the elephant in the room silence and denial in everyday life

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The Elephant In The Room

Author : Eviatar Zerubavel
ISBN : 9780195332605
Genre : Psychology
File Size : 41. 55 MB
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The Elephant in the Room looks at how, why, and with what consequences it is possible for things to be known and 'not known' at the same time by individuals in a group. Zerubavel marshals a host of examples - from families that avoid discussing a member's cancer to the military's 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' policy - to identify the common features of conspiracies of silence at all levels of society. He unravels the normative as well as political underpinnings of silence and denial, as well as the social dynamics of conspiracies of silence. Noting how each 'conspirator's' actions are symbiotically complemented by the others', he shows that silence is usually more intense when there are more people conspiring to maintain it and especially when there are significant power differences among them. He concludes by showing that the longer we ignore 'elephants' the larger they loom in our minds, as each avoidance typically triggers an indefinitely recursive spiral of denial.

Living In Denial

Author : Kari Marie Norgaard
ISBN : 9780262294980
Genre : Science
File Size : 47. 12 MB
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Global warming is the most significant environmental issue of our time, yet public response in Western nations has been meager. Why have so few taken any action? In Living in Denial, sociologist Kari Norgaard searches for answers to this question, drawing on interviews and ethnographic data from her study of "Bygdaby," the fictional name of an actual rural community in western Norway, during the unusually warm winter of 2000-2001.In 2000-2001 the first snowfall came to Bygdaby two months later than usual; ice fishing was impossible; and the ski industry had to invest substantially in artificial snow-making. Stories in local and national newspapers linked the warm winter explicitly to global warming. Yet residents did not write letters to the editor, pressure politicians, or cut down on use of fossil fuels. Norgaard attributes this lack of response to the phenomenon of socially organized denial, by which information about climate science is known in the abstract but disconnected from political, social, and private life, and sees this as emblematic of how citizens of industrialized countries are responding to global warming.Norgaard finds that for the highly educated and politically savvy residents of Bygdaby, global warming was both common knowledge and unimaginable. Norgaard traces this denial through multiple levels, from emotions to cultural norms to political economy. Her report from Bygdaby, supplemented by comparisons throughout the book to the United States, tells a larger story behind our paralysis in the face of today's alarming predictions from climate scientists.

Hidden In Plain Sight

Author : Eviatar Zerubavel
ISBN : 9780199366613
Genre : Psychology
File Size : 70. 33 MB
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While examining its neuro-cognitive hardware, psychology usually ignores the socio-cognitive software underlying human attention. Yet although it is nature that equips us with our sense organs, it is nevertheless society that shapes the way we actually use them. The book explores the social underpinnings of attention, the way in which we focus our attention (and thereby notice and ignore things) not just as individuals and as humans but also as social beings, members of particular communities with specific traditions and conventions of attending to certain parts of reality while ignoring others.

Social Mindscapes

Author : Eviatar Zerubavel
ISBN : 0674045432
Genre : Psychology
File Size : 82. 9 MB
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Why do we eat sardines, but never goldfish; ducks, but never parrots? Why does adding cheese make a hamburger a "cheeseburger" whereas adding ketchup does not make it a "ketchupburger"? By the same token, how do we determine which things said at a meeting should be included in the minutes and which ought to be considered "off the record" and officially disregarded? In this wide-ranging and provocative book, Eviatar Zerubavel argues that cognitive science cannot answer these questions, since it addresses cognition on only two levels: the individual and the universal. To fill the gap between the Romantic vision of the solitary thinker whose thoughts are the product of unique experience, and the cognitive-psychological view, which revolves around the search for the universal foundations of human cognition, Zerubavel charts an expansive social realm of mind--a domain that focuses on the conventional, normative aspects of the way we think. With witty anecdote and revealing analogy, Zerubavel illuminates the social foundation of mental actions such as perceiving, attending, classifying, remembering, assigning meaning, and reckoning the time. What takes place inside our heads, he reminds us, is deeply affected by our social environments, which are typically groups that are larger than the individual yet considerably smaller than the human race. Thus, we develop a nonuniversal software for thinking as Americans or Chinese, lawyers or teachers, Catholics or Jews, Baby Boomers or Gen-Xers. Zerubavel explores the fascinating ways in which thought communities carve up and classify reality, assign meanings, and perceive things, "defamiliarizing" in the process many taken-for-granted assumptions.

Ancestors And Relatives

Author : Eviatar Zerubavel
ISBN : 9780199773954
Genre : Reference
File Size : 63. 79 MB
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Noted social scientist Eviatar Zerubavel casts a critical eye on how we trace our past-individually and collectively arguing that rather than simply find out who our ancestors are from genetics or history, we actually create the stories that make them our ancestors.

The Fine Line

Author : Eviatar Zerubavel
ISBN : 0226981592
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 73. 12 MB
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Eviatar Zerubavel argues that most of the distinctions we make in our daily lives and in our culture are social constructs. He questions the notion that a clear line can be drawn to separate one time or object or concept from another, and presents witty and provocative counterexamples in defense of ambiguity and anomaly.

Taken For Granted

Author : Eviatar Zerubavel
ISBN : 9781400889464
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 52. 83 MB
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How the words we use—and don’t use—reinforce dominant cultural norms Why is the term "openly gay" so widely used but "openly straight" is not? What are the unspoken assumptions behind terms like "male nurse," "working mom," and "white trash"? Offering a revealing and provocative look at the word choices we make every day without even realizing it, Taken for Granted exposes the subtly encoded ways we talk about race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, social status, and more. In this engaging and insightful book, Eviatar Zerubavel describes how the words we use--such as when we mark "the best female basketball player" but leave her male counterpart unmarked—provide telling clues about the things many of us take for granted. By marking "women's history" or "Black History Month," we are also reinforcing the apparent normality of the history of white men. When we mark something as being special or somehow noticeable, that which goes unmarked—such as maleness, whiteness, straightness, and able-bodiedness—is assumed to be ordinary by default. Zerubavel shows how this tacit normalizing of certain identities, practices, and ideas helps to maintain their cultural dominance—including the power to dictate what others take for granted. A little book about a very big idea, Taken for Granted draws our attention to what we implicitly assume to be normal—and in the process unsettles the very notion of normality.

Home Is Where The School Is

Author : Jennifer Lois
ISBN : 9780814759431
Genre : Family & Relationships
File Size : 44. 43 MB
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Mothers who homeschool their children constantly face judgmental questions about their choices, and yet the homeschooling movement continues to grow with an estimated 1.5 million American children now schooled at home. These children are largely taught by stay-at-home mothers who find that they must tightly manage their daily schedules to avoid burnout and maximize their relationships with their children, and that they must sustain a desire to sacrifice their independent selves for many years in order to savor the experience of motherhood. Home Is Where the School Is is the first comprehensive look into the lives of homeschooling mothers. Drawing on rich data collected through eight years of fieldwork and dozens of in-depth interviews, Jennifer Lois examines the intense effects of the emotional and temporal demands that homeschooling places on mothers’ lives, raising profound questions about the expectations of modern motherhood and the limits of parenting.

The Seven Day Circle

Author : Eviatar Zerubavel
ISBN : 0226981657
Genre : History
File Size : 30. 36 MB
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Shows how an artificial system devised to order our activities, the seven-day week, has been shaped by religion, politics, and economics from the biblical era through varied, exotic civilizations and into the twentieth century

Elephants In The Room

Author : Charlene Wexler
ISBN : 1523471964
Genre :
File Size : 34. 48 MB
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Elephants In The Room is award-winning author Charlene Wexler's latest collection of short fiction and essays examining life, love, and the tragedy and comedy of the human condition.Whether she is tackling fiction or essays, Charlene Wexler writes from the heart. With a keen eye for detail and a way of looking at the world a bit sideways, Wexler's writings in Elephants In The Room will entertain while they make you think.In Elephants In The Room, Wexler's fiction and essays are grouped in five categories.Coming of Age features essays and fiction about growing up and reaching some of life's milestones-whether you are ready or not.In Family and Friends, you'll meet some of the fun characters in Wexler's life and in her fiction, and inevitably you'll think about similar loved ones in your own world. The story "Elephants In The Room," from which the title of this book is derived, appears in this section.What would life be without our animal pals? Wexler shares some stories about four-footed friends and loved ones in Animal Magnetism.The Passing Parade features Wexler's fiction and prose observations on the changes in our fast-paced world.Senior Moments contains Wexler's wry, humorous, and even serious observations on the mature years.After reading Elephants In The Room, you'll see why Wexler's books and short stories have won multiple awards. Her style makes you feel as if you are reading about or talking to dear friends.Elephants In The Room is Wexler's second collection of fiction and essays published in book form. The first, Milk and Oranges, won several awards.Elephants In The Room is a collection of stories that will pluck at your heartstrings and tickle your funnybone.

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