Sunday, October 5, 2008


Here is an announcement for a discussion of overcoming rankism at the Ross School.

There is actually much less of this sort of thing at Michigan than I was expecting ex ante. Indeed, my experience has been much less political correctness here than at Maryland, which was not my expectation.

Like many such things, some of what underlies "rankism" is not completely crazy. There are real issues in, for example, health care, between doctors and nurses. Nurses could do many things that doctors presently do at least as well but do not, for various reasons relating to psychology, sociology and economics of organizations and professions. Whether the name rankism and the conceptual outlook it implies, which suggest some sort of simple taste-based discrimination that shares parallels with racism, are helpful ways to think about these real issues, seems more dubious to me.