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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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Playing the Role

Playing the Role

(p.99) Three Playing the Role
The Bigot

Stephen Eric Bronner

Yale University Press

This chapter examines the roles played by the bigot as a righteous true believer, an insufferable elitist, and a resentful chauvinist. It explains how each role offers the bigot the comforts of conformity and an illusory sense of singularity, and argues that the particular rationality he chooses is intertwined with the particular role he plays. It also claims that all the roles played by the bigot buttress an “affirmative culture” supposedly superior to any other, giving him an entirely self-referential way of living in the world. The bigot employs homogenous stereotypes for making sense of both himself and the Other, but is naive when it comes to the myths that empower his prejudice. His roles turn him from a “nobody” into a “somebody.” The roles played by the bigot are not reducible to his bigotry, and each offers him a refuge from pluralism and the demands for democracy and social justice raised by the subaltern.

Keywords:   bigot, true believer, elitist, chauvinist, rationality, affirmative culture, stereotypes, prejudice, bigotry, subaltern

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