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Are We Born Racist?: New Insights from Neuroscience and Positive Psychology Paperback – June 29, 2010
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Top Customer Reviews
Buy this book if you are curious how we process those who are different than us, notably by race. Essay by essay, the authors argue persuasively that humans have no control over whether or not they notice race. Our bodies - from our brains, down our spine and into our nervous systems, through our bloodstream and to our hearts - respond differently to people who differ visibly from us. This has been shown by fMRI and EEG readings of amygdala activity (the part of the brain related to stress and fear, among other things), as well as hormone release (cortisol, a fright or flight hormone, is released both when prejudiced people are forced to interact with people of another race, and to people of another race when they are being antagonized). We have this amygdala activity and hormone release to protect us. For hundreds of thousands of years, we needed to be very defensive and alert. This programme was essential to survival. But today, in structured societies of humans whom science has declared all equal, this programme is obsolete. Much like our irrational fear of spiders and Mad Cow disease (you are much more likely to die in a car, but cars weren't around 150,000 years ago and food pandemics and deadly insects were), our inclination to "other" people unlike us is an unfortunate part of our design feature that is here to stay.Read more ›
The book is separated into three sections. These sections contain many short essays and articles, written by neuroscientist and psychologist, centered on the theme of that section. The articles are not necessarily linked to each other, so there are many point of views expressed within the sections. The first section of the book looks into answering the question that the book actually poses in the title, Are We Born Racist? This collection of articles investigates the modern racism and the science behind them. The racism found in today's American society is different from previous generations. Rather than an out-spoken racism, the modern racism is silent, but looking at minority groups within the societal structure, one can see its affects. Looking at neurological studies, it is found that we do have a natural tendency to favor others of the same race compared to others of a different race.Read more ›
I highly recommend this book.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is a question, not a review.
Black skin colour is a dominant gene. Blue eyes are a recessive gene. Read more
I really hoped this book to be a little more interesting. It contains essays with very good information regarding diversity and racism...and that's about it. Read morePublished on May 29, 2014 by Keyser Mejia