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The Liberty of StrangersMaking the American Nation$
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Desmond King

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780195306439

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195306439.001.0001

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Why Not All Groups Are Equal

Why Not All Groups Are Equal

Chapter:
(p.37) 3 Why Not All Groups Are Equal
Source:
The Liberty of Strangers
Author(s):

Desmond King

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195306439.003.0003

This chapter presents a discussion of the media through which hierarchical assumptions spread. It then turns to the way in which these assumptions have infected attitudes from the end of the 19th century. An examination of the myriad ways in which government policy and judicial decisions differentiated among groups is also given. Nation-builders have been able to use the hierarchical images of different peoples since these provided an allegedly objective measure supporting choices about membership in the nation. The idea of group hierarchies complemented and reinforced those distinctions employed to determine suitability or unsuitability for membership in the polity.

Keywords:   hierarchical assumption, government policy, judicial decision, group hierarchy, nation

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