Textbook publisher apologizes for Jewish stereotyping

Educational book on nursing said Jews 'may be vocal and demanding of assistance.'

October 22, 2017 16:33
1 minute read.

A women speaks to a nurse (illustrative photo). (photo credit: INGIMAGE)


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After an outcry on social media over "racist" instructions in a nursing textbook, the publisher has said it will be removing it from publication.

Pearson, a UK-based educational publishing house, was hit with a wave of criticism after a page from its book Nursing: A Concept-Based Approach to Learning was posted online. This version of the book was published in 2015.

The page in question contained a section called Cultural Differences in Responses to Pain. In that section, the potential attitudes of a variety of different minority groups were addressed. Jews, according to the book, "may be vocal and demanding of assistance." They also "believe that pain must be shared and validated by others."

The book also said that Arabs/Muslims may opt for thanking Allah over pain relief, that Asians may think complaining about pain implies poor social skills and that blacks report higher pain intensity than other groups.

After the image of the page went viral online, the publisher repeatedly apologized and promised to make things right.

"In an attempt help nursing students think through the many facets of caring for their patients, we've reinforced a number of stereotypes about ethnic and religious groups. It was wrong," said Tim Bozik, the head of global product development at Pearson, in a video message on Thursday. "We should have been more thoughtful about the information we put into our curriculum."

Bozik said the offending chapter has been removed from the e-book version of the textbook, will be removed from all future printings and the company is reviewing all its nursing products to locate and remove any similar content.

"In the coming days and weeks," said Bozik, "we'll be seeking out external partners and experts who can help us improve our curriculum and infuse it with a greater level of sensitivity and understanding of cultural diversity."

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