ISBN 9781422177778,Us Plus Them: Tapping the Positive Power of Difference

Us Plus Them: Tapping the Positive Power of Difference



Harvard Universal Press

Publication Year 2012

ISBN 9781422177778

ISBN-10 1422177777


Number of Pages 272 Pages
Language (English)

Literature fiction

Us-versus-them is the costly mind-set in which organizations, communities, and whole nations too often find themselves trapped. In fact, recognizing difference as a positive force can bring astonishing value to even the most diverse organizations.

In Us Plus Them, leadership scholar Todd Pittinsky introduces a groundbreaking new science of diversity that:

Debunks the assumption that wherever there is difference there will be inherent tension and animosity
Challenges the effectiveness of our standard attempts to fight prejudice and combat hate in our schools and workplaces, our civic and religious lives
Reveals how we benefit from the mixing of different ethnic, racial, national, social, and religious groups in a globalized world
Through a wide range of examples--from Maine and Michigan to Rwanda and Bhutan, and from small-town classrooms to corporate boardrooms--Pittinsky opens our eyes to misunderstood yet useful aspects of us-and-them relations, including many of the neglected positive dimensions of difference. He provides a bold new assessment of the popular and scientific approaches to the issue, proving that it's time to move beyond mere tolerance to build communities in which the two sides of the us-and-them equation engage each other because they both want to.

Much as Martin Seligman and positive psychology have shifted the focus from mental illness to mental healthiness, this book shifts our mind-set to diversity as a positive force. Understanding the science and practical use of that energy will help us build the schools, neighborhoods, companies, and nations we want, and not simply avoid the ugliest problems of the past. Pittinsky shows us that our great diversity experiment hasn't failed--it hasn't even begun.

About The Author
Todd L. Pittinsky is an associate professor at SUNY Stony Brook. Prior to that, he was associate professor of public policy at the Harvard Kennedy School and research director of Harvard's Center for Public Leadership. Pittinsky's research has been published in leading academic journals and business publications. He is the coauthor of Working Fathers: New Strategies for Balancing Work and Family, the editor of Crossing the Divide: Intergroup Leadership in a World of Difference, and coeditor of Restoring Trust in Organizations and Leaders: Enduring Challenges and Emerging Answers