Friday, July 28, 2017

Postmodernist Critical Theory doomed to tear itself apart via intersectionality

From Competition over collective victimhood recognition: When perceived lack of recognition for past victimization is associated with negative attitudes towards another victimized group by Laura De Guissmé and Laurent Licata. Abstract:
Groups that perceive themselves as victims can engage in “competitive victimhood.” We propose that, in some societal circumstances, this competition bears on the recognition of past sufferings—rather than on their relative severity—fostering negative intergroup attitudes. Three studies are presented. Study 1, a survey among Sub-Saharan African immigrants in Belgium (N = 127), showed that a sense of collective victimhood was associated with more secondary anti-Semitism. This effect was mediated by a sense of lack of victimhood recognition, then by the belief that this lack of recognition was due to that of Jews' victimhood, but not by competition over the severity of the sufferings. Study 2 replicated this mediation model among Muslim immigrants (N = 125). Study 3 experimentally demonstrated the negative effect of the unequal recognition of groups' victimhood on intergroup attitudes in a fictional situation involving psychology students (N = 183). Overall, these studies provide evidence that struggle for victimhood recognition can foster intergroup conflict.
Indicative at best given the small sample size.

We are seeing a lot of this intersectional competitive victimhood here in the US where it manifests primarily for attention and government resources. Being designated as a victim might be demeaning but can be lucrative, so there is that going for it. I don't find the conclusions from above to be particularly surprising. Intersectional victimhood competition is a daily freak show. The study does, however, bring some quantification and some rigor to the analysis.

The study is interesting though from a different perspective.

In my lifetime I have seen a dramatic rise of anti-Semitism in Europe. It was always there as a casual bigotry among the elite (and especially, for reasons I don't understand, among the intellectual left) and to some extent, and primarily in a conspiracy fashion among the poorer working class.

But looking at the number of hate incidents and the polling results on bias across multiple countries in the past few decades, there has been a marked rise in anti-semitism. Initially, I assumed that this was some dynamic on the left. The intellectual left in Europe has in general been strong supporters of Palestine and their anti-Zionism morphs with great rapidity into anti-semitism.

But in the past decade or two, I had to question that assumption. Yes, I think anti-semitism is likely rising among the native born culture but I am just not seeing it, in my personal interactions with Europeans, rise at the rate that you see in the numbers. I have latterly assumed that the great jump in recorded anti-semitism must be related to the increase in muslim migration into Europe. The above study seems to indicate that this is plausible and identifies the causal mechanism for that bigotry, competitive victimhood.

No comments:

Post a Comment