Second Edition of Confronting Toxic Othering available now!

Posted on: December 12, 2023 | By: Tom Arcaro | Filed under: Hydra "privileging forces"

Second Edition of Confronting Toxic Othering available now!

The journey continues
My journey understanding and taming the Hydra has been ongoing since I published the first edition in 2021. This new edition contains many chapters I have written over the last two years based on classroom experiences both at Elon University, in Bangladesh, and online with refugees from Myanmar, Somalia, and Syria. Several useful classroom exercises have been added and the final section of the book now deepens explanation of the basic tenets of Critical Hydra Theory. I will be using the book in all my classes for the remainder of the school year, making these classes fulfill all the requirements for Elon University’s Advancing Equity Requirement (AER).

Overview of the Second Edition
Confronting Toxic Othering embarks on an ambitious quest to interrogate the root causes of all global social and environmental problems. Drawing upon the myth of the Hydra, the essays illustrate how each of the creature’s heads symbolizes eight fundamental and pervasive privileging forces, each fueled by the tendency to ‘other’ individuals based on differences such as race, class, or colonial history. Informed by the author’s teaching experiences with students in both the United States and Bangladesh, readers are encouraged to learn from the evolution of thoughts that culminate in the formulation of ‘Critical Hydra Theory’. Fully detailed in the concluding chapters, this theory highlights the intersectionality inherent in all eight forces of privilege.

The book serves as an invaluable tool for classroom or workplace dialogues on Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Justice, offering numerous provocative exercises designed to deepen the reader’s understanding of their own privileges. In our troubled world, addressing social justice issues can be a daunting task.

Confronting Toxic Othering offers a unique and robust tool to assist readers in becoming even more effective agents of progressive social change toward a more just world for all humans.

Proceeds go to  education initiatives
All author proceeds from the sale of Confronting Toxic Othering will be used to support education initiatives in UNHCR organized and run refugee camps both in Bangladesh and around the world.

Order now!
You can order now from Innovative Ink Publishing. Both physical ($30.00) and digital ($20.00) copies are available.

Barnes & Nobles has physical copies ($30.00) only.

To date, Amazon only has copies of the first edition.

Thank you!
Thanks go to all of my students -both in Bangladesh and here at Elon- since the fall of 2019 when I first began presenting the Hydra model. Countless class discussions have led to many improvements on ideas and exercises contained in this edition. Special thanks go out to Linda Martindale for editing assistance over the entire history of this project and to my Bangladeshi colleague Azizul Hoque for his support and input over the last several years. My deepest thanks go to my friend and colleague Dr. Ahmed Fadaam who created the many versions of the Hydra illustration. Finally, thank you to the Innovative Ink Publishing team for making this second edition become a reality.






Tom Arcaro

Tom Arcaro is a professor of sociology at Elon University. He has been researching and studying the humanitarian aid and development ecosystem for nearly two decades and in 2016 published 'Aid Worker Voices'. He recently published his second and third books related to the humanitarians sector with 'Confronting Toxic Othering' published in 2021 and 'Dispatches from the Margins of the Humanitarian Sector' in 2022. A revised second edition of 'Confronting Toxic Othering' is now available from Kendall Hunt Publishers

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