"This is a shrewd and compelling look at the crucial but usually unperceived role of rank in all our lives. How easily we put down those we see as subordinate in title or wealth or origin, how silently we cringe at another's assumptions of superiority....The abuse of rank(also) corrupts relations between nations, and between the governors and the governed in a democracy. Robert Fuller...makes us understand that equal dignity, whatever one's place in society or the world, is a key to peace and social order".
Anthony Lewis, Pulitzer Prize Winning Former Columnist for the New York Times.
In a perfect world, people treat each other with respect.
We do not look down on others based on race, sex, language, culture, or taboo. This is not a perfect world. This book tries to address the constant, overt, accepted, legal form, of discrimation rampent world wide today. If you have a measure of power, you may find this books concepts disturbing, silly or even funny. Just remember Sexual Harassment was legal until 1985. a glimpse of the future? Read on if you dare, just don't leave it on your Desk at work, somebody might not like what you are implying.
A very good book, especially important right now, in light of the up coming presidential elections.
I have never heard of rankism, but it was quite interesting to learn about it. I have always been able to pick out rank abuse in daily life, but never had a term to relate it to. I was particularly interested in the parts that refered to rankism in education. When I start teaching, I will keep what I learned in mind.
From Publishers Weekly
Fuller, former president of Oberlin College, believes there is an insidious force in America that has heretofore gone unrecognized. This \"disorder without a name,\" which he terms \"rankism,\" is discrimination beyond race, gender or educational background. While Fuller observed rankism in action both at Oberlin and as a physics professor at Columbia University, he was only able to fully identify it when he was no longer affiliated with a university. \"Lacking the protection of title and status in the years after Oberlin, I experienced what it\'s like to be taken for a nobody.\" Fuller goes on to describe the various forms of rankism: scientists taking credit for the work of assistants, nursing home staff treating elderly patients poorly, priests sexually abusing churchgoers, etc. Rankism is an assault on personal dignity and should not be tolerated, says Fuller. According to the author, the condition exists because \"rank is linked to power and power protects those who hold it\" and \"high rank inhibits protests and shields perpetrators.\" Fuller provides numerous examples, from family dynamics to corporate settings. Although some may argue rankism is just another form of racism, Fuller makes a persuasive case for recognizing this behavior as an abuse of power that transcends race-or gender.
In this groundbreaking book, Robert Fuller takes the analysis of discrimination beyond racism and sexism to reveal a form of injustice that everyone knows, but no one sees: discrimination based on rank, or "rankism." Low rank -- signifying weakness, vulnerability, and the absence of power -- marks people for abuse in much the same way that race, religion, gender, and sexual orientation have long done.
Somebodies and Nobodies explains our reluctance to confront this phenomenon, and argues that abuse based on power differences is no more defensible than that based on differences in color or gender. It unmasks rankism, demonstrating its pervasiveness and corrosiveness in our personal lives, social institutions and international relations. Illuminating the subtle, often dysfunctional workings of power in all our interations -- whether on the individual, societal, or global level -- it dispels the "somebody mystique," presents rankism as the last obstacle to equal opportunity, and offers a vision of a "dignitarian" society.