Chapter 2

Respect in the Cross-Cultural Context

Words like “freedom,” “justice,” and “democracy” are not common concepts; on the contrary, they are rare. People are not born knowing what these are. It takes enormous and, above all, individual effort to arrive at the respect for other people that these words imply.

—James Baldwin

What does it mean to respect someone or something? When trying to understand a complex reality like “respect,” it’s helpful to look at the word’s etymology. The word “respect” is from the Latin respectus, which literally means “regard,” with the sense of the “act of looking back at one,” and the past participle ...

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