You've probably heard this a many times as you argued for something you care deeply about: 'be reasonable'. Don't argue too loudly, or too passionately, or don't ask society to change its ways. Being 'reasonable' is drilled into us from childhood, at home and at school.
But what does being reasonable even mean? What’s 'reasonable' to one person is outrageous to another. 'Reasonable' behaviour has been defined by outdated standards: don't challenge the status quo, don't rebel too loudly against injustice - just do as you're told and don't ask questions.
Professor of cultural studies Kirsty Sedgman argues that sometimes, you need to act unreasonably to bring positive change in the world.
An award-winning cultural studies scholar based at the University of Bristol (UK), Dr Kirsty Sedgman has spent her career studying how we construct and maintain our competing value systems, working out how people can live side by side in the same world yet come to understand it in such different ways. The author of numerous publications on audiences, culture, communication, and human behaviour, Kirsty speaks about her research around the world and has appeared in media outlets from BBC Woman's Hour to the Guardian to the front page of the New York Times. Her new book On Being Unreasonable: Breaking the Rules and Making Things Better is out now with Faber & Faber.
On Being Unreasonable: Breaking the Rules and Making Things Better (Faber & Faber, 2023)
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