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The Ethical Sellout: Maintaining Your Integrity in the Age of Compromise

Lily Zheng, Inge Hansen

In the age of purity politics and public shaming, people are fearful of betraying their values and selling out. Authors Lily Zheng and Inge Hansen make the bold claim that everyone sells out--and that the challenge lies in doing it ethically.

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Book Information

Publisher: Berrett-Koehler Publishers
Publish Date: 10/29/2019
Pages: 192
ISBN-13: 9781523085842
ISBN-10: 1523085843
Language: English

What We're Saying

October 30, 2019

"If selling out is often sometimes necessary, how does one sell out…ethically? How does one distinguish between an impossible choice made in difficult circumstances, versus a calculated and selfish act of self-interest? How does one keep ethics and integrity at the forefront of a choice that inherently involves a compromise in values?" READ FULL DESCRIPTION

Full Description

In the age of purity politics and public shaming, people are fearful of betraying their values and selling out. Authors Lily Zheng and Inge Hansen make the bold claim that everyone sells out--and that the challenge lies in doing it ethically. "Selling out" isn't an action that many think of in neutral terms. It brings to mind the politician who concedes to lobbyists and corporations, the musician that signs a major record deal, or even the once radical activist-turned-celebrity. It's no wonder why many feel defensive when accused of selling out. But in a world where compromise is an essential aspect of life, we all sell out in one way or another. Drawing from their own stories and from a diversity of people who recount their own struggles with dilemmas around selling out, Lily Zheng and Inge Hansen confront two provocative questions: What compels so many of us to sell out? and How can we sell out ethically? In the first part of The Ethical Sellout, they pull together key lessons on the many forces driving sellout crises, looking at cases from a span of contexts including high tech, elite universities, the US military, and beyond. The second part provides an adaptive framework and tool kit that makes navigating identity, belief systems, and networks an intentional practice--one that guides readers not to become ethical sellouts but how to sell out more ethically. With compassion, honesty, accountability, nuance, growth, and exploration, Zheng and Hansen propose new ways of authentically thinking about marginalization, privilege, and self-interest. This book is for all who have ever felt forced to choose between their needs and their values and for those who strive every day to maintain their integrity in the face of constant pressure to compromise.

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