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Conflict Is Not Abuse

Overstating Harm, Community Responsibility, and the Duty of Repair
Narrated by: Sarah Schulman
Length: 10 hrs and 48 mins
5 out of 5 stars (2 ratings)

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Summary

From intimate relationships to global politics, Sarah Schulman observes a continuum: that inflated accusations of harm are used to avoid accountability. Illuminating the difference between conflict and abuse, Schulman directly addresses our contemporary culture of scapegoating. This deep, brave, and bold work reveals how punishment replaces personal and collective self-criticism, and shows why difference is so often used to justify cruelty and shunning.

Rooting the problem of escalation in negative group relationships, Schulman illuminates the ways cliques, communities, families, and religious, racial, and national groups bond through the refusal to change their self-concept. She illustrates how supremacy behavior and traumatized behavior resemble each other, through a shared inability to tolerate difference.

This important and sure-to-be controversial book illuminates such contemporary and historical issues of personal, racial, and geo-political difference as tools of escalation towards injustice, exclusion, and punishment, whether the objects of dehumanization are other individuals in our families or communities, people with HIV, African Americans, or Palestinians.

©2016 Sarah Schulman (P)2018 Tantor

Critic reviews

"A concluding call to address personal and social conflicts without state intervention via police and courts caps off a work that's likely to inspire much discussion." (Publishers Weekly, Starred Review)

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Profile Image for L Win
  • L Win
  • 18-01-19

Important Perspective

I really appreciate how Sarah explores the complicity of conflict in our time. She doesn't resort to simplifying and demonizing language to make a point (as we often see), and backs up her points with both research and relatable stories.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Wil2Be
  • 31-07-18

Publisher's summary is very misleading

If you are looking for a book that is written by intentionally throwing words on a page with no coherent meaning or point, if you are looking for a book that treats the author's extremely prejudiced views as fact, if you are looking for a book that presents no new ideas, no original thoughts and no solutions, look no further. The publisher's summary promises a book that "illuminates", but instead the work simply obfuscates and oversimplifies situations of conflict to set up a straw man the author can then knock down, to no real end.

2 of 16 people found this review helpful