The Unholy Trinity: Existential Insecurity, Extreme Religiosity, and Manifest Hate

R. Georges Delamontagne

Despite overwhelming historical and contemporary evidence providing testimony to the incendiary role of hatred in igniting fires of violence, murder, war, ethnic cleansing, genocide, and terrorism--to say nothing of demagoguery and political gridlock--relatively little sociological research has been conducted to date on the subject of hate as such.

Sociologists, myself included, have studied hate as a social problem--for example, prejudice and discrimination due to racism, classism, sexism, and ageism--and as a social movement analogous to, but antithetical to and reactionary toward, the civil rights movement, the women’s movement, and the movement for equality for gays, lesbians, bisexual, and transgendered (GLBT) people. Sociologists have focused on a range of hateful affective and cognitive states, ranging from attitudes and beliefs extant in the general culture through the more extreme varieties of hate speech and behaviors associated with violence as manifested in hate crimes and the ideologies and activities of several hate groups.

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