Of Note: A Handbook for Opening Eyes


Sway: Unravelling Unconscious Bias by Pragya Agarwal
Bloomsbury Sigma, June 2, 2020

No one escapes bias. Behavioral scientist Dr. Pragya Agarwal begins with the foundational knowledge that, intentionally or unintentionally, we use our experiences, beliefs, and impressions to ground our thinking. With or without power, we are victims of our own and others’ stereotypes. At a time when political partisanship and inequality are costing lives and livelihoods, there is urgency, which she captures admirably, in coming face-to-face with how our own bias, present and pressing in our everyday actions, allows and supports systemic injustice. Her book is both rigorously science-based and compassionately personal. With the goal of increasing understanding, not blaming, the author looks deeply at how personal biases originate and how they operate to perpetuate racism, homophobia, sexism, and ageism. The questions raised and addressed in these pages are particularly effective: Are we responsible for the impact of unconscious bias? How can we confront the seeping of “casual racism” into our everyday actions? Is the desire to change ever going to be enough? This is a handbook for opening eyes to the fact that what it would take to profoundly change lives and systems for the better is inside us, is available, and is needed right now.

Submitted By: Elizabeth Morley, Kobe Shinwa University, Japan

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