Our Racist Heart?: Racial and Other Unconscious Biases In Everyday Life

Author(s): Geoffrey Beattie

Philosophy, Politics & Current Affairs

Few people today would admit to being a racist, or to making assumptions about individuals based purely on their skin colour, gender or class. In this book, a leading psychological researcher and author in the area of implicit attitudes asks if prejudice is still a part of our everyday life. Geoffrey Beattie suggests that these biases are not only entrenched in small sections of our society, but that they also exist in the psyches of even the most liberal, educated and fair-minded of us. More importantly, the chapters outline how these "hidden" attitudes can be measured, and in turn predict behaviours in a number of important social situations. Our Racist Heart? takes a fresh look at our attitudes to race using new technology and fresh experimental approaches, to show how fundamentally unconscious biases influence our everyday action and thinking. These groundbreaking results are brought to life using the author's own experiences of prejudice, and are also discussed in relation to the history of race, racism and social psychological theory.
The book will be of great interest students of psychology, sociology, and cultural studies, and also to all those who work or have experienced problems associated with racism in their daily lives.


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"Geoffrey Beattie has written a remarkable book. He tells the story of his early life in Belfast, as he presents his new research into prejudice's unconscious aspects. This combination of the autobiographical and the academic results in a work that is always fascinating, deeply felt and beautifully written." - Michael Billig, Professor of Social Sciences, Loughborough Universitya "An up-to-date, revealing, provocative and (in several places) personal book - it is timely, important and elegantly stated. The writing is appealing, clear, direct, sometimes poetic, definitely approachable, and hard to put down." - David McNeill, Department of Psychology, University of Chicago "Beattie uses his own inimitable blend of laugh-out-loud humour and expert observation to weave his way through this most difficult of subjects. His use of fascinating personal experience of bias, set in the context of psychological academic study, offers an intriguing new perspective on how we view our own attitudes and those of others. Unique in its approach, this is an outstanding and seminal piece of work." - Zoe Wood, Head of Research, Idox Information Solutions "Using his own personal life experience adds a different dimension to this book - it feels like you are been taken on a journey of self-discovery that makes you question yourself more than you perhaps have in the past." - Patrick Johnson, Head of Equality and Diversity, University of Manchester "A clear and comprehensive book that makes a major contribution to the fields of social and applied psychology, education and sociology. The text should also be of considerable value to policy makers in the domain of employment decisions and education."- Doron Cohen, School of Psychological Sciences, The University of Manchester

Geoffrey Beattie is Professor of Psychology at the University of Manchester and Professorial Research Fellow in the Sustainable Consumption Institute at the same university. He was formerly Head of School of Psychological Sciences at Manchester from 2004-2011. He was awarded the Spearman Medal by the BPS for 'published psychological research of outstanding merit'. He has presented a number of television programmes on BBC1, Channel 4 and UKTV Style and was the resident on-screen psychologist on ten 'Big Brother' series.

Part 1. Challenged by History 1. Introduction: Approaches and Avoidances 2. A Room Steeped in the Past 3. Early lessons in Prejudice: Spoken and Unspoken 4. Who Needs a Negro? 5.The Nature of Prejudice Part 2. A Pipeline to the Soul? 6. The Times They Are a Changin' (Or not, as the Case may be) 7. The Inner Conflict 8. How Much of our Attitude is Unconscious? 9. Measuring the Conscious 10. A New Way into our Unconscious Attitude 11. By-passing the Conscious Mind Part 3. The Project Itself: Are we Implicitly Racist? 12. A New Test of Implicit Ethnic Bias 13. New Data on Possible Implicit Ethnic Bias 14. Am I Racist? 15. Why Aren't We Saving the Planet?: Another Example of Unconscious Bias in Action 16. How Ethnicity and Implicit Attitudes may Affect Shortlisting for University Posts 17. So What Can We Do About All This? Appendix 1 Appendix 2

General Fields

  • : 9780415612999
  • : Taylor & Francis Group
  • : Routledge
  • : November 2012
  • : 198mm X 129mm
  • : United Kingdom
  • : September 2012
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : Geoffrey Beattie
  • : Paperback
  • : English
  • : 305.8
  • : 296
  • : 60 black & white illustrations, 31 black & white tables