views of the other group - usually without realizing that they have made an interpretation, let alone a misinterpretation!
I have been in discussions where people complained that Kochman himself was making racist generalizations. That complaint is based on a failure to read the book carefully and with understanding.
Kochman explains that cultural styles are NOT inborn and NOT uniformly expressed by every member of the group in question. But cultural styles do exist, and are assumed by many people to be inborn "racial" characteristics. The whole point is to understand how cultural styles work, to recognize them and not to misinterpret them.
Kochman's writing is brilliant and valuable. It deserves careful attention.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By JOHN LINDSAY on October 13, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I read Kochman's book back in the late 90s.
I think he did a pretty decent job, but the book should ONLY be used as an "exploratory text."

He compared the communication styles of "Whites" with what he calls "community Blacks."
Upon reading the book, I found out that "community Blacks" are actually poor Blacks....and the Whites...are members of the White middle class.

If he had included the communications styles of poor Whites (are not passive communicators...some may be, but most are not)and middle class Blacks, the book would have been much, much richer and sophisticated. (and even better if the styles of Asian-/Latino-/ and "Native"-American groups were included.)

That's the problem when Blacks and Whites and other groups are compared. Researchers, journalists, etc., often use the umbrella terms "Black, White, Asian, etc.," which project the idea that "all members of this group are the same"...no matter their educational achievement, economic status, geographical location, etc. That is very wrong.

Although Kochman provided a lot of good information, the book simply reinforces the "racial" dichotomy: White and Black, good and bad, rich and poor, etc.

The data about "how different cultural (not "racial") groups interpret information at public meetings was very informative, as well as differences in the coaching styles of Black and White coaches. I was able to immediately see what he was writing about when White fans at the University of KY would criticize Coach Tubby Smith's methods, etc.
Very well done.

The information about "how middle class Whites tend to wrongly believe that --when a discussion between Blacks and Whites becomes heated...violence will be next".... was right on the money.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 25, 2000
Format: Paperback
I used an earlier version of the book. The book gives both perspectives on situations and good insight into Black culture especially in situations where disagreements or conflict may occur. The examples may be a bit dated but there is still enough of the information that applies to today's world. At least give it a look-see.
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