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Unmasking: The End of Debate?

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Catalogue Number:  STV025
Producer:  Shortcutstv Ltd
Subject:  Current Events, Politics, Psychology, Social Issues, Social Sciences, Social Studies, Sociology
Language:  English
Grade Level:  Post Secondary, Adult
Country Of Origin:  U.K.
Copyright Year:  2019
Running Time:  13:40


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Unmasking is a very different thing to debating, and Professor Peter Baehr has written The Unmasking Style in Social Theory, where he describes it as an accusation made against someone or an idea. Unmasking a person means that you are claiming that their ideas are somehow corrupt. In unmasking, you are not debating theory, evidence or belief; you are in fact deciding to expose a fraud or diagnose a delusion. This means that space for debate does not exist since one side perceives the other’s view as radically misconceived. The intent is to totally destroy a point of view using what’s known as weaponization and transposition. This segment offers various examples of unmasking such as the Brexit decision to leave the EU on June 23, 2016; the controversy Professor Elizabeth Loftus encountered with her research into false memories; and the intriguing findings of the Moonies by Professor Eileen Barker. When you unmask someone, it means that you believe those people to have ideas that are essentially illusions. The issue with this, is that it gives a tremendous amount of power to the theorist and leaves them as the only one without illusion. A way in which to prevent unmasking is by trying to understand them. There are many ways to do so such as ethnographic methods where you try to work out why they think the way they do. Ultimately, unmasking creates intolerance, produces an even more divided, polarized society, and creates rage by people who are masked and believe they have been wrongly judged.  


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