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The Rise of Victimhood Culture: Microaggressions, Safe Spaces, and the New Culture Wars

4.37  ·  Rating details ·  188 ratings  ·  37 reviews
The Rise of Victimhood Culture offers a framework for understanding recent moral conflicts at U.S. universities, which have bled into society at large. These are not the familiar clashes between liberals and conservatives or the religious and the secular: instead, they are clashes between a new moral culture—victimhood culture—and a more traditional culture of dignity. Eve ...more
Kindle Edition, 308 pages
Published March 7th 2018 by Palgrave Macmillan (first published February 12th 2018)
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Lea Grigsby The authors reference this work several times and provide a well developed explanation of why the strategies embraced by higher education admins (nota…moreThe authors reference this work several times and provide a well developed explanation of why the strategies embraced by higher education admins (notably about safe spaces and trigger warnings) are often at opposition from the techniques therapists embrace with cognitive behavior therapy. I believe these two books compliment each other and should be considered together and independently.(less)

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Caleb Hoyer
Jul 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was unbelievably thought-provoking, and deals with subjects that I simply find endlessly fascinating. Much like The Once and Future Liberal, another book I recently read, I was wary of this book. I even took pains in public not to display the cover, lest people think I was merrily reading a conservative screed against people within marginalized populations who they wish would keep quiet and stop their whining. Luckily, I found the content of the book to be anything but. It is written b ...more
Jeanette
Aug 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Superb and utmost in high end for a scale of "difficult to read" category non-fiction. The definitions and source material alone- those two aspects are beyond mighty. Pages and pages of reference and sources after each chapter. This author duo is brilliant in category and languages for abstract definitions. And do they know Social Anthropology and Human Cultural / Social Psychology/ Sociology.

This Bradley Campbell (and Manning) finally made me understand the differences between Honor Cultures a
...more
Tom
Dec 27, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: culture
This is a timely book given the rise of microaggression programs and victimhood culture in the US in recent years, especially on college and university campuses.

The authors admit that they are charting new terrain and they stake a claim in establishing victimhood culture as the new moral culture of our times (previous moral cultures were: honor culture and dignity culture).

Campell and Manning focus exclusively on college and university campuses for their research, since that is where the micro
...more
Jenny Olechowski
Apr 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sociology, psych
Finally

...a scholarly look into society rather than a collection of judgments. A worthwhile read for those interested in thinking through complex issues rather than the (unfortunately) easier “just tell me what to think .”
Jakub Ferencik
I have been noticing a pattern of extreme emotionalism at universities. There are many good reasons to be provoked, understandably. Some are unfortunately not good enough.

One can think of Milo Yiannopoulos and his racial slurs at the actress Leslie Jones, or Ann Coulter and her anti-Islamist sentiment post- September 11. Not to mention the numerous news anchors that display ignorance & political bias to the extreme point of resembling a marketing technique rather than authenticity. Candace Owens
...more
Letitia Todd Kim
Worrisome AF. The authors, two sociologists, explain the origin, nature, and possible future of the “victimhood culture” that has proliferated in the West and made a farce out of academia, public discourse (such as it is), and to an increasing degree workplace relations and public policy. Everyone sane recognizes this horrid culture by its fetid fruits: micro-aggressions, safe spaces, intolerance of dissenting opinions, oppression Olympics, shameless virtue signaling, and most frightening of all ...more
Tara Brabazon
Aug 07, 2020 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Trigger warning.

Don't read this book... Because it is dreadful.

This ill-theorized 'research' - supposedly located in sociology - is brittle, narrow, decontextualized and located in a very small echo chamber. The nonsense in the book bounces around, citing synergetic nonsense to create a waterfall of bonkers, weird, limited and JUST SAD arguments.

The book summons all the Trumpian triggers: victimhood, microaggressions and safe spaces. It does not explore - historically - why they exist. Instead -
...more
Oliver
May 19, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A very timely scholarly look at the rise of victimhood culture, especially at US universities (but I can think of examples in Europe as well). Discusses microaggressions, safe spaces, triggers and problems of free speech through practical examples and some theoretical discussions. Perhaps a bit lacking in international comparison and answering the ‘why here and now’.
Timothy Nelms
Jan 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellent scholar level intro to victimhood culture.....the co-author Jason Manning of WVU spoke at our local Humanist group , and I continue to have interest , read in this area.......part of what I see as a problem area ‘ on our/liberalism side’ which turns possible voters away , is not liberal ,seems ideological , and is in error......
Jorge Rodighiero
It's truly a thorough review of certain phenomena arising in our modern western society, explained in an unbiased and historical way.
I was pretty surprised about how they were able to not straw-man the other side of their argument, fulfilling the sociological mission they set up to do.
...more
Bischof von Limburg
Excellent analysis of all the non-sense that currently is taking place at our society. Im afraid that there will not be movies such as "dirty harry" again in the near future. ...more
Ben
Sep 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is easily the most important book I've read in years. For any American who grew up in the era when "trauma" meant something so negative that it was outside the range of normal human experience, not just an unpleasant experience; when a "trigger" was something that caused a PTSD flashback, not just an annoying stimulus; before "microaggressions" and "safe spaces" existed; before "social justice" became a mechanism for dividing societies into oppressors (who can do only wrong) and oppressed ( ...more
Ben
Oct 25, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: culture-society
The Rise of Victimhood Culture might at first sound like a work of polemics, but it's not. Rather, it's a scholarly study written by two sociologists, Bradley Campbell and Jason Manning, about the rise of what they call a new "moral culture," one that is distinct in both its causes and effects from the the historical moral cultures of America. As a sign of how quickly this moral culture is spreading, this book confines most of its discussion to manifestations of victimhood culture on college cam ...more
Hina
Apr 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: social-issues, usa, 2019
I’m not an academic or student; I’m what the book calls an “outsider” to this world of victimhood culture on college campuses. I’ve been reading about the plague of microaggressions, safe spaces, and campus protests across universities in North America for the past few years and have been baffled by what’s going on. If you’re like me and want to understand what’s happened across academia that’s brought about such a rapid transformation in our society and culture, this is the first book you shoul ...more
Philip
Dec 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Thorough and eye-opening review of what's driving much of the radical culture shifts away from "dignity" cultures towards "victimhood" cultures. ...more
Donald A
May 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Similar to what was addressed in "The Coddling of the American Mind" by Jonathan Haidt & Greg Lukianoff, sociologists Bradley Campbell and Jason Manning take a closer look at the phenomenon happening on certain college campuses: the introduction of ideas like microaggressions, safe spaces, trigger warnings, etc.

It's important I emphasize (just like "Coddling") that these college incidents seem to be more isolated to elite universities and among affluent families and do not seem to be a reflectio
...more
Ahmad
Jan 02, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A spectacular, eye opening, world view changing book. It talks about the rise of the culture of victimhood, with a great deal of focus on college campuses in the US, but the content of the author's theories and reasoning for the rise of the culture is applicable to the world as well given that this culture exists outside of campuses and all over the world. It talks about the different types of cultures, how different parts of the world can fall under two kinds of cultures, a culture of dignity, ...more
Brandon H.
This is one of those books that was under my radar but came to my attention after Professor John C. Lennox recommended it in one of his recent books. I decided to check it out and while the subject matter wasn't exactly exciting, it is very informative and insightful. I'm glad I read it. And I would love to see it become a best seller. The message is very important for the times we live in.

In The Rise of Victimhood Culture, the two sociologist authors examine the rising victimhood culture and co
...more
Dave
Nov 08, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Victimhood culture: not just for the left anymore!

The authors trace the development of:

Honor culture: More like, reputation culture. When law enforcement is weak, or you're outside the law (mafia, gangs), people settle disputes with violence. The smallest slight must be addressed because if you develop a reputation for weakness you'll be taken advantage of in bigger ways.

Dignity culture: When law enforcement is strong and just, and communities are strong, you can refer conflicts to a third party
...more
Daniel Apfelbaum
A student group at Columbia demanded the administration remove a statue of Thomas Jefferson, author of the Declaration of Independence and third President of the United States, because Jefferson was a slave holder who fathered children with one of his slaves. According to a statement from the group, "venerating Thomas Jefferson validates rape, sexual violence, and racism on this campus". (...) Students at Oxford and the University of Capetown mounted campaigns to remove statues of Cecil Rhodes, ...more
Vincent Brady
Jun 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A timely book dealing with the rise of identity politics and victimhood culture in the English speaking world. Established on university campuses it has spread to the media and is starting to manifest in big corporations. It views society in terms of oppression and victimisation on the basis of sex, race, sexuality and gender identification.Safetyism has become paramount in universities where students are felt to need protection not just physically but from perceived harmful ideas which might tr ...more
Caleb Sommerville
A hard read. It wasn't difficult to understand (although it was very dry and academic). It wasn't hard because the subject matter was so foreign (I live in a large city, hang out with many left-leaning friends, have Twitter, read Reddit, went to the University of Kansas, etc.). It was hard because it made me sad.
Two sociologists focus their considerable patience and understanding onto the new world of microaggressions, and it's harrowing. They don't mean for it to be harrowing (a massive point
...more
Charles Eliot
Aug 16, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Dry and academic, but clear, easy-to-read, and important.

The message of "The Rise of Victimhood Culture" is hard to deliver and hard to hear: "your aims are admirable, but your means are in question". Understanding the world from the point-of-view of victims of systemic oppression (an exercise in empathy) is a fine goal, but the authors argue convincingly that the microaggressions program used in pursuit of this goal is illogical, unsustainable, and leads to paradoxical outcomes. They are equall
...more
Andrew
Apr 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
If you’re interested in understanding what exactly is happening

This is a helpful book if you’re bewildered by the sensationalist outrage trend sweeping the country. Campuses have become an incubator for a new culture of political belligerents who subscribe to the notion that your degree of intersectional victimhood (or lack thereof) and not your character, determines your moral agency. One scary aspect of this trend is that would be opponents of such a mentality are starting to adopt its tactics
...more
Judi
Jul 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Authors explain the rise of ideas of microaggressions and the efforts to limit free speech through the lens of sociology. They take pains to emphasize that what they are doing s explanatory, showing values which different people prioritize and the conditions that seem to accompany different moral frameworks. Still, even calling it a negative term such as “Victimhood Culture” makes it clear they are not fans of the way things are going on certain campuses, and at the end of the book they give ide ...more
Lea Grigsby
Jan 11, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2021-books, fiction
This book should be required reading for anyone working in higher education in the US. Sociologist Bradley Campbell and Jason Manning present an thoroughly researched and well developed explanation of the sociology of conflict, and adequately explain the rise from an honor culture, to a dignity culture to a victimhood culture. Use of science, rather than value laden, insights are are well presented and beautifully explained. I found myself highlighting so much of this book that this one will nev ...more
Chris Lira
Feb 28, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have read a number of books on political correctness, the rampant PC and intolerance on college campuses, etc., but this one is a bit different. The authors are sociologists, and this is a bit more academic in its approach. That's not necessarily bad, but there's a lot more theory, honor culture vs. dignity culture, etc. I would recommend The Coddling of the American Mind instead if someone is looking for something a but more topical. ...more
Eirik Vinje
Feb 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The ultimate book on the victimhood culture, including microagression, safe spaces, triggering and other self harming concept invented in US Academia and now spreading all over the West.

Although the culture itself is outrageous and often absurd, the book explains it in soft spoken, logical, neutral manner and puts it neatly into the history of moral cultures.

A must read for anyone pondering where the current Western culture is heading.
Nate
Apr 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
As a professor myself, I cannot recommend this book highly enough!

This book is written well, seemingly more for an academic audience, but is still a very thorough and in-depth review of much of the issue we face on college campuses. Should be read by all!
Jaclynn
Aug 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The authors, two sociologists, explain the origin, nature, and possible future of the “victimhood culture” that has proliferated in the West and made a farce out of academia, public discourse (such as it is), and to an increasing degree workplace relations and public policy. Very accessible!
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“Magnifying small offenses, mind reading by identifying subconscious thoughts even the offenders are unaware of, and labeling others as aggressors are all integral to the microaggression program but possibly harmful to mental health.” 1 likes
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