Humans are social animals. We seek out like-minded individuals and form groups based on common interests and identity. But in clustering with ‘people like us’ we tend to shun ‘people not like us’ and become hostile and polarised. Why does this happen? And can it be reversed?
Intelligence Squared brought together an expert on polarisation, a behavioural scientist and a professional communicator to explain why we are so prone to be drawn into rival, often deeply antagonistic factions. Drawing from their new book Poles Apart, they explored whether ‘tribalism’ is in our genetic make-up and how other factors such as friends and family influence our behaviour. They also pinpoint the economic and political triggers that tip people from healthy disagreement to dangerous hostility, and the part played by social media in spreading entrenched opinions.
Watch now and learn what practical and effective steps we can all take to narrow divisions, build respect for others, and create a greater degree of common understanding.
‘Poles Apart is an extraordinary achievement: fresh, deeply authoritative, and entertaining on every page. Everyone talks about polarisation, but no one does it like Goldsworthy, Osborne, and Chesterfield. You’ll finish this book wiser, kinder, and more hopeful than when you started it.’ – Jamie Susskind, author of Future Politics
‘A fascinating and thought-provoking analysis of the divisions between us, how we bridge them, how we reshape the world – and ourselves too. Essential reading‘ – Cathy Newman, Channel 4 News
‘This is a pivotal moment for this book to be written, read and understood.’ – Peter Gabriel, musician
Speakers subject to change.