The Nature of Prejudice: 25th Anniversary Edition Unabridged Edition

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ISBN-13: 978-0201001792
ISBN-10: 0201001799
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About the Author

Gordon W. Allport was born in 1897 in Montezuma, Indiana. He received his A.B., A.M., and Ph.D. in psychology from Harvard University, did postgraduate work abroad, and returned to Harvard in 1930, where he served as professor of psychology until his death in 1967. During his lifetime, Allport served as president of both the American and Eastern Psychological Associations, director of the National Opinion Research Center, and editor of the Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology. His other books included The Psychology of Rumor, The Individual and His Religion, Personality, and Becoming.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 576 pages
  • Publisher: Basic Books; Unabridged edition (January 22, 1979)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0201001799
  • ISBN-13: 978-0201001792
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1.4 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #75,424 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

33 of 37 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 1, 1999
Format: Paperback
If you have truely studied Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcom X then you have probably seen pictures of this book next to them on their desks. Don't think for one minute that you understand prejudice without reading this book first. It explains why prejudice occurs and how it is part of our basic makeup. Mr. Allport also explains how to change these perceptions that generate the discrimination. For any Civil Rights Advocate this is a must read. It puts you inside the mind of those who practice bigotry and discrimination. If you cannot understand them then how can you defeat them.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Steven H Propp TOP 100 REVIEWER on January 20, 2011
Format: Paperback
Gordon Willard Allport (1897-1967) was an American psychologist and professor at Harvard, as well as one of the founding figures of personality psychology.

He writes in the Preface to this 1958 book, "The present volume does not pretend to deal with the science of human relations as a whole. It aims merely to clarify one underlying issue---the nature of human prejudice. But this issue is basic, for without knowledge of the roots of hostility we cannot hope to employ our intelligence effectively in controlling its destructiveness."

Here are some quotations from the book:

"Perhaps the briefest of all definitions of prejudice is: thinking ill of others without sufficient warrant." (Pg. 7)
"(W)e note an almost universal principle in respect to overlapping group differences: the diffences within the same group are greater (i.e., the range is wider) than the differences between the averages of the two groups." (Pg. 102)
"Now, what are the facts? Do Negroes, for example, have a distinctive body odor or not? ... (in an experiment) the offensiveness seems to come equally from the sweaty bodies of the two races. Odor is a curious psychological shibboleth. It is made to bear the brunt of intimate subjective feelings (and prejudices), but its role seems primarily to be that of an 'objective' excuse or rationalizer for affective states that are too personal and private to be understood or analyzed in their own right." (Pg. 135-136)
"Even those who favor segregation do not want Negroes to develop their own language or their own laws. They want they to be amalgamated in certain respects. And even those who argue for assimilation may wish to preserve certain pleasant cultural traits---perhaps the cuisine of the French, Negro spirituals, Polish folk dances, St.
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20 of 28 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 25, 1999
Format: Paperback
Allport's The Nature of Prejudice is written in a very comprehensive manner that allows you to reflect upon your own experience in prejudices both internal and external. This book is a classic and sheds light on inter-cultural and intra-cultural understanding in the years to come.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Nazani VINE VOICE on April 13, 2010
Format: Hardcover
When I page through this book I'm astounded that it was written in 1954. This is truly a ground-breaking work in both psychology and sociology. 537 pages, well indexed, with references. Some of the many topics covered include:
attitudes and beliefs
acting out prejudice
the separation of human groups
personal values as categories
sex as an in-group
social distance
verbal rejection
riots and lynching
the essential role of rumor
the neurosis of extreme conformity
social regulation of aggression
cultural devices to ensure loyalty
scapegoats for special occasions
the demagogue as a person
- and so on- it's a chilling but necessary read, and there is great satisfaction in owning the first edition of such and important work.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Richard Gearon on August 13, 2013
Format: Paperback
I first read this book in 1965, just months before the Watts Riots, in which I was a "participant." I worked for ADT Protection Service as an armed security officer and was on foot in the riot area during the riot. Every couple of pages Dr. Allport states that if there is something in which you believe, and it has a basis in FACT, it is not prejudice. The fact that both Dr. King and Malcom X had come to the belief that the disparity in wealth between rich and poor was the cause of this nation's problems, and not race, was the immediate cause of both of their deaths.
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6 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Markus Youssef on April 24, 2012
Format: Paperback
It seems to me Psychology has a lot to offer but its terminology triggers many people away with its vivid labels. What would happen if authors simplified their terms? Instead of Melanie Klein's "you're either depressed or paranoid" why not "discouraged or extra careful?" Instead of Eros and Thanatos how about "those who are more practiced in seeing the good in others" and "those who blame the former for their struggle in doing the same?" If the former are "The Envied" and the latter "The Enviers" why not use the language of parts and declare that each of us has an "envied" part and an "envier" one? In this book the author uses "The Tolerant Personality" and "The Prejudiced Personality" with the reminder that everyone has both in different degrees and that there are no easy answers to this complex situation but perhaps he could have used something less dichotomous as well. In reading this book your tolerance will be put to the test since there are hundreds of pages of strong language describing who did what to whom. This book should really probably be entitled A History of Prejudice. But perhaps this was all done to make the reader aware of projection. From Chapter 24 - "Projection may be defined as the tendency to attribute falsely to other people motives or traits that are our own or that in some way explain or justify our own. Mote-Beam Projection might be defined as the process of exaggerating qualities in other people which they and we possess though we may not realize that we possess them. Mote-Beam Projection is a kind of 'perceptual accentuation.' We see more than is there. Direct Projection occurs when an attribute that lies wholly within ourselves - and not at all in the other person - is nonetheless seen as existing in the other person.Read more ›
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