Scapegoats are a universal phenomenon, appearing in all societies at all times in groups large and small, in public and private organizations. Hardly a week passes without some media reference to someone or something being made a scapegoat. Tom Douglas examines the process of scapegoating from the perspectives of victims and perpetrators, tracing its development from earliest times as rite of atonement to the modern forms of the avoidance of blame and the victimisation of innocents. The differences and similarities between the ancient and modern forms are examined to reveal that despite the modern logical explanations of behaviour, the mystical element in the form of superstition is still evident.
Directly responding to the Diploma in Social Work's call for texts on anti-discriminatory practice Scapegoats should become essential reading for all social workers in training and practice. Will also be a invaluable resource for all professionals engaging in groupwork and group workers in training.
`Scapegoats is a shrewd and agreeably written book on an important but under-investigated topic…it should be read by everyone with an interest in society or a concern about their relations with others.' Times Higher Education Supplement