Understanding denial

del rosso denialBoston College graduate Jared Del Rosso takes a thought-provoking look at the widespread phenomenon of denial in our society in his new book, Denial: How We Hide, Ignore, and Explain Away Problems (NYU Press, 2022). Del Rosso argues that denial is so much a part of our lives that we deny its existence all the time. Drawing on examples from current events, politics, and pop culture, Del Rosso teases out the complexities of denial, from “not noticing” that someone has food stuck in their teeth, to companies that engage in widespread fraud, like Enron and Wells Fargo, to the much larger-scale denials of climate change or systemic racism. Drawing on classic studies in the social sciences and his own research of the denial of torture, Del Rosso builds a fascinating typology of the forms and meanings of denial, exploring the behavior of those who refuse to acknowledge their actions, and what it means to live in a society where such lying, fraud, and corruption is commonplace. Del Rosso earned a doctorate in sociology from BC in 2012. He is on the faculty at the University of Denver. Read an excerpt from Denial via Literary Hub.

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