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Dignity for All by Pamela Gerloff, Robert W. Fuller

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chapter four Rankism 101

We don’t have to look very far to find examples of rankism in our own lives. We all recognize it, because we’ve all experienced it. Most likely, we have played both roles: target and perpetrator. That’s the nature of rankism—and it’s a key feature that distinguishes it from other “isms”. We keep our basic skin color all our lives, but we aren’t a nobody (perceived to be “unimportant” or of low rank) or a somebody (perceived to be “important” or of high rank) forever. Our rank is not fixed, as our membership in another group may be. We may be a somebody at work but a nobody at home, or vice versa. We may be treated as a somebody in middle age but as a nobody when we retire. Our rank shifts at different times and in different ...

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