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Dignity for All: How to Create a World Without Rankism Paperback – June 1, 2008
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Praise from the Publisher
"Rankism is far more encompassing than racism, sexism, or ageism and it must be our prime target from now on."
--Studs Terkel, Pulitzer prize-winning author of Working
"Dignity for All gives us the essential tools to stop abuses of rank and to build high-performing institutions and organizations based on respect."
--Wes Boyd, co-founder, MoveOn.org
"This handbook brings an exciting new voice to social science and to the public as well. I believe that these ideas are destined to play an important role in our century."
--Thomas J. Scheff, Professor Emeritus of Sociology, University of California Santa Barbara
"A clear mandate for transforming our society into a true democracy."
--Rosalind Wiseman, author of Queen Bees and Wannabes
About the Author
Pamela A. Gerloff is the founder of Compelling Vision(tm), a consulting business which provides presentations, training, and consulting to individuals and organizations seeking to create dignitarian environments.
- Publisher : Berrett-Koehler Publishers; 1st edition (June 1, 2008)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 104 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1576757897
- ISBN-13 : 978-1576757895
- Item Weight : 5.6 ounces
- Dimensions : 5.51 x 0.27 x 8.53 inches
Best Sellers Rank:
#1,561,974 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- #7,990 in Discrimination & Racism (Books)
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Fuller and Gerloff offer a guide to eradicate rankism. Explaining the need for the name "rankism," they remind us that it was only after naming "sexism" that the women's movement was able to focus the world's attention on gender inequality. There is a power in naming. Once you have a name for rankism you begin to see it everywhere. Understanding rankism makes us more conscious of our dignity and that of others. Rankism is particularly useful as a concept because it underlies all other "isms," such as racism and sexism.
The book helps you to notice rankism, from the subtlety of a raised eyebrow or an impatient sigh to humans misusing other species. It suggests ways to start a dialogue about it. There are stories of how others have spoken up effectively when they encountered rankism. One woman heard two women at the airport baggage claim voicing their prejudices against lesbians. She said: "I couldn't help but overhear your conversation. I'm a lesbian, and I don't think I'm that bad or dangerous."
The authors point out that a paternalistic system is inherently rankist, no matter how benevolent, because it presumes that those in power always know best what is important for others even without asking them. They suggest doing away with rankism by focusing on a particular area -- your home, school, church, work, local or national government. They lay out a step by step plan you can follow.
The book includes helpful questions to reflect on your own experience, both of being treated with less than respect and of treating others disrespectfully. Undergirding this movement are the assumptions that every person is inherently worthy and has a place regardless of rank and that when all are treated with dignity, the world works better and people are more creative, more productive, healthier, and happier.
The book is written in a deceptively simple style, to demonstrate that individuals can begin to recognize the many subtle ways that rankism operates in common, everyday behavior. The book does not propose a sophisticated political, ideological, or economic analysis because the authors suggest that the shift from rankism to dignitarian society is more basic, more elemental, than those layers of social reality. In this sense, the book's analysis offers a practical variation on Riane Eisler's concept of "dominator" vs. "partnership" cultural orientations--broad cultural templates that underpin a wide range of institutions, beliefs, and mundane, taken-for-granted habits.
Dignity for All does not dwell on this or other theories, but focuses on specific strategies for rooting out the dominator (rankist) mindset wherever it might be found. It is a handbook for a subtle revolution in values that could lead to a more collaborative, egalitarian society.