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Envy: A Theory of Social Behavior (Anglais) Broché – 1 janvier 1987

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Envy was first published in German in 1966, then in an English translation in 1970. This classic study is one of the few books to explore extensively the many facets of envy -- "a drive which lies at the core of man's life as a social being." Ranging widely over literature, philosophy, psychology, and the social sciences, Professor Schoeck -- a distinguished sociologist and anthropologist -- elucidates both the constructive and destructive consequences of envy in social life. Perhaps most importantly he demonstrates that not only the impetus toward a totalitarian regime but also the egalitarian impulse in democratic societies are alike in being rooted in envy.

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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur (beta) HASH(0x94546158) étoiles sur 5 27 commentaires
76 internautes sur 79 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
HASH(0x9395cd38) étoiles sur 5 Brilliant 3 janvier 2001
Par Aaron Jordan - Publié sur
Format: Broché Achat vérifié
I will never look at politics, society, or myself in the same way ever again. This book is a masterpiece, and Helmut Schoeck does an outstanding job of showing just how influential and pervasive the emotion of envy is in society. He studies societies all over the globe and shows us one of human nature's uglier aspects which seems to be universal. I found in this book many lessons for myself personally, and I obtained a more profound understanding of society, especially in terms of damaging economic policies peddled by expediency-minded, power-hungry politicians which not only reduce the prosperity of the wealthy, but do not improve the lot of the poor which such policies are intended to help. This book is an excellent guide to human nature and societal structure.
46 internautes sur 49 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
HASH(0x9395cf84) étoiles sur 5 fascinating, original cultural analysis 23 juin 1998
Par Paul Baxter ( - Publié sur
Format: Broché
This book goes down on my list as one of the most interesting non-fiction books I've ever read. It is a sociological\cultural anthropological study of envy. The author looks at written texts from biblical, Greek, and other ancient writings up to the twentieth century. He surveys anthropologist and sociologist studies on the subject and notes cultural differences in dealing with envy, with some emphasis on how it relates to politics. I honestly didn't find a single dull page in all of this.
29 internautes sur 30 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
HASH(0x939621e0) étoiles sur 5 A fascinating study of human behavior and motivation 9 août 2004
Par Patrick Henry - Publié sur
Format: Relié
I loved this book, a true tour-de-force. Although I am a fairly fast reader, it took me a while to get through this, because after reading 10-15 pages, I would have to stop and assimilate the information Schoeck was presenting. Absolutely fascinating.

Schoeck has assembled a vast array of information on the manifestations of envy in societies spanning the globe and across time. He has ferreted out information from the sociological and anthropological literature, fiction literature, cultural fables, crime data, political debates, among other sources. He uses example after real world example to show how ubiquitous envy is as a state of mind, and how various cultures deal more or less successfully with it. Societies that are successful in dealing with envy are essentially those that largely suppress its active, overt expression.

Numerous cases from the sociological and anthropological literature indicate how primitive societies, where objective differences between society members are much smaller than in more developed cultures, actually have more severe problems with the expression of envy than do cultures where such differences are larger. He shows how world-wide in primitive cultures, the 'evil eye' is universally regarded as the sorcerous expression of envious malice, and further shows the lengths to which primitive peoples will go to avoid or deflect the evil eye. Schoeck reveals from objective sources that such envy appeasement is not limited to primitive societies, but that egalitarian redistributionist policies are merely the manifestation of envy avoidance and/or appeasement in industrialized nations.

Schoeck spends extensive energies analyzing the egalitarian-utopian impulse and its various practical experiments. Those of a socialist/egalitarian bent [generally known as 'liberals' in the US, and contemporary as opposed to the classical type] will not like this book, because Schoeck makes an iron-clad case that their reasons for promoting such an unattainable society are either 1) envious malice seeking to deprive others of envied assets or 2) the appeasement of envy in others. Schoeck shows, from the writings of people who have promoted utopian social models, that the motive for doing so is to create an envy-free society. He marshals an impressive body of documentation showing that policies such as progressive taxation are essentially institutionalized envy.

The so-what of all this is where Schoeck shows that uncontrolled envy inhibits all innovation and technical progress, and the destruction of achievements made in a society. He cites evidence showing further, how the legitimization of envy, and its subsequent appeasement, results in a vicious cycle in which the crocodile must be continually fed, as each social difference successively assumes the position of the BIGGEST difference, and becomes the new target for elimination by those who are envious of differences.
51 internautes sur 58 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
HASH(0x93962540) étoiles sur 5 Insightful, thought-provoking, and eye-opening. 4 septembre 2002
Par Rocco B. Rubino - Publié sur
Format: Broché
Envy is without a doubt the most corrosive of all human emotions, yet sociological, psychological, and anthropoligical study of its phenomenology is non-existent. How unfortunate!
Enter Helmut Schoek who traces the origins of envy through cultures, philosophy, psychology and politics. After reading this book you will be able to see how politicians appeal to this basest of human emotions to engender dissatisfaction and rage.
The phenomenology of envy needs to be studied in depth because of its pervasiveness in human nature, and societies worldwide. No people, government, religon or social group is immune from its poison.
17 internautes sur 17 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
HASH(0x9396275c) étoiles sur 5 Envy makes the world go round 3 août 2011
Par Joseph T. Rodolico - Publié sur
Format: Relié
A brilliant and thoroughly researched work, Envy takes a deep, long look into the human psyche and reveals what really makes civilization tick - envy - without which, according to Helmut Schoeck, society is not possible. Negative envy destroys, but positive envy called emulation, is the prime motivating force behind the individual's desire for achievement and acclaim. Schoeck provides distinct definitions of the difference between envy and jealousy, words which are much confused in modern society. Jealousy is explained as 'the endeavor to protect what is one's own by right', while envy is 'the ill feeling one experiences at the success of another, or the joy one felt at someone else's failure'.

Envy does not merely arise out of materialism or acquisitiveness, but rather a deep-seated desire within humans to be equal to, or better than, others; to avoid the evil eye (a great inhibitor to the accumulation of wealth) or ostracism, a common practice in ancient Greece. Schoeck, through numerous case studies, reveals how primitive peoples are just as capable of envy as the modern affluent.

As the most insightful book on the subject I have ever read, it should be referred to often and studied religiously.
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