Title

Denying Social Harm: Students’ Resistance to Lessons About Inequality

Document Type

Review

Publication Date

1-1-2009

Description

Students share folk beliefs that make it difficult for them to understand inequality, especially the harmful consequences of social practices they routinely engage in, are attached to, and take for granted. Four of these beliefs include: (a) harm is direct, extreme, and the product of an individual's intentions; (2) harm is the product of the psyche; (3) for harm to occur, there must be an individual to blame; (4) beliefs and practices that students cherish or enjoy cannot be harmful. We offer sociological ideas that counter students’ individualistic understanding of social harm.

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