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Adversarialism and Mutuality

California State University, Dominguez Hills
University of Wisconsin, Parkside
Created: April 4, 2001
Latest update: April 13, 2001

Disrespect as a Response to Exclusion

Got to find the original e-mail on this. "Jeanne, why do some of us have trouble with respect? Was it Lois Cole?"

Disrespect produces an affective response. We are angy when we feel that we have been discrespected. William Oliver, in the Violent Social World of Black Men, gives disrespect as one of the triggers in violence in the local bar scene. Oliver looks for the causes of anger at this level, but makes the unstated assumption that there is a one-to-one correspondence between the act of disrespect and the acting out of the anger. The anger is cumulative, and may be explosive. to fail to recognize this is to conclude that married couples are "really" fighting about the cap being left off the toothpaste, when that is just a convenient signifier for the anger felt over agency discrepancies in the interpersonal relationship.

In this connection, for a situation managed competently without explosive anger, see Laura Glass' comments on the role of the "real" press in giving voice to those from whom dominant discourse witholds it: Finding a Forum, Finding Voice.

Compare also Fanon, the Wretched of the Earth on this. And look at read32.htm on Laura's response to the newspapers. Measure of interpretation of listening in good faith to respect. See also tchessay27.htm.