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Respect: An Exploration Paperback – May 1, 2000

ISBN-13: 978-0738203188 ISBN-10: 0738203181 Edition: 1st

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Basic Books; 1 edition (May 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0738203181
  • ISBN-13: 978-0738203188
  • Product Dimensions: 0.7 x 5.9 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #168,781 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews Review

Respect is a mission, a service, a "way to create symmetry, empathy, and connection"; it is self-generating, a "many-splendored quality" that can build relationships and self-esteem. It is, says author Sara Lawrence-Lightfoot, much more than the "static and impersonal" term we often use to describe our deference to traditional hierarchies or symbols. Lawrence-Lightfoot, an award-winning professor at Harvard and the author of several important works of sociology, here observes six subjects known for the respect they bring to their work, inquiring into how this quality has been rooted in and affects each of their lives. From the pediatrician who "sees herself as a servant and helper" to the families she treats to the photographer who believes he can bring out the truth in his subjects only by first making himself vulnerable, the daily heroism of each subject is revealed under the author's warm, curious, respectful eye. Lawrence-Lightfoot even weaves into her inquiry the history of her own African American family and its struggles with gaining and keeping respect. This elegant and accessible book offers alternative models for students, professionals, parents--anyone, really--who would like to harness the healing, strengthening power of this old-fashioned, indispensable quality. --Maria Dolan --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

In this provocative study, Harvard professor of education Lawrence-Lightfoot probes the common perception that our social fabric is deteriorating from the absence of respect in intimate relationships, the workplace and public life. She also details how, in her view, proper respect can create "symmetry, empathy and connection," even in socially unequal relationships. The book's chapters are structured around the personal stories of six professionals (five based in Boston) whom Lawrence-Lightfoot interviewed and observed and whose approaches to their work reveal "one crucial dimension of the term." A pediatrician's work in an inner- city clinic illustrates that "respect is a verb"; the doctor's rootedness in her family history allows her to take on the role of a "patient advocate" who worries about her pediatric residents' "preoccupation with technique and technology, with symptoms rather than the children they will care for." The combination of gritty pragmatism and spiritual commitment she exemplifies recurs throughout the book: a teacher in a wealthy Boston suburb shows how both teaching and respect are "loaded with risk"; a renowned photographic artist avoids a "predatory" role by being "vulnerable and conspicuous" in his relationships with subjects on whose consent he depends. Lawrence-Lightfoot's style is breezy and confessional as she blends her own experiences with those of her subjects while providing a deft sociological brief on how respect (institutional as well as interpersonal) has been defined during the last three or four American generations. As in her previous works, (I've Known Rivers, etc.) Lawrence-Lightfoot also obliquely addresses color-consciousness in African-American hierarchy and the persistent class divide in black and white America. Ad/promo; author tour.
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

Sara Lawrence-Lightfoot is the Emily Hargroves Fisher Professor of Education at Harvard and the chair of the board of the MacArthur Foundation. As a sociologist, she examines the culture of schools, the patterns and structures of classroom life, socialization within families and communities, and the relationships between culture and learning styles.

Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

25 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Mark Valentine on August 26, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Sara Lawrence-Lightfoot explores six different themes of respect by profiling six individuals that she associates with those qualities. I found the book uneven between the chapters, but that is because I found some of the people she profiled more interesting than others. I particularly enjoyed her chapter on David Wilkins, the Harvard Law School Professor; his strides for excellence seems to measure merely his own inadequacies (his was the chapter on Self-Respect). I was fascinated reading about him.
Still, I would recommend this book taken as an exploration--not definitive, not a self-help book, and not an exposition. But it is inspiring, challenging, informative, and she writes very well.
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23 of 25 people found the following review helpful By glenn parker on June 11, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Professor Lawrence-Lightfoot has presented some wonderful stories of some very engaging people. I enjoyed reading about their lives and the author's involvement with them. The book had the potential to provide a real service to all of us struggling with this area of behavior and specifically to those of us trying to help others give respect. However, the book just comes to a dead stop at the end of the last story . . .with no effort to pull together the common themes about respect---what have learned about being respectful? How can we be more respectful? It's up to the reader to go back and dig out the learnings from these stories. I subsequently wrote to the author asking for more information or a summary of respectful behaviours and she, in turn, turned my request over to her graduate assistant in a gesture that was profoundly disrepectful.
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21 of 29 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 2, 1999
Format: Hardcover
I attended a three day conference in Utah recently at which Sarah Lawrence Lightfoot was guest speaker. The topic of her speech was centered on giving and getting respect, and she read liberally from the book's last chapter. It was profoundly moving to listen as she recounted her interview with a family who had lost their 19 year old son to leukemia (?) ... the writing style was near poetic. The emotional intelligence was pure and strong. I have ordered the book and am looking forward to learning more about the reciprocal nature of respect and it's powerful effects.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Krystle on October 21, 2003
Format: Paperback
In the book, "Respect" the author goes through many storeies of cases where people have given respect to others, some who are poor, sick etc. Lightfoot first goes into and talks about Respect in general, about how we all should give respect and be very respectfull to others in need. At first, there is stories of young mothers pregant who can not afford hospitlzation, and how the lady has a open clinic and takes care of numerous patients a day, for free. There is many other stories that are happy, sad, and humerous. This book opens a new world to me, and i think the more i think about it i would love to help people in need, to show that everyone should have respect even if they are not like everyone else.
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