Contempt and Pity: Social Policy and the Image of the by Daryl Michael Scott

By Daryl Michael Scott

For over a century, the concept that African americans are psychologically broken has performed a big position in discussions of race. during this provocative paintings, Daryl Michael Scott argues that harm imagery has been the fabricated from liberals and conservatives, of racists and antiracists. whereas racial conservatives, frequently taking part in on white contempt for blacks, have sought to take advantage of findings of black pathology to justify exclusionary guidelines, racial liberals have used harm imagery basically to advertise rules of inclusion and rehabilitation. In advancing his argument, Scott demanding situations a few long-held ideals in regards to the historical past of wear imagery. He rediscovers the liberal impulses in the back of Stanley Elkins's Sambo speculation and Daniel Patrick Moynihan's Negro kin and exposes the wear imagery within the paintings of Ralph Ellison, the top anti-pathologist. He additionally corrects the view that the Chicago university depicted blacks as pathological items of matriarchy. New Negro specialists reminiscent of Charles Johnson and E. Franklin Frazier, he says, disdained sympathy-seeking and avoided exploring person pathology. Scott's reassessment of social technological know-how sheds new gentle on Brown v. Board of schooling, revealing how specialists reversed 4 many years of concept as a way to signify segregation as inherently harmful to blacks. during this arguable paintings, Scott warns the Left of the hazards of their fresh rediscovery of wear imagery in an age of conservative reform.

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Extra info for Contempt and Pity: Social Policy and the Image of the Damaged Black Psyche, 1880-1996

Sample text

In the post-World War II era, psychology became a vital part of the language of political protest, particularly for liberals. The liberal use of damage imagery to make a psychiatric appeal for black equality tapped into the humanitarian impulse of a culture devoted to psychological well-being and self-fulfillment. 4 I have used the term racial conservative to describe those who believed that people of African descent should be prevented from entering into the mainstream of society. Toward this end, they supported segregation, the exclusion of blacks from political participation, and, on occasion, the exportation of blacks from America.

In general, the funding sources and those who controlled publishing seemed uninterested in either promoting or preventing the publication of damage imagery. As we shall see, the authors were free to downplay damage imagery even when those commissioning research desired to study black personality problems. The funding sources and the publishers seemed to exert virtually no pressure on social scientists to create or reject damage imagery. While the issue of influence by funding sources lies outside of the purview of this study, I have little doubt that the social science apparatusthe professions, the funding sources, and the publishershad more to do with the decline than with the rise of damage imagery.

For well over a generation, most intellectual Page xvii historians have rejected the notion that ideas have a life of their own or that they have a certain logic that forces itself upon thinkers. 20 For a longer period, intellectual historians, influenced by the sociology of knowledge, have accepted the view that social scientists are unable to overcome bias or the social and intellectual context in which they labor. 21 I have given less attention to the role that social science institutions and funding sources played in creating the image of the damaged black psyche.

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