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The BigotWhy Prejudice Persists$
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Stephen E Bronner

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780300162516

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: January 2015

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300162516.001.0001

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(p.13) One Modernity
The Bigot

Stephen Eric Bronner

Yale University Press

This chapter examines how modernity created the bigot and how he tries to re-create the normality of prejudice. It argues that the institutions and beliefs that the bigot holds dear are opposed to modernity, whose origins date back to the European Enlightenment and the democratic revolutions lasting from 1688 to 1789. Modernity's new capitalist production process substitutes exploitation for the bigot's hatred. In addition, modernity's fostering of pluralism and individualism hurts the bigot's sensibility. The bigot deals with modernity as best he can, yet has never felt entirely comfortable in using science to support his prejudices. He is uncertain what to make of capitalism; the logic of capitalist accumulation baffles him. He endorses inequality and the idea of competition, but only when he is on top or, better, believes he is on top. This chapter also reflects on the character of the bigot in relation to the Other and his own identity.

Keywords:   modernity, bigot, prejudice, hatred, pluralism, capitalism, inequality, competition, Other, identity

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