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Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents…
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Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents (Thorndike Press Large Print Nonfiction) (edição 2021)

por Isabel Wilkerson (Autor)

MembrosCríticasPopularidadeAvaliação médiaMenções
4,3311672,737 (4.44)239
""As we go about our daily lives, caste is the wordless usher in a darkened theater, flashlight cast down in the aisles, guiding us to our assigned seats for a performance. The hierarchy of caste is not about feelings or morality. It is about power--which groups have it and which do not." In this brilliant book, Isabel Wilkerson gives us a masterful portrait of an unseen phenomenon in America as she explores, through an immersive, deeply researched narrative and stories about real people, how America today and throughout its history has been shaped by a hidden caste system, a rigid hierarchy of human rankings. Beyond race, class, or other factors, there is a powerful caste system that influences people's lives and behavior and the nation's fate. Linking the caste systems of America, India, and Nazi Germany, Wilkerson explores eight pillars that underlie caste systems across civilizations, including divine will, bloodlines, stigma, and more. Using riveting stories about people--including Martin Luther King, Jr., baseball's Satchel Paige, a single father and his toddler son, Wilkerson herself, and many others--she shows the ways that the insidious undertow of caste is experienced every day. She documents how the Nazis studied the racial systems in America to plan their out-cast of the Jews; she discusses why the cruel logic of caste requires that there be a bottom rung for those in the middle to measure themselves against; she writes about the surprising health costs of caste, in depression and life expectancy, and the effects of this hierarchy on our culture and politics. Finally, she points forward to ways America can move beyond the artificial and destructive separations of human divisions, toward hope in our common humanity. Beautifully written, original, and revealing, Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents is an eye-opening story of people and history, and a reexamination of what lies under the surface of ordinary lives and of America life today"--… (mais)
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Título:Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents (Thorndike Press Large Print Nonfiction)
Autores:Isabel Wilkerson (Autor)
Informação:Thorndike Press Large Print (2021), Edition: Large type / Large print, 678 pages
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Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents por Isabel Wilkerson

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Mostrando 1-5 de 166 (seguinte | mostrar todos)
This is an amazing book. An important book. And, at times, extremely hard to take. Dissecting the similarities between Nazi Germany, the Jim Crow Era Southern United States, and the caste system of India, a common thread of human rankings emerges. And it is troubling, to say the least. Interspersed are the author's own experiences as a woman of color, demonstrating the continued prevalence of racism in modern times, as well as historical vignettes that stand as yet more reminders that no matter how much I learn, there are still new horrors to discover about life in my home country before the Civil Rights Movement. But the point of this book isn't to shame anyone. No one alive today was around during slavery. But as the author points out, when you have a house with structural issues, you don't stand around claiming that because you didn't cause the problems, you shouldn't have to address them. No, you fix the problems with the house, no matter how many generations ago the damage was done. Same with one's country. ( )
  melydia | Jun 13, 2024 |
Overview:
A caste system creates divisions and hierarchy. Caste ranks human values. Pits the presumed supremacy of one group, against the presumed inferiority of another. Caste systems are socially constructed. They are a social infrastructure that maintains itself by giving people subconscious instructions. Members keep to arbitrary boundaries, and keep to their assigned roles. Unlike class which is a malleable social standing depending on socioeconomic status. Caste is usually immutable and based on ancestry. Caste assigns meaning to people, and the roles they are permitted or required to perform. Caste systems determine power, resource allocation, and many psychological attributes.

The social problems of caste cannot be resolved by avoiding them. Ignoring the past does not reduce its impact on the present. Social problems have historic precedents, which need to be understood to consider how to resolve them. Even though the inheritors of the caste system might not have created the problem or participated in persecution, they are still responsible for the problems, to prevent further deterioration, and find resolutions.

Hierarchy, and its Maintenance:
Caste can take on many forms. Assigning power based on where the individual is from, the individual’s religion, or even race. The focus of this book is on race. Human hierarchies are older than race divisions. Race hierarchies are relatively new. Race was proven a fiction by DNA. Race is a social construct, that is held as a sacred truth.

The meaning of racism has been eroded. Racism is seen as an overt expression of hatred against another group based on race. The problem caused by having this narrow view of racism, prevents considering the toxic behaviors that form racism. Racism are the experienced toxic behaviors and social instruction gathered over life. Exposing individual racist acts or people distracts from considering the system that created the individual.

Within a racial caste, purity determines status. Depending on the classification of how pure the ancestry should be, determines admittance to the dominant caste. With the Unites States, even a little bit of impurity would disqualify someone from the dominant caste.

Rather than give negative characteristics to individuals, it is much easer to stigmatize a group. Group stigmatization results in loss of individuality. To continue stigmatization, all it takes is silence by those who disagree. Rewarding those who participate in providing terror.

A stigma used against lower caste members is to make them appear polluted. That contact with the lower caste can pollute the upper caste. Much of the pollution or dirtiness came from the type of work that ancestors did.

When the lower caste starts to succeed, it creates a violent backlash. Success is not an assigned role of the lower caste. Myths of superiority are given to upper caste members. Who will do not permit lower caste member achievements, to prevent appearance of equality.

To survive, the lower caste members need to become experts in understanding the behavior and thoughts of the upper caste members. They must learn to adjust themselves to the upper caste expectations.

Even without physical violence, the caste system can still hurt lower caste members. Psychological attacks, such as prejudice, can cause many physical reactions that increases the risk of premature death.

Comparisons:
India, Nazi Germany, and United States are three caste systems that are provided and compared with. Focusing mainly on United States caste systems.

Race is how American caste system assigns power. Before race, religion defined power. Christianity defined status, privileging those coming from Europeans. The native population formed the lower caste and forced to work, while the Europeans were exempt. As the native population proved difficult to enslave, the colonists imported Africans. When slavery was ending, laws were created to keep the lower caste members in their status. Breaching the caste system meant danger, and even death. An American paradox of proclaiming liberty for all, while holding subsets of citizens in subjugation.

India’s caste system is based on surnames. Bound to a belief in reincarnation that the one’s circumstance is based on prior life’s deeds.

Nazis looked to the United States for guidance on racial separation and purity.

Difficulty of Resolutions:
Within caste systems, there are consequences to belonging to different groups. Understanding the humanity of the lower caste, means not being able to avoid recognizing the harm done to them. This recognition is seen as a defect by the upper caste members. Upper caste members can persecute their member who shows sympathy with the lower caste members.

It is very difficult to stand against the group that is persecuting others. Standing against injustice has consequences, such as scorn from society.

Identifying offenders will not actually stop the underlying problem. Need to address the causes of the underlying behavior.

Forgiveness can be seen as absolution for problems. Even though the problems keep continuing, forgiveness is being asked of.

Caveats?
The book is polarizing. Historic events and institutions are simplified. The details left out would have provided a more complex understanding of the situation. The details that are kept, are those that make the argument against the upper caste appear stronger. Making nearly all upper caste members appear to be persecuting others with hatred, while the lower caste members appear mostly innocent.

The focus on negative reinforcement of caste, perpetuates negative values. The author makes the case that creating an understanding that lower caste members have value is a resolution to the caste system, but there are not many positive values provided. The showcased experiences of lower caste individuals, are all negative. But, lower caste individuals have a lot of diverse experiences, not all of which are negative.

To end the caste system, the main solution appears to be enlightenment. For the upper caste people to become enlightened, they need an understanding that difference caste individuals have value. This is problematic because it appears that only the upper caste individuals need enlightenment. Every individual, no matter the caste, can become enlightened and understand that others have value. Each individual can do a lot to improve social situations.

Communication is needed for the different caste members to understand each other’s values. And the author asks to listen to other caste members. The problem is that this is not simple. As the author points out, that given the sensitivity of the topic, many will pretend that there is no need to discuss the topic because they are not part of the problem. But there is more to the reason why it is difficult to talk about topic, as often it is neither side which wants to allow the other side to speak. In many contexts, the discussions stop when complexity is introduced. When the other side expresses experiences or history that the other side denies. Ending discussions with more prejudice. Discussion and communication are needed to resolve the divisions and conflicts that exist, but that require a willingness of each side to listen and engage with the other side, rather than just dismiss their views.

Within the book, everything is seen through a racial perspective. There are other reasons than just race. Which the author recognizes, but does not provide the other reasons. From politics, to individual behaviors, everything appears to be just about race. Alternative explanations are not really considered.

There are many groups that faced racial discrimination in the United States, but the focus is mainly on Black experiences. There is a lack of information about how other groups handled the discrimination. Considering how other groups overcame or did not overcome racial discrimination, can provide guidance as to how Black individuals can overcome racial discrimination.
( )
  Eugene_Kernes | Jun 4, 2024 |
The three star rating is not so much about Wilkerson's arguments about caste systems. Instead, the rating represents the organization of the book. After a general discussion, Wilkerson makes a case for eight pillars that underlie caste systems. Within each of these chapters the author bounces back and forth between her ideas about an American caste system and the caste system in India. Interspersed throughout are quotes from historians and sociologists to support her assertions. I found all this non-linear bouncing back and forth between countries and different caste systems to be distracting. I think it took away from Wilkerson's message. That is just my perspective and I realize many other readers were fine with the structure of the book. ( )
1 vote Ann_R | May 25, 2024 |
A disturbing look at the way Caste affects a society, especially the U.S. Isabel Wilkerson gives us a masterful portrait of an unseen phenomenon in America as she explores, through an immersive, deeply researched, and beautifully written narrative and stories about real people , how America today and throughout history has been shaped by a hidden caste system
, a rigid hierarchy of huma. Rankings.
Beyond race, class, or other factors, there is a powerful caste system that influences people’s lives and behavior and the nation’s fate. Linking the caste system of America, India, and Nazi Germany, Wilkerson explores eight pillars that underlie caste systems across civilizations, including divine will, bloodlines, stigma, and more. She documents how the Nazis studied the racial systems in America to plan their outcasting of Jews; she discusses why the cruel logic of caste requires that there be a bottom rung for those in the middle to measure themselves against; she writes about surprising health costs of caste, in depression, and life expectancy, and the effects of this hierarchy on our culture and politics. ( )
1 vote creighley | May 13, 2024 |
This is a tough read, not because it is difficult, but because the subject matter is so difficut to read about. There is so much to be taken from it, but one thing that has stuck is how there are no statues of Nazis in Germany, but we have (or had) plenty of statues of Confederates. They have monuments to the Jews, but we have had few monuments until very recently to the slaves. ( )
  spounds | Apr 24, 2024 |
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A memorable, provocative book that exposes an American history in which few can take pride.
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» Adicionar outros autores (3 possíveis)

Nome do autorPapelTipo de autorObra?Estado
Wilkerson, Isabelautor principaltodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Miles, RobinNarradorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado

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Caste is insidious and therefore powerful because it is not hatred, it is not necessarily personal. It is the worn grooves of comforting routines and unthinking expectations, patterns of a social order that have been in place for so long that it looks like the natural order of things.
The human impulse to create hierarchies runs across societies and cultures, predates the idea of race, and thus is farther reaching, deeper, and older than raw racism and the comparatively new division of humans by skin color.
Except that this was and is our country and this was and is who we are, whether we have known or recognized it or not.
The most respected and beneficent of society people oversaw forced labor camps that were politely called plantations, concentrated with hundreds of unprotected prisoners, whose crime was that they were born with dark skin. Good and loving mothers and fathers, pillars of their communities, personally, inflicted, gruesome tortures upon their fellow human beings.
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""As we go about our daily lives, caste is the wordless usher in a darkened theater, flashlight cast down in the aisles, guiding us to our assigned seats for a performance. The hierarchy of caste is not about feelings or morality. It is about power--which groups have it and which do not." In this brilliant book, Isabel Wilkerson gives us a masterful portrait of an unseen phenomenon in America as she explores, through an immersive, deeply researched narrative and stories about real people, how America today and throughout its history has been shaped by a hidden caste system, a rigid hierarchy of human rankings. Beyond race, class, or other factors, there is a powerful caste system that influences people's lives and behavior and the nation's fate. Linking the caste systems of America, India, and Nazi Germany, Wilkerson explores eight pillars that underlie caste systems across civilizations, including divine will, bloodlines, stigma, and more. Using riveting stories about people--including Martin Luther King, Jr., baseball's Satchel Paige, a single father and his toddler son, Wilkerson herself, and many others--she shows the ways that the insidious undertow of caste is experienced every day. She documents how the Nazis studied the racial systems in America to plan their out-cast of the Jews; she discusses why the cruel logic of caste requires that there be a bottom rung for those in the middle to measure themselves against; she writes about the surprising health costs of caste, in depression and life expectancy, and the effects of this hierarchy on our culture and politics. Finally, she points forward to ways America can move beyond the artificial and destructive separations of human divisions, toward hope in our common humanity. Beautifully written, original, and revealing, Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents is an eye-opening story of people and history, and a reexamination of what lies under the surface of ordinary lives and of America life today"--

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