Us and Them
The Science of Identity
Other Editions of This Title:
In this award-winning book, David Berreby describes how twenty-first-century science is addressing these age-old questions. Ably linking neuroscience, social psychology, anthropology, and other fields, Us and Them investigates humanity’s “tribal mind” and how this alters our thoughts, affects our health, and is manipulated for good and ill. From the medical effects of stress to the rhetoric of politics, our perceptions of group identity affect every part of our lives. Science, Berreby argues, shows how this part of human nature is both unexpectedly important and surprisingly misunderstood.
Humans need our tribal sense—it tells us who we are, how we should behave, and links us to others as well as the past and future. Some condemn this instinct, while others celebrate it. Berreby offers in Us and Them a third alternative: how we can accept and understand our inescapable tribal mind.
“[A] brave book. . . . Berreby’s quest is to understand what he sees as a fundamental human urge to classify and identify with ‘human kinds.’”—Henry Gee, Scientific American
Praise For Us and Them: The Science of Identity…
— Jodi Forschmeidt
“What exactly is this seemingly natural tendency to sort others into ‘kinds’? This question forms the core of Us and Them, which explores the conscious and unconscious ways in which people classify one another—and more important—why.”
— Richard Lipkin
“We leap to categorize people. . . . Berreby uses mind and brain science to investigate why the human tendency to typecast is so powerful—and apparently so automatic.”
— Psychology Today
“[A] brave book. . . . Berreby’s quest is to understand what he sees as a fundamental human urge to classify and identify with ‘human kinds.’”
— Henry Gee
University of Chicago Press, 9780226044651, 396pp.
Publication Date: November 24, 2008