Battles Between Somebodies and Nobodies: Combat Abuse of Rank at Work and at Home


Every time we interact with another person, whether we realize it or not, we must deal with issues of power that takes place within a shared hierarchy. Because there are those who misuse their rank, we can find ourselves in disputes that ruin individuals, families, workplaces, and communities. In Battles between Somebodies and Nobodies, Dr. Julie Ann Wambach offers insights about kinds of hierarchies, how we create Somebodies and Nobodies, and the nature of those rank abusers who produce havoc in our lives. She ...

See more details below
$12.71 price
(Save 25%)$16.95 List Price
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (3) from $1.99   
  • Used (3) from $1.99   
Sending request ...


Every time we interact with another person, whether we realize it or not, we must deal with issues of power that takes place within a shared hierarchy. Because there are those who misuse their rank, we can find ourselves in disputes that ruin individuals, families, workplaces, and communities. In Battles between Somebodies and Nobodies, Dr. Julie Ann Wambach offers insights about kinds of hierarchies, how we create Somebodies and Nobodies, and the nature of those rank abusers who produce havoc in our lives. She maintains that battles lead to more battles, wherein everyone loses. With information and planning, readers can resolve conflicts in more creative fashions. This self help book describes how abuse of rank strikes in many parts of our life. While the book includes some theory, it is basically a how-to for anyone who wants out of the rank abuse cycle. The serious topic of rank abuse is presented in a friendly conversational style punctuated with 35 whimsical drawings. With the help of a ""Rank Conflict Inventory,"" numerous real life examples, step-by-step strategies, chapter exercises, and 20 rankist types, ""Battles"" is for a diverse audience.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal

Wambach's role as a dispute mediator and counselor prompted her to assemble this book on the dynamics of power and handling situations wherein power is abused. The author delves into the nature of hierarchies and notes that conflict within social groups turns into rankism when those in charge promote themselves and their interests while bringing harm to a person or community. Wambach explores both overt rankists, such as tyrants and gangsters, and covert rankists, such as snubbers and gatekeepers, and advises on how to handle their power plays. "Nobody" rankists are also analyzed, as they retaliate by placating, flattering, or gossiping. This insightful book, written for a college-level audience and beyond, could potentially serve a wide audience, especially among business self-help readers.

—Deborah Bigelow
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780981481807
  • Publisher: Brookside Press
  • Publication date: 10/1/2008
  • Pages: 196
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Dr. Julie Ann Wambach mediates disputes for a variety of nonprofit and governmental entities. After receiving a B.S. degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Julie taught high school speech communication and English for 5 years. She later completed her M.A. in Speech Communication and Ph.D. in Adult Development and Aging at Arizona State University. As Professor of Human Communication at Scottsdale [Arizona] Community College, she published two textbooks and numerous articles in juried academic journals and professional magazines. She has counseled individuals and married couples, and has been a speech writer, coach, and editor for administrators and elected officials.

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

Foreword     xix
Preface     xxi
Rankism Happens     3
We Reside in Hierarchies     5
Hierarchies in Animal Societies     6
Birds do it     6
Bees do it     6
Wild things do it     6
Domestic animals do it     7
Hierarchies among Humans     7
Explicit and ambiguous hierarchies     8
Assorted daily hierarchies     9
Choice of hierarchies     10
Somebodies and Nobodies     12
More and less than Alphas and Omegas     13
Who are Somebodies and Nobodies?     13
The Snob     14
Battles among Us     16
Conflict happens     16
Useful conflict     16
Rankism battles     18
Cycles of Rankism     19
Both Somebody and Nobody Rankists     19
Don't get mad-get even     20
We cheer for rankists     20
Group against Group     21
Rankism-"The Mother of All Isms"     21
Institutionalized rankism     22
Rankism and violence     23
Rankism and war     23
Chapter Summary     23
Reaching for Right-Rank: The Hierarchies in Your Life     24
Notable Hierarchies Include Right-Rank     27
What Does Not Work     27
Can not kill all rankists     27
Can not eradicate hierarchies     28
Can not everyone always be equal     29
Can not please everyone     30
Can not reach some rankists     30
What Notable Hierarchies Offer Us     30
A way of living peacefully     31
Increased productivity     31
Promotion of right-rank     32
Kinds of Rank     32
Positional power     32
Status     33
Fame     34
Right-rank     34
Chapter Summary     37
Reaching for Right-Rank: Somebodies and Nobodies You Know     37
Rankists Are Made, Not Born     39
Humanizing: We Create One Another     41
To Prosper, We Need Other Humans     41
Feral children     42
Solitary confinement     43
We Owe It All to Others     44
Our self     44
Our talents     45
Our feelings     46
Our community      47
Empathy     47
Chapter Summary     48
Reaching for Right-Rank: Your Reactions to Rank Conflict     48
Rank Conflict Inventory     49
Competition: Capturing a Top Spot     53
Which Battle on Which Ladder?     54
Do not limit your dreams     54
Take a chance     54
Will to Power     55
Power and values     56
Power and rankism     57
Both Superior and Inferior     57
Hitler: Nobody turned Somebody Rankist     58
Nobody student turns rankist     59
Rankists are immature and selfish     59
Power and Duty     60
Beware of "evil" labels     60
Wisdom with power     62
Chapter Summary     62
Reaching for Right-Rank: When You Are in the Top Spot     63
Fear: The Emotion that Shoves Us Up- and Sometimes Over     65
Some Different Fears     66
Safety alarm     66
Misplaced phobias     66
Misplaced anxieties     68
Feigned fear     68
Fear as Battle Weapon     69
Frightful news for profit     69
Crime, crime, and more crime      70
Effects of TV violence     71
Scared into buying     71
Facing Our Fears     72
Chapter Summary     73
Reaching for Right-Rank: When I am Afraid, I __     74
A Lineup of Rankists     75
Somebody Rankists: Those Who Obstruct     77
Overt Somebody Rankists     79
Tyrant     79
Seething Giant     81
Gangster     83
Sovereign     85
Grandee     87
Covert Somebody Rankists     89
Extortionist     89
Scapegoater     91
Fabricator     94
Gatekeeper     95
Snubber     97
Chapter Summary     99
Reaching for Right-Rank: Somebody Rankists You Know     100
Nobody Rankists: Those Who Counter     101
Overt Nobody Rankists     102
Retaliator     102
Dog-Kicker     104
Flatterer     106
Right-Rank Types     107
Persuader     107
Activist     109
Covert Nobody Rankists     111
Avenger     111
Gossip      113
Placater     114
Noble Sufferer     116
Onlooker     118
Chapter Summary     120
Reaching for Right-Rank: Nobody Rankists You Know     121
Know Thyself: Find Your Place on the Battle Line     123
A Broader View of Types     124
Somebody Rankists     124
Nobody Rankists     126
Right-Rank Types     126
More Nobody Rankists     127
Learning from the Rank Conflict Inventory     129
Reaching for Right-Rank: Score Your Rank Conflict Inventory     130
Chapter Summary     132
Organize to Stop Rankism     133
Big Picture: Conflict Strategies against Rankism     135
What Each Type Fears Most     136
Somebody Types-Overt and Covert     137
Nobody Types-Overt     138
Right-Rank Types     139
Nobody Types-Covert     139
Conflict Postures     140
Compliant     140
Detached     140
Aggressive     141
Integrative     141
Takers, Receivers, and Givers     142
Social Concern     142
Amount of Activity      142
Chapter Summary     144
Reaching for Right-Rank: Map Strategies for Rankists You Know     144
The Context and Details: Breaking the Cycle of Rankism     147
Identify the Specific Situation     148
Schools     149
Workplaces     150
Families     151
Relationships     153
Community     155
Recognize the Effects of Rankism     156
Emotional Reactions     156
Physical Reactions     156
Psychological Reactions     157
Detail the Proposed Changes     157
Personal behavior Changes     158
Structural Changes     158
Attitude Changes     159
Decide on a Battle Plan     160
Take Proactive Steps     161
Confer Directly with the Rankist     163
Approach Those Who Can Influence Change     164
Move to Activism     167
Chapter Summary     168
Reaching for Right-Rank: Your Plan for Stopping Rankism     169
Acknowledgments     171
Chapter Notes     173
Glossary     183
About the Author     191
Index     193
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Posted January 26, 2009

    Should be mandatory reading¿

    Battles Between Somebodies and Nobodies<BR/>Combat Abuse of Rank at Work and At Home<BR/>Julie Ann Wambach, Ph.D.<BR/>ISBN: 9780981481807<BR/>Brookside Press, 2008<BR/>5 stars<BR/>Reviewed by Debra Gaynor for, 1/09<BR/>Should be mandatory reading¿<BR/>As I read Battles Between Somebodies and Nobodies I remembered raising chickens. If a chicken seems a tad bit weak to the others they will start pecking at him and not stop until he dies. We humans are no better. If someone shows a weakness, we bully that person. Usually the bullies justify themselves by saying it was all in fun. Having been on the side of the bullied, I can tell you it is not fun.<BR/>Julie Ann Wamback, Ph.D. explains why we bully. She offers suggestions on how to recognize ¿rank abusers,¿ how to identify their motives and a plan to stop rankism. I think this book should be mandatory reading for everyone but especially for school officials.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted December 26, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    A Must Read For Every Manager

    The subject matter of this book applies to us all. As we meander through this journey of life, we must learn to cope and hopefully manage the all important issue of rankism, that is the abuse of power we may have over others. <BR/><BR/>As a corporate human resources director, I found this book to contain precisely the information that I have been searching for. The "pecking order" that either naturally arises in the workplace or that is forced by mandate is one of the areas of management where instruction is rare. Most of us never had the contents of this book available and went through our careers in what David Thoreau called "quiet desperation". <BR/><BR/>While hierarchies will never be eradicated (nor should they) there will always be those who misuse and abuse his or her position. This guide will help us to recognize rankism, refuse to accept rankism, hold ourselves accountable, hold others accountable and provide solid action plans to stop rankism. The exercises, tables and inventory guides make this reading more of study rather than an afternoon read. Indeed, my suggestion is to approach this book as a study guide for yourself and others. <BR/><BR/>As a life-long student of the puzzling worlds of discrimination and leadership, I greatly appreciated the topic as it helped me to fill in many of my missing pieces in these two management fields. <BR/><BR/>I hope you find this review helpful. <BR/><BR/>Michael L. Gooch, Author of Wingtips with Spurs

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)