This unique collection brings together selections from the work that has defined our understanding of racism. Every significant contribution to the analysis of racism over the past 50 years are comprised in this one book, including extracts from Myrdal's An American Dilemma, Cox's Marxist theory, Carmichael and Hamilton's introduction of the term ‘institutional racism’ and recent textual analyses. Ordered chronologically, so that the reader can work through the narrative of changes coherently, each contribution is introduced by the editors and the whole collection is bound together by introductory and concluding chapters. The result is an unparalleled teaching and study resource. No other book presents the highlights, range and complexity of the various attempts to unravel racism, in such a comprehensive and panoramic way.
Chapter 8: The Authoritarian Personality
The Authoritarian Personality
In 1944, the year in which An American Dilemma was published, the American Jewish Committee invited scholars of various backgrounds to a conference on ‘religious and racial prejudice’. At the conference, a research program was outlined; its objective was to seek a solution to antisemitism. Six years later, the research bore fruit in the form of The Authoritarian Personality. As in Myrdal's work, ‘social organization’ was emphasized over ‘racial heredity’; though Adorno et al. were specifically interested in how membership of a cultural group affected psychological characteristics.
The first extract reproduced here was authored by Daniel J. Levinson and outlines the theoretical approach of the study. Its conclusions may look unexceptional today, but the research was ...