Hate Studies - Vision for an International, Interdisciplinary Field
Hate is a distinctive feature of the human condition. Despite the inherent dignity and basic goodness of humanity, the dimension of hate in human affairs is widespread, as is its influence and consequence on individual, social, and institutional levels. No matter how we define it, hate underlies many of the world’s most serious ethical, legal, and social issues, both yesterday and today. More people have died because of hatred than from any other human cause. Terrorism, unjust war, crimes against humanity, intergroup violence, and hate crimes are some of the most pressing problems confronting the global community.
Yet we still do not know enough about how hate works. What causes hate? From where does it come? How and why does it develop? How does hate affect the individual, the group, the workplace, society, nations, and international relations?
Just as importantly, what can we do to address hate, prevent it, combat it, or even transform it?
Hate Studies is an emerging academic field with contributions from experts worldwide. Hate Studies spans interdisciplinary inquiry and promotes integrative learning. The field includes scholars and other researchers in the humanities, social sciences, and the professions, as well as practitioner-experts, policymakers, human rights leaders, and many others.
A major premise of Hate Studies is that through gaining a clearer understanding of hate and efforts to combat it, we can engage and develop theories, concepts, models, and approaches from across the academy and beyond. While academia has a unique capacity to provide usable and testable theories, no single discipline or methodology will lead us to “the answer.” We must develop a functioning interdisciplinary approach to the problem.
A major goal of Hate Studies is to apply, analyze, improve, disperse, generalize, and implement these intellectual products and processes toward positive, practical change in society, government, culture, and in our individual and interpersonal lives. In 2009, the incoming Obama Administration received a policy recommendation that it should “encourage the growth of, and find ways to engage with, the movement to create an academic field of ‘hate studies,’ which seeks to provide testable theories about how individuals, groups, institutions and governments can more effectively understand and combat hatred of all types.”
For Further Reading:
- John Shuford, "The Future of Hate Studies"
- Kenneth Stern, "Hate Matters: The Need for an Interdisciplinary Field of Hate Studies"
- Maggie Ma, "Is The Time Right for a Field of Hate Studies?"
- Jon Blitzer, "Toward an Interdisciplinary Field of Hate Studies: Developing a Framework" (free registration required to view link)