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Why We Struggle with Ambiguity: The Quiddity Question

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Black and white, human and animal, male and female, we and they: we tend to perceive our world in pigeonholes of either-or. Can such dualistic defaults be reconciled with increasing calls for more inclusivity and openness to fluidity? By looking at thousands of newspaper articles across a 16-year period, this study explores if and how the boundaries of classic binaries are shifting. The analyses show that we largely operate with categories of assumed immutable essences (quiddity), but they also uncover the potential for flexibility. This provides hope societies can accommodate more fluid worldviews and lifestyles, and avoid recapitulating old patterns. 

Authors: Dr Bryson is a postdoctoral research associate at the University of Oxford, UK. Prof Sommer is Professor of Evolutionary Anthropology at University College London.

Title: Why We Struggle with Ambiguity
Subtitle: The Quiddity Question
Subject Classification: Society and Culture, Equality Diversity Inclusion, Gender and Sexuality, Psychology
BIC Classification: JF, JFFK, JFFZ
Binding: Hardback, pp.(to be confirmed)
Planned Publication date: March 2023
ISBN (printed book): 978-1-80441-040-0
ISBN (web pdf): 978-1-80441-041-7

Price: £79.99

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