The End of Bias: How We Change Our Minds by Jessica Nordell

From TheBookbag
Jump to navigationJump to search


Black Friday deals - an avalanche of bookish bargains, plus extra discounts and clearance items - live now at Foyles

The End of Bias: How We Change Our Minds by Jessica Nordell

1846276772.jpg
Buy The End of Bias: How We Change Our Minds by Jessica Nordell at Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

Category: Politics and Society
Rating: 4.5/5
Reviewer: Sue Magee
Reviewed by Sue Magee
Summary: A starting point for considering how life is biased against the disabled, the blacl man and the white woman. Eye-opening, fascinating and frightening in equal measures. A fascinating and highly recommended read.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 288 Date: September 2021
Publisher: Granta Publications
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 978-1846276774

Share on: Facebook Follow us on Twitter Follow us on Instagram



Anyone who is not an able, white man understands bias in that they may no longer even recognise the extent to which they suffer from it: it's simply a part of everyday life. White men will always come first. The able will come before the disabled. Jobs, promotions, higher salaries are the preserve of the white man. Even when those who wouldn't pass the medical become a part of an organisation it's rare that their views are heard, that their concerns are acknowledged. It's personally appalling and degrading for the individuals on the receiving end of the bias but it's not just the individuals who are negatively impacted.

If talent - in all its forms - is not being utilised there's an impact on the success of companies and on culture, on life in general - we are wasting a valuable asset. You might argue that there are laws to prevent discrimination but laws create a floor: people determine the ceiling. Laws simply limit how bad discrimination can be. Most worryingly of all, some of the bias actually comes from the people who suffer bias. It's unconscious - say in the difference between how a teacher might comfort a young girl or boy or which gender they might suggest should behave a little more quietly. We might suggest that a girl's clothing is pretty - but we'd never say that to a boy. Not quite so unconscious are the punishments meted out to black students which wouldn't be given to their white counterparts for the same infractions. Women are considered aggressive, whereas their male counterparts are forceful or determined.

Jessica Nordell opens the book by telling us about Ben Barres. Now, Ben had been born Barbara Barres and had transitioned recently but was worried by how he would be accepted at a conference where he was presenting some of his work. He needn't have worried. On the day, he felt he had more authority, that what he said was accepted more readily. Finally, he overheard someone say that his work was better than his sister's.

The book primarily deals with the effect of bias on the black man and the white woman. I was left sickened by the thought of what the black woman must suffer. A little disappointingly, it considers the effects of disadvantage but not the consequences of unearned advantage. It is also based on populations in the USA and occasionally this meant that it was difficult for someone resident outside the US to relate to the precise circumstances. The UK doesn't have such a high proportion of Hispanic residents - but bias is bias, where ever you find it and this is an excellent starting point to correct the situation. Any criticisms I make are very minor and possibly quite picky. It's a stunning book and a surprisingly easy read for such a major subject and I'd like to thank the publishers for sending a copy to the Bookbag.

You'll find yourself shelving this book next to We Need to Talk About Money by Otegha Uwagba.

Please share on: Facebook Facebook, Follow us on Twitter Twitter and Follow us on Instagram Instagram

Buy The End of Bias: How We Change Our Minds by Jessica Nordell at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy The End of Bias: How We Change Our Minds by Jessica Nordell at Amazon.co.uk Amazon currently charges £2.99 for standard delivery for orders under £20, over which delivery is free.

Buy The End of Bias: How We Change Our Minds by Jessica Nordell at Amazon You could get a free audio download of The End of Bias: How We Change Our Minds by Jessica Nordell with a 30-day Audible free trial at Amazon.co.uk.

Buy The End of Bias: How We Change Our Minds by Jessica Nordell at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy The End of Bias: How We Change Our Minds by Jessica Nordell at Amazon.com.

The End of Bias: How We Change Our Minds by Jessica Nordell Check prices, read reviews or buy from Foyles. Foyles currently charges £2.99 (first class £3.99) for orders under £25, over which delivery is free. You may also click and collect from a Foyles bookshop at no charge.

The End of Bias: How We Change Our Minds by Jessica Nordell Check prices, read reviews or buy from Waterstones. Waterstones currently charges from £2.75 for orders under £20, over which delivery is free. You may also click and collect from a Waterstones bookshop at no charge.

Comments

Like to comment on this review?

Just send us an email and we'll put the best up on the site.