'Unlike food, respect costs nothing. Why, then, should it be in short supply?'
In this provocative and timely book, Richard Sennett examines the forces that erode respect in modern society. Respect can be gained by attaining success, by developing talents, through financial independence and by helping other. But, Sennett argues, many who are not able to achieve the demands of today's meritocracy lose the esteem that should be given to them.
From his childhood in a poor Chicago housing project to the contrasting methods of care practised by a num and a social worker, from the harmonious interaction of musicians to the welfare system, Sennett explores the ways in which mutual respect can forge bonds across the divide of inequality.