Encountering Bigotry examines the occurrence of emotionally fraught and socially provocative expressions, such as racism, sexism, homophobia, anti-Semitism, classism, and other forms of hatred of outgroups or others, in everyday experience. The editors categorize such remarks as projections, particular forms of perceiving oneself and others in the world. This projection allows the person to perceive emotional intensity without owning (i.e., without attributing to the self) the feeling or experiencing anxiety-producing emotions. Such projections are not pathological, they observe, but rather "faulty" and not beyond repair. Utilizing experiences gathered from various people and settings, and deriving theory from common psychoanalytic and Gestalt therapy, the observations and conclusions found in Encountering Bigotry are as applicable in any social context as they are in the therapeutic relationship.
Part I: On Mundane Projections. A Common Occurrence. Principles of Faulty Projections. Invitations to Collaborate with Projections. What Comes Up in the Invitee? What Is Happening in the Transaction? Variations in Projecting. Part II: Ways of Handling Projections. Poor Handling. The Role of Self-Hatred in Projections and Poor Handling. Three Guidelines to Good-Enough Handling. Good Handling. Two Stories. Elaboration and Reflection.