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Beyond Complicity: Why We Blame Each Other Instead of Systems

Beyond Complicity: Why We Blame Each Other Instead of Systems

Current price: $29.95
Publication Date: January 16th, 2024
University of California Press
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An ambitious study of our obsession with complicity that shows how we can all become "good accomplices."
Beyond Complicity is a fascinating cultural diagnosis that identifies our obsession with complicity as a symptom of a deeply divided society. The questions surrounding what it means to be legally complicit are the same ones we may ask ourselves as we evaluate our own and others' responsibility for inherited and ongoing harms, such as racism, sexism, and climate change: What does it mean that someone "knew" they were contributing to wrongdoing? How much involvement must a person have in order to be complicit? At what point are we obligated to intervene?
Francine Banner ties together pop culture, politics, law, and social movements to provide a framework for thinking about what we know intuitively: that our society is defined by crisis, risk, and the quest to root out hazards at all costs. Engaging with legal cases, historical examples, and contemporary case studies, Beyond Complicity unfolds the complex role that complicity plays in US law and society today, offering suggestions for how to shift focus away from blame and toward positive, lasting systemic change.

About the Author

Francine Banner is Professor of Sociology at the University of Michigan–Dearborn. An attorney, she is the author of numerous publications on gender, law, and society, including Crowdsourcing the Law: Trying Sexual Assault on Social Media.

Praise for Beyond Complicity: Why We Blame Each Other Instead of Systems

"An insightful contribution to an urgent national conversation that shows few signs of abating."
— Kirkus Reviews