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Our next Think! Book Club will discuss Yascha Mounk’s 2023 publication, “The Identity Trap.” Subtitled “A Story of Ideas and Power in Our Time,” Mounk’s book discusses the origins and rise of the “identity synthesis,” a 21st century ideology that regards group identities involving race, gender, and sexual orientation as keys to understanding our world and achieving social justice. Mounk points out serious flaws in the identity synthesis–its reliance on standpoint epistemology and obsession with “cultural appropriation,” for instance. He concludes that its excessive focus on group identities is counterproductive in our quest to remedy social injustices, and that the universalism embodied in liberal democracy (and in humanism) is far more likely to promote human flourishing.
“The Identity Trap” has 290 pages of text and is available at Amazon for $28. Because it addresses so many important topics, we can expect to spend at least two book club sessions in discussing it. This first session will at most cover the first eight chapters, about half the book. If you cannot acquire or read “The Identity Trap,” you can familiarize yourself with its contents by reading reviews and commentary on the book and by watching various YouTube, TedTalk, and other videos featuring its author. Whether or not you have read the book, feel free to join us if these matters are of interest and concern to you.
This event is sponsored by HumanistsMN. If you are not yet a member, please consider joining to help us cover our costs and build the humanist movement. Not ready to join? Donations are gratefully accepted. Donate or join here.
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