Skip to main content

Stereotypes violate the postmodern construction of personal autonomy

  • Chris C. Martin (a1)

Individual autonomy, as constructed in the postmodern era, is violated by stereotypes, which makes stereotype accuracy morally unpalatable. Yet people are clustered and homogenized by social forces, entailing some accuracy in stereotypes. This tension can be ameliorated by unveiling the constructed nature of autonomous selfhood, and explaining why social clustering has occurred and been adaptive.

Hide All
Campbell, A. (2013) A mind of her own: The evolutionary psychology of women, 2nd edition. Oxford University Press.
Deci, E. L. & Ryan, R. M. (2012) Self-determination theory. In: Handbook of theories of social psychology, ed. Van Lange, P. A. M., Kruglanski, A. W. & Higgins, E. T., pp. 416–37. Sage.
Drescher, S. (2009) Abolition: A history of slavery and antislavery. Cambridge University Press.
Durkheim, E. (1897) Le suicide: étude de sociologie. PUF (Presses Universitaires de France).
Jussim, L. (2012) Social perception and social reality: Why accuracy dominates bias and self-fulfilling prophecy. Oxford University Press.
Marx, K. (1906) Das Kapital. C. H. Kerr.
Mill, J. S. (1867) On liberty. James R Osgood.
Mills, C. W. (1959) The sociological imagination. Oxford University Press.
Paine, T. (1794) The age of reason: Being an investigation of true and fabulous theology. Printed by Barrois.
Ryan, R. M. & Deci, E. L. (2000) Self-determination theory and the faciliation of intrinsic motivation, social development, and well-being. American Psychologist 55(1):6878.
Ryff, C. D. (1989) Happiness is everything, or is it? Explorations on the meaning of psychological well-being. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 57:1069–81. Available at:
Ryff, C. D. & Keyes, C. L. M. (1995) The structure of psychological well-being revisited. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 69:719–27. Available at:
Schwartz, B. (2004) The paradox of choice: Why more is less. HarperCollins.
Siy, J. O. & Cheryan, S. (2013) When compliments fail to flatter: American individualism and responses to positive stereotypes. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 104(1):87102. Available at:
Smith, C. (2003) Moral, believing animals: Human personhood and culture. Oxford University Press.
Smith, C. (2015) To flourish or destruct: A personalist theory of human goods, motivations, failure, and evil. University of Chicago Press.
Thaler, R. H. & Sunstein, C. R. (2008) Nudge: Improving decisions about health, wealth, and happiness. Penguin.
Wald, E. (2008) The rise and fall of the WASP and Jewish law firms. Stanford Law Review 60(6):1803–66.
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Behavioral and Brain Sciences
  • ISSN: 0140-525X
  • EISSN: 1469-1825
  • URL: /core/journals/behavioral-and-brain-sciences
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *


Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed