The Assault on Equality

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Greenwood Publishing Group, 1996 - 281 pages
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^IThe Assault on Equality^R critiques the social theory underpinning the social policies of the new political right. It focuses on the attempt by Herrnstein and Murray in ^IThe Bell Curve^R to provide theoretical justification for social program cutbacks and coercive social policies. ^IThe Assault on Equality^R reanalyzes Herrnstein and Murray's own data and demonstrates that their conclusions are questionable results of polemic and ideology that ignore and contradict the fundamental findings and methods of 20th-century sociology and genetics. The policy proposals of Newt Gingrich are the political counterpart to the flawed social theory of ^IThe Bell Curve^R. Both scholarly and readable, this is an appropriate supplement in courses such as race relations, stratification, theory, policy, and research methods. It shows the contemporary relevance of basic theoretical and methodological insights of sociology contradicted by ^IThe Bell Curve^R and other works of the new political right. Appendices present the statistical issues and the theoretical background ignored by such works. From a multi-disciplinary perspective, the authors take issue with the social policy positions of the new right concerning affirmative action, education, family, race, social class, and welfare.

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Page 147 - You do not take a person who for years has been hobbled by chains and liberate him, bring him up to the starting line of a race and then say, "you are free to compete with all the others," and still justly believe that you have been completely fair.
Page 5 - Pervading all Nature we may see at work a stern discipline which is a little cruel that it may be very kind. That state of universal warfare maintained throughout the lower creation, to the great perplexity of many worthy people, is at bottom the most merciful provision which the circumstances admit of.
Page 246 - It is thus the white majority group that naturally determines the Negro's "place." All our attempts to reach scientific explanations of why the Negroes are what they are and why they live as they do have regularly led to determinants on the white side of the race line.
Page 147 - Ability is stretched or stunted by the family that you live with, and the neighborhood you live in — by the school you go to and the poverty or the richness of your surroundings. It is the product of a hundred unseen forces playing upon the little infant, the child, and finally the man.
Page 4 - For unto every one that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance: but from him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath.
Page 262 - ... and ought not to be dissociated from it ? There is a notion, always more or less prevalent and just now vociferously expressed, that all social suffering is removable, and that it is the duty of somebody or other to remove it. Both these beliefs are false. To separate pain from ill-doing is to fight against the constitution of things, and will be followed by far more pain.
Page 159 - I hate the impudence of a claim that in fifty minutes you can judge and classify a human being's predestined fitness in life. I hate the pretentiousness of that claim. I hate the abuse of scientific method which it involves. I hate the sense of superiority which it creates, and the sense of inferiority which it imposes.
Page 9 - ... (6) diseased (including the tuberculous, the syphilitic, the leprous, and others with chronic, infectious and legally segregable diseases) ; (7) blind (including those with seriously impaired vision) ; (8) deaf (including those with seriously impaired hearing) ; (9) deformed (including the crippled) ; and (10) dependent (including orphans, ne'er-do-wells, the homeless, tramps, and paupers).

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About the author (1996)

PETER KNAPP, a Professor of Sociology at Villanova University, is author of works on social theory such as One World, Many Worlds (1994).

JANE C. KRONICK, Professor of Social Work and Social Research at Bryn Mawr College, is a well known researcher in the area of social policy.

R. WILLIAM MARKS, Associate Professor of Biology at Villanova University, specializes in genetics.

MIRIAM G. VOSBURGH, Emeritus Professor of Sociology at Villanova University, is a demographer focusing on family studies.

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