On Being Unreasonable

£16.99

Manners, order and respect – these are all ideals we subscribe to. In opposed positions, we ought to be able to ‘agree to disagree’. Today’s world is built from structures of standards and reason, but it is imperative to ask who constructed these norms, and why. We are more divided than ever before – along lines of race, gender, class, disability – and it’s time to question who benefits the most. What if our propensity to measure human behaviour against rules and reason is actually more problematic than it might seem? Kirsty Sedgman shows how power dynamics and the social biases involved have resulted in a wide acceptance of what people should and shouldn’t do, but they create discriminatory realities and amount to a societal façade that is dangerous for genuine social progress.

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Description

We’re living in an age of division. From abortion rights to immigration, gun control to climate change, civil debate has gone out the window. Manners, order, and respect are being eroded. Why can’t we all be reasonable?

The trouble is, what’s ‘reasonable’ to one person is outrageous to another. Is it okay to let children play in the garden while others are working from home? To do your makeup on a train, or recline your seat on an aeroplane? What’s the right way to breastfeed? To protect your neighbourhood? To protest against injustice and oppression? In a world where we all think we’re being reasonable, how can we figure out what’s right?

Looking back through history and around the world, Kirsty Sedgman set out to discover how unfairness and discrimination got baked into our social norms, dividing us along lines of gender, class, disability, sexuality, race… Instead of measuring human behaviour against outdated standards of rules and reason, On Being Unreasonable argues that sometimes we need to act unreasonably to bring about positive change.

Additional information

Weight 461 g
Dimensions 21613525 mm