Respect in a World of Inequality

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W. W. Norton & Company, 2003 - Social Science - 288 pages
3 Reviews
The powerful case for a society of mutual respect.In Respect in a World of Inequality, distinguished sociologist Richard Sennett explores the need for respectand the consequences of disrespectin a highly competitive and interdependent society.Opening with a memoir of growing up in Chicago's infamous Cabrini Green housing project, Richard Sennett looks at three factors that undermine mutual respect: unequal ability, adult dependency, and degrading forms of compassion. In contrast to current welfare "reforms," Sennett proposes a welfare system based on respect for those in need. He explores how self-worth can be nurtured in an unequal society (for example, through dedication to craft); how self-esteem must be balanced with feeling for others; and how mutual respect can forge bonds across the divide of inequality. Where erasing inequality was once the goal of social radicals, Sennett seeks a more humane meritocracy: a society that, while accepting inequalities of talent, seeks to nurture the best in all its members and to connect them strongly to one another.

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Memories of Cabrini
What Respect Means
Unequal Talent
Four The Shame of Dependence
Compassion Which Wounds
Character and Social Structure

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About the author (2003)

Richard Sennett teaches sociology at the London School of Economics and New York University

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