Whistling Vivaldi by Claude M. Steele (review by Zina J. ’14)

Whistling Vivaldi: And Other Clues to How Stereotypes Affect UsWhistling Vivaldi: And Other Clues to How Stereotypes Affect Us by Claude M. Steele
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Claude Steele’s Whistling Vivaldi discusses stereotypic threats, their effects, and solutions to alleviate the problem. Steele’s tremendous knowledge in psychology is evident from the excellent studies and the anecdotes that make the research more personable. He grasps the sense of conscience with a twist; for example, he flips the stereotypical underdog in his anecdote about a white male’s conscience while attending a college class about African American history. On the other hand, the author’s verbose writing style, overuse of the pronoun I in describing research, and repetitious ideas prevent the reader from benefiting much from the book. Furthermore, he overemphasizes the stereotyped groups, such as African Americans and women, while neglecting to incorporate other minorities. Nevertheless, the author, a Columbia professor, is clearly an expert in his field. If you are interested in studying stereotypes, this is the book for you. – Zina J. ’14

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