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216 × 138 × 20 mm
152 pages
01 Oct 2017
  • £14.99

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Revenge A Short Enquiry into Retribution Stephen Fineman

Revenge is a primal force at the heart of conflict and justice, as ancient as humanity itself. ‘Getting even’ can restore the balance of relationships and bring order; it can fill the vacuum left by imperfect or unfair justice systems. But revenge can get out of hand, and spirals of revenge are notoriously destructive. Digital media has created a new generation of armchair avengers, settling real or imaginary scores and provoking new ones. Unless it is perceived to serve a socially acceptable purpose, such as addressing a national threat, salvaging honour or defeating a competitor, revenge is most often frowned upon.

In this bold new book, Stephen Fineman lifts the lid on revenge, exposing its intriguing contours across the workplace, intimate relationships, societal justice, wars and politics. He explores the psychology and experience of revenge and some of its more recent manifestations, such as cyber-stalking and revenge pornography. When should retribution be tolerated, or even celebrated? If we are all potential avengers, what does that say about us? Revenge tackles one of society’s greatest challenges.

‘A compelling and relevant book of how revenge is not only affecting the world around us, but is remaking history too.’ — Niki Panteli, Professor of Information Systems, Royal Holloway, University of London

‘In this highly entertaining and illuminating book, Stephen Fineman reveals how this powerful human urge to get our own back plays out in a wide range of settings – from the family and the workplace to within communities and between nations. Through the careful and nuanced analysis of historical and contemporary examples he shows how both revenge and forgiveness are not as straightforward as often depicted. Don’t get mad, get Stephen’s book.’ — Rob B. Briner, Professor of Organizational Psychology, Queen Mary University of London

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Stephen Fineman is Professor Emeritus in the School of Management, University of Bath. His previous books include The Blame Business (Reaktion Books, 2015), Work: A Very Short Introduction (2012), Organizing Age (2011) and Understanding Emotion at Work (2003).