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Dignity for All by Pamela Gerloff, Robert W. Fuller

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chapter sixTalking About Rankism

One of the best ways to end rankism is to simply start talking about it. Until now, the subject of rankism has been taboo, not discussable in polite company. It’s not always comfortable to say “You know, we might be excluding others here, depriving them of an opportunity to be heard. Let’s see if we can listen to some other voices, too.” Or, “Hey guys, do you think we’re giving enough people a chance at this job? How about letting more people in on the action?”

People don’t typically enjoy confronting their own rankism. Those in positions of power may not want to “rock the boat” with their friends or colleagues, and when those of lower rank speak up, they may risk retaliation. The unfortunate truth is that although ...

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