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Thursday, March 22, 2007

End of respect...

I've completed the fourth and final part of Sennett's Respect in a World of Inequality, and overall find the central point of the work very important but the presentation a bit uneven - especially in his efforts to use examples from anthropology that reflect the expression and performative nature of respect. Here the "disk" (in lieu of bureacuractic pyramid) metaphor turns up again, but with no greater impact or clarity than I found in its initial use. The strength of the book stylistically remains its autobiographical sections as well as his discussion of bureaucratic respect.

But style uneveness aside, Sennett's major contribution is to bring back into perspective the important role that respect -- especially in the form of autonomy -- plays in our lives. I find this very compatible with wome of the other work I've been reading about governance, especialy the work of Philip Pettit on autonomous agency

Now on to another book....


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