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Seeing Us in Them

Social Divisions and the Politics of Group Empathy

Author(s): Cigdem V. Sirin, Nicholas A. Valentino, José D. Villalobos

ISBN: 9781108797849
Publication Date: 18/3/2021
Pages: 300
Format: Paperback
Regular price £22.99 GBP
Regular price Sale price £22.99 GBP

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What causes some people to stand in solidarity with those from other races, religions, or nationalities, even when that solidarity does not seem to benefit the individual or their group? Seeing Us in Them examines outgroup empathy as a powerful predisposition in politics that pushes individuals to see past social divisions and work together in complex, multicultural societies. It also reveals racial/ethnic intergroup differences in this predisposition, rooted in early patterns of socialization and collective memory. Outgroup empathy explains why African Americans vehemently oppose the border wall and profiling of Arabs, why Latinos are welcoming of Syrian refugees and support humanitarian assistance, why some white Americans march in support of Black Lives Matter through a pandemic, and even why many British citizens oppose Brexit. Outgroup empathy is not naïve; rather it is a rational and necessary force that helps build trust and maintain stable democratic norms of compromise and reciprocity.