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SBU News > Pending > School of Communication and Journalism (Pending) > Al-Gharbi’s ‘We Have Never Been Woke’ available for pre-order

Al-Gharbi’s ‘We Have Never Been Woke’ available for pre-order

headshot of smiling Musa al-Gharbi who is wearing glasses and a blue blazerA new book by Musa al-Gharbi, assistant professor at the School of Communication and Journalism, explores how and why knowledge economy professionals and institutions espouse progressive ideas connected to social justice issues while, in reality, their actions uphold a status quo riddled with inequality.

We Have Never Been Woke: The Cultural Contradictions of a New Elite is now available for pre-order via Bookshop.org, Barnes & Noble, Amazon and most other major retailers.

The book blends empirical and academic research from fields including sociology, communication, political science and philosophy with research from other organizations and journalism.

“My education, teaching and collaborations are a blend of all these fields, and I hope that putting them all together in this book will help us to see something that otherwise would have stayed hidden,” al-Gharbi said. “Inequality isn’t caused by the past so much as it’s actively maintained in the present, and my goal with this book is to unsettle the things that we often take for granted and help us all ask some difficult questions about where we fit and what we care about in the social order of things.”

The book takes a sharp look at what al-Gharbi calls “symbolic capitalists,” those who earn and maintain a livelihood largely on the basis of ideas and prestige, including journalists, academics, politicians, artists and others. Al-Gharbi is clear that he counts himself among those he analyzes so closely and deeply.

book cover image shows the title, "We have never been woke" with a big black blind spot over the bulk of the text“Musa’s book and sharp observations come at a time of deep division, and I applaud his courage and his convictions in researching and writing this incredible book,” said Laura Lindenfeld, dean of the SoCJ and executive director of the Alda Center for Communicating Science. “We all need to be able to look at ourselves more carefully and ask questions – of ourselves as well as of others – that may make us uncomfortable but ultimately build empathy and draw us closer together. Communication and storytelling have been used to drive wedges between people for so long; it’s well past time that we use them to try to bring people together and bridge hate with understanding.”

The book will be widely available this fall. Readers interested in e-book or audio versions of the text can sign up to be notified when these formats are available here.

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