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Lunch » Tags » Books » Reviews » Battles between Somebodies and Nobodies: Combat Abuse of Rank at Work and at Home » User review

How to recognize and combat "rankism", the abuse of position within a hierarchy

  • Feb 6, 2009
Other than the introduction of the term "rankism", the abuse of position within a hierarchy, there is very little in this book that has not been covered elsewhere. Like it or not hierarchies are a fundamental component of human existence, their presence in flocks and herds of animals indicates that there may be a biological basis for them. Therefore, the issue is not that they exist but that they are misused. A person that misuses a rank distinction is called a Somebody Rankist.
Wambach does a good job in describing the fundamental categories of such misuse, for example some of the categories and their descriptions are:

*) Retaliator, who slams back in the same way in which he or she was assaulted by a Somebody Rankist.
*) Dog-Kicker, who strikes at someone more vulnerable rather than at the original Somebody Rankist.
*) Flatterer, who compliments Somebody Rankists in order to keep in good stead.

I enjoyed reading this book because I recognized many of the people that I have worked for and with and unfortunately also recognized some of my occasional inappropriate behaviors. The descriptions were accurate and the explanations of rank and its' privilege have been a part of the human social organism since the act of evolution first created a creature that could be called human. Tactics that the Nobody can use to fight back against the Somebody Rankist are given although they are often built on somewhat disingenuous flanking attacks rather than a direct confrontation of the principals.
Although there is very little new in this book, it is presented in some novel ways and it contains a message that cannot be repeated often enough. Every serious study that I have ever seen indicates that workers achieve the highest possible productivity when their position, problems and advancement are a point of interest to their supervisors. That cannot be done in a Rankist environment, so anything that helps to reduce this poison is to be welcomed.

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More Battles between Somebodies and... reviews
review by . July 22, 2009
Henry David Thoreau famously warned us to "beware of all enterprises that require new clothes," and a good corollary to that might be "beware all books on interpersonal conflict that require learning a new language." For "Battles Between Somebodies and Nobodies" relies on a fairly specialized vocabulary, not only of words you thought you knew like "somebody" and "nobody," but also "rankism," "right-rank," "dog-kickers," "gatekeepers," and more. I quickly came across some other speed bumps when starting …
review by . January 04, 2009
This is truly a unique and helpful book. As a matter of fact, it is one of the most helpful books in this genre I have had the pleasure reading over the years. The author, Julie Ann Wambach Ph.D. has, to begin with, done a tremendous amount of excellent research is putting this offering together, but I strongly suspect that the strength of her words, observations and advice come more from her obvious abilities in the observation of her fellow humans and in her ability to interpret these observations. …
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Charles Ashbacher ()
Ranked #78
Charlie Ashbacher is a compulsive reader and writer about many subjects. His prime areas of expertise are in mathematics and computers where he has taught every course in the mathematics and computer … more
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Wambach's role as a dispute mediator and counselor prompted her to assemble this book on the dynamics of power and handling situations wherein power is abused. The author delves into the nature of hierarchies and notes that conflict within social groups turns into rankism when those in charge promote themselves and their interests while bringing harm to a person or community. Wambach explores both overt rankists, such as tyrants and gangsters, and covert rankists, such as snubbers and gatekeepers, and advises on how to handle their power plays. Nobody rankists are also analyzed, as they retaliate by placating, flattering, or gossiping. This insightful book, written for a college-level audience and beyond, could potentially serve a wide audience, especially among business self-help readers. --Deborah Bigelow, Director, Leonia P.L., NJ - Library Journal

School shootings, abuses of power in the workplace, and spousal or child abuse are results of what Dr. Julie Wambach calls rankism, or the abuse of position within a hierarchy. Wambach identifies rankists as individuals who move to meet their personal needs while depriving others of their own. They treat humans as objects without concern for individual feelings or safety. Rankist behaviors, whether exhibited by those considered somebodies, or those seen as nobodies within a group, have damaging consequences for the individuals who engage in them, the groups to which they belong, and often, to innocent bystanders. All social ...
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ISBN-10: 0981481809
ISBN-13: 978-0981481807
Author: Julie Ann Wambach
Publisher: Brookside Press

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