Image: front cover Buy Print Book Now
  •  CDN $19.95 
  •  USD $22.95 


Buy Ebook Now
  •  CDN $22.95     CDN $14.90
  •  USD $22.95     USD $14.90

Look Inside

Paperback – 232 pages
6 Inches × 9 Inches (w × h)

Weight: 360 Grams
BISAC: SOCIAL SCIENCE / Social Classes
Publisher: New Society Publishers
ISBN: 9780865714878
Pub. Date: 2004-04-01

About the Author

Robert W. Fuller

Robert Fuller taught physics at Columbia University in New York, where he co-authored the classic text Mathematics for Classical and Quantum Physics. He then served as president of Oberlin College and, subsequently, worked internationally as a 'citizen diplomat' to promote democracy in developing nations. He has four children, and lives in Berkeley, California.

view author profile

Somebodies and Nobodies

Overcoming the Abuse of Rank

by Robert W. Fuller



In the on-going attempts to overcome racism and sexism in North America today, we are overlooking another kind of discrimination that is no less damaging and equally unjustifiable. It is a form of injustice that everyone knows, but no one sees: discrimination based on rank. Low rank -- signifying weakness, vulnerability, and the absence of power -- marks you for abuse in much the same way that race, religion, gender, and sexual orientation have long done.

When discrimination is race-based, we call it racism; when it's gender-based, we call it sexism. By analogy, rank-based discrimination might be called "rankism." Somebodies and Nobodies explains our reluctance to confront rankism, and argues that abuse based on power differences is no more justified than abuse based on color or gender differences. It shows where analyses based on identity fall short and, using dozens of examples to illustrate the argument, traces many forms of injustice and unfairness to rankism.

Somebodies and Nobodies unmasks rankism as The Feminine Mystique unmasked sexism. It demythologizes the prevailing social consensus -- the "Somebody Mystique" -- to demonstrate the pervasiveness and corrosiveness of rankism in our personal lives and social institutions. The book introduces new language and concepts that illuminate the subtle, often dysfunctional workings of power in our social interactions. It presents rankism as the last hurdle on the long road from aristocracy to a true meritocracy, brings into focus a dignitarian revolution that is already taking shape, and offers a preview of post-rankist society.

You might also enjoy

Dumbing Us Down - 25th Anniversary Hardback Edition

Dumbing Us Down - 25th Anniversary Hardback Edition

The Hidden Curriculum of Compulsory Schooling

After over 100 years of mandatory schooling in the U.S., literacy rates have dropped, families are fragmented, learning "disabilities" are …

view title info
The Better World Shopping Guide: 5th Edition

The Better World Shopping Guide: 5th Edition

Every Dollar Makes a Difference

While we generally try to make our vote count every four years, few of us realize that our most immediate power to shape the world is being …

view title info
Magnifeco

Magnifeco

Your Head-to-Toe Guide to Ethical Fashion and Non-toxic Beauty

In the wake of the Rana Plaza factory collapse in Bangladesh—the worst garment industry accident in recorded history—the words "fashion disaster" …

view title info
The Clean Money Revolution

The Clean Money Revolution

Reinventing Power, Purpose, and Capitalism

By 2050, $40 trillion will change hands in North America alone.

From Boomers to Millennials, the largest intergenerational wealth transfer in history …

view title info
Culture Gap

Culture Gap

Towards a New World in the Yalakom Valley

The time is the early 1980s. Judith Plant and her new partner, Kip, are ready for a change. Inspired by the charismatic Fred Brown, their …

view title info

New Society Publishers have decided to sell their ebooks without copy protection or DRM (Digital Rights Management) so that customers can enjoy full use of their ebook purchase. In return we expect our customers to respect this decision.

By clicking in the box below, you agree that you will:

  • NOT make illegal or unauthorized copies of our ebooks.
  • ONLY make copies of our ebooks for backup purposes.
  • NOT sell or give copies of our ebooks to family, friends, associates, etc., or upload to any file-sharing sites.
I agree to the above terms and conditions
Our ebooks are available in PDF or EPUB format.
Please choose the correct format for your device.
Buy PDF Version