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Culture of Fear (Anglais) Broché – 5 juillet 2008

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Descriptions du produit

Présentation de l'éditeur

This is a new edition of the gutsy expose of one of the most widespread delusions of our time: misplaced fear. There has never been another era in modern history, even during wartime or the Great Depression, when so many people have feared so much. In the age of 9/11, the Iraq War, financial collapse, and Amber Alerts, our society is defined by fear. But are we living in exceptionally dangerous times? Barry Glassner demonstrates that it is our perception of danger that has increased, not the actual level of risk. "The Culture of Fear" describes the high costs of living in a fear-ridden environment where realism has become rarer than doors without deadbolts. It's an expose of the people and organizations that manipulate our perceptions and profit from our fears: politicians who win elections by heightening concerns about crime, drug use, and terrorism even as they decline; advocacy groups that raise money by exaggerating the prevalence of particular diseases. In this new edition of his classic book-even more relevant now than when it was first published-Glassner spells out the prices we pay for social panics: the huge sums of money that go to waste on unnecessary programs and products as well as time and energy spent worrying about our fears.

Biographie de l'auteur

Barry Glassner is Professor of Sociology at the University of Southern California. He is the author of seven books, including Career Crash (S & S, 1994) and Bodies (Putnam, 1988). He has been quoted extensively or profiled in articles in dozens of US newspapers and magazines, including The New York Times, Time magazine, The Los Angeles Times, and USA Today. His own articles and reviews have appeared in magazines and newspapers including The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, The Chicago Tribune, and The London Review of Books. His academic research has appeared in the most prestigious journals in sociology and psychiatry. Glassner lives in Los Angeles with his wife, agent Betsey Amster.

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Détails sur le produit

  • Broché: 320 pages
  • Editeur : Basic Books; Édition : Revised edition (5 juillet 2008)
  • Langue : Anglais
  • ISBN-10: 0465003362
  • ISBN-13: 978-0465003365
  • Dimensions du produit: 14 x 2,2 x 21 cm
  • Moyenne des commentaires client : 5.0 étoiles sur 5  Voir tous les commentaires (1 commentaire client)
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Par S B 37 le 20 mars 2011
Format: Broché Achat vérifié
J'ai découvert ce livre il y a quelques années, et les thèses argumentées que l'on y trouve offrent une chance de rester lucide sur la construction médiatique et politique du monde.
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Amazon.com: 197 commentaires
87 internautes sur 92 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
look askance at major media 26 juin 2001
Par MLS - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché
Glassner took 5 years off from teaching sociology at USC to write "Culture of Fear." It certainly shows. This book is a meticulously-footnoted indictment of mass media's distortion of reality. Among the things that Glassner skewers is the media's portrayal of teen moms & young black men as destroyers of American society, road rage, plane crashes, & health woes related to breast implants. The basic premises that Glassner covers are these:
1) Mass media creates panics & hysterias from a few isolated incidents. 2) Anecdotal evidence takes the place of hard scientific proof. 3) The experts that the media trots out to make comments really don't have the credentials to be considered an expert. 4) Entire categories of people are christened as "innately dangerous" (like the aforementioned teen moms and young black men)
Sometimes Glassner's tone towards media is very snide, which may turn the reader off. Nonetheless, I came away with a new distrust of nightly news magazines, the New York Times, Washington Post, CNN, and others. Glassner goes for breadth rather than depth; many of the topics that he covered could be books in their own right. If you lean towards the Christian Conservative side, you won't like this book. Same goes for 2nd Amendment proponents, some Republicans and Libertarians.
174 internautes sur 193 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Well researched and even more relevent now 26 novembre 2002
Par D. Prorok - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié
In the course of reading Barry Glassner's "The Culture of Fear," I was surprised that Glassner took a more balanced view than I had at first expected. After being featured in left-wing muckracker, Michael Moore's latest film, "Bowling for Columbine," I had assumed Glassner, too, had produced a one-sided liberal rant about the corporate-controlled media interests. I was wrong.
While some of Glassner's conclusions may be questionable, like his statements without clear evidence that the availability of guns are almost entirely to blame for the nation's violence, much of his book is filled with example-after-example of familiar media-propagated scares of the 1990s along with well-researched statistics to debunk the myths. After reading the book, the pattern became clear of how the media spins its stories to make them deliberately misleading in order to sell fear and keep viewers and readers plugged in. I believe this educational experience has made me a more savvy and skeptical consumer of the news.
While Glassner's primary target in "The Culture of Fear" is the media, other groups are also shamed along the way (and they aren't all conservatives, either!) For instance, he spends a fair amount of time accusing feminists of propagating the silicone breast implant scares for symbolic gains even as study-after-study, some very large, involving tens of thousands of women showed no increased evidence of medical problems due to the implants.
One trend that I found amusing in many of the scares is that genuine experts are often ignored in the propagation of the fears. When genuine experts are consulted and disagree with the media's spin, their rational hard-facts explanations are often dismissed with a brush of the hand from the interviewer and followed by a, "but what about all the children?" or "but you can't deny people are suffering?" when there may be no connection between the suffering and the purported cause or the chances of the threat occurring being several times less likely than being struck by lightning. Instead, for airline safety stories, we rely on "seasoned traveler" Joe Blow, as if by riding an airplane a couple times a month Joe is an expert or we rely on college student and self-proclaimed researcher, Marty Rimm, for all that is known about Cyberporn and our children's exposure to it. (Rimm achieved earlier fame by manipulating the media in high school with a trumped-up scare of teenagers spending time in New Jersey casinos. Later debunked, you'd think the media would be more skeptical of him when he applied his manipulation tactics again.) The pattern is similar: when reporters are trying to propagate a scare, they find whomever they can to agree with their pre-decided point-of-view, not matter their dubious qualifications, and ignore anyone who casts doubt on the sensationalized arguments, regardless of their authority.
Yes, I am sure there are conclusions within the book that will make conservatives irate, like the observation that it is poverty that causes crime, not race or crack, but it is interesting to find out that in an era when crime rates were dropping, coverage of crime increased 600%, thus creating an impression on the public that crime is out of control. And, no, things aren't any worse now than they were before...a lot of bad things happened in the past, too, like kids killing kids, but it is the media coverage, not the trend that is growing.
Overall, it is a good read and well-documented. Most of the spin is transparent enough to separate it from the interesting factual data contained within it. If you are living in fear of terrorism or any of the other scare-du-jour, this book is definitely worth a read.
28 internautes sur 28 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
A timely call to courage for a nation of Chicken Littles and the politicians/media who encourage them 16 octobre 2006
Par Jason Mierek - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché
"We have the resources to feed, house, educate, insure, and disarm our communities if we resolve to do so....We can choose to redirect some...funds to combate serious dangers that threaten large numbers of people. At election time, we can choose candidates that proffer programs rather than scares." (p. 210)

With these concluding words, sociologist Barry Glassner underscores the basic premise of his book---Americans live in a culture in which extreme irrational fears are stoked while more serious (but less sexy) concerns are downplayed or ignored. Over the course of nine chapters, each focusing on a different "genre" of fear-mongering, Glassner dissects the most widely discussed terrors du jour (e.g., moral panics, violent crime, terrorism, infectious diseases like SARS, airplane crashes, etc.) and asks why it is that we tend to ignore serious, chronic, systemic problems like homelessness and malnutrition among American children in favor of flashy "threats" like West Nile Virus and school shootings.

His answer, such as it is, is that this culture of fear results from the intersection of political ideology, mass media pandering, and monomaniacal advocacy. So, for example, the obvious denominator common to all gun crimes, the relative ease with which guns can be acquired, is ignored or written-off in favor of moral or psychological explanations. That most child abuse, kidnapping, and murder occurs within the family unit gets less press than "don't talk to strangers," perhaps because we collectively fear what the examination of the "family" recommended by this data would reveal. SARS and West Nile Disease eclipse coverage of and response to a real killer, malaria; the spectacle of airplane crashes fills disproporationately more headlines than the far more risky rush hour commute; politicians pander to racist fears to win election. Glassner does an admirable job of debunking some very popular fears while also indicating more substantial concerns that require our attention.

The book is not perfect. His focus on systemic issues and his insistence that we use our national wealth for the benefit of all will rankle many who brace at this "liberalism" or "socialism." (To that, my response is that educating, feeding, housing, and immunizing children takes precendence over any ideological commitments, right or left, but I digress.) The book would definitely benefit from an update that takes into account the new-and-improved culture of fear we call "post-911 America." As well, perhaps Glassner or his editors felt that the book needed to be bigger, because the author spreads himself too thinly at times with the result that some chapters are less essential than others. My final criticism is that the book provides very little in terms of resources to respond to our culture of fear-mongering. How do we become more media savvy? How do we face up to "conservative" rhetoric that avoids systemic solutions to systemic problems? How do we become more "fear-proof" as individuals? A chapter on resources would be great in future editions.

In sum, this is a good antidote to much of the chicken-little behaviour that characterizes our national discourse and water cooler conversation. It is well-written and easily readable.
25 internautes sur 25 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Media scare tactics 10 septembre 2010
Par Tinker - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché Achat vérifié
I knew that the media exaggerated certain situations in the news but I had no idea how far off statistically these concerns are from the truth. What this book does is not only show what the problem isn't, but what the true problems are that we need to address. The real problems are getting lost because they are more complicated than what can be said in scary sound bites and harder to solve. This book helps to put all the, supposedly, scary things into perspective. I consider myself a skeptic but I watch alot of media and some of it got by me this book helped me to sort it out.
25 internautes sur 27 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Should be required reading... 15 décembre 2002
Par Alex Nichols, author of Shadow Rock - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché
Barry Glassner's "The Culture of Fear" is a timely examination of the gluttonous Misinformation Age. Every day we are saturated with stories of freak accidents, diseases, and gruesome crimes, all of which are statistical anomalies. I'm reminded of the Newsweek cover that came out about ten years ago proclaiming that a woman over 35 had a better chance of being killed by a terrorist than of getting married. That article, and others like it, lead Susan Faludi to write "Backlash", a groundbreaking look at how the media and institutions in power distort information. "The Culture of Fear" is just as groundbreaking and fascinating as Faludi's book. I'm sure sociology classes across the country are reading both of them.
One need only look at recent news reportage to see that Glassner has a vital point to be made. The child kidnappings over the recent summer dominated headlines and sensationalized news programs. Yet, as Glassner points out, of the 64 million kids in the US (1999 statistics) only about 200 a year are kidnapped by nonfamily members. The vast majority -- still only .001 of all children -- are kidnapped in custody disputes. None of this minimizes the pain of the families involved, but why do these stories tie up the news for months on end?
Consider the following contrast: on the day that Elizabeth Smart was kidnapped from her home, 30,000 children in the Third World died because they lacked the items of necessity that most US kids take for granted. Where is the coverage on this? Where is the outrage?
Glassner seems to believe that it is precisely the staggering state of crisis we live in that has lead to trivial and sensationalized news. The real ills of society -- corporate malfeasance, massive job insecurity, abusive families, addiction, imbalances of power both at home and abroad -- are simply too overwealming for an emotionally taxed culture to handle. Just as we grab for junk food because it's easier than preparing something better for us, we grab for junk news.
And, just as junk food is bad for us in the long run, so, says Glassner, is the state of the news. Our collective fears over the crime rates have lead to tougher penalties and more prisons, including tough sentences for comparitively minor crimes. The prevelence of guns, along with irrational fears about the likelihood of finding ourselves in peril, have made us the First World nation with the highest rates of handgun death, both homicide and suicide. And meanwhile, real outrages like the Enron scandal barely rate a mention in the voting booths. By feeding our irrational fears, we are ignoring the real problems that plague us.
"The Culture of Fear" is a fascinating and important book. It would be an excellent choice for book clubs and high school ethics classes.
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