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Enemies of Freedom: Understanding Right-Wing Authoritarianism (Jossey Bass Social and Behavioral Science Series) Hardcover – September 30, 1988
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An experimental scientist who writes in a very easy-to-read way, professor Altemeyer (Univ. of Manitoba) has reworked the concept of authoritarianism, removing it from the Freudian view into a research-based social learning theory.
Authoritarianism is made of up three attitudinal clusters: submission to authorities, aggressiveness directed in accordance with the sanctions of authorities, and adhering to social conventions. Authoritarianism is researched with respect to topics such as punishment, prejudice, religion, political affiliation, education, and social status.
Important questions are considered in chapters, including why a person becomes authoritarian, how their aggression develops, the influence of religion, its relation to politics, and how we can protect ourselves from authoritarianism. Authoritarian aggressiveness seems to be related to a)fear of a dangerous world and b)self righteousness. We can help protect against authoritarianism by emphasizing the value of freedom, encouraging higher education especially in the liberal arts. The media can help by its coverage of crime, and religions can help by devaluing self righteousness.
Altemeyer includes the details of how he did his research and the individual questions in his survery forms, so if readers want to go survey all their relatives and friends (in secret!) they can!Read more ›