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lateral +‎ -ism


lateralism (countable and uncountable, plural lateralisms)

  1. (uncountable) An organizational structure in which competing interests of equal power negotiate with each other.
    • 2007, Rachel Sherman, Class Acts: Service and Inequality in Luxury Hotels, →ISBN, page 88:
      Thus, career ladders existed in the industry as a whole, not in the Royal Court itself, which contributed to a sense of lateralism rather than hierarchy in the hotel. Lateralism was also reflected in the Royal Court's minimal specialization, largely because of its size.
    • 2012, S.A. Cropper, Michael C. Jackson, & Paul Keys, Operational Research and the Social Sciences, →ISBN, page 339:
      The appropriate organisational structure would be open with a preponderance for lateralism.
    • 2013, John Morgan, Teaching Secondary Geography as if the Planet Matters, →ISBN:
      First, there are moves towards 'environmental lateralism' as nation-states seek to join together collectively to fight climate change.
    • 2015, John Joseph Adams, Loosed Upon the World: The Saga Anthology of Climate Fiction, →ISBN:
      Democracies did particularly badly against lateralism, because their politicians were working to very short agendas. They did nothing decisive to save the ecospherre, as everything had to be balanced to appease competing interests. Lateralism ignored wealth. Soon, there were only guards, goods, and obscenely rich people left in conventional economies.
  2. (countable) A scheme for how nations work together or compete, such as multilateralism, bilateralism, unilateralism, etc.
    • 1994, Journal of International Affairs - Volume 48, page 101:
      One simple distinction commonly made among the lateralisms is the number of parties involved in the transaction.
    • 1999, L. Alan Winters, Regionalism versus Multilateralism, →ISBN, page 2:
      While I should like to believe this— especially now that US commitment to multilateralism is diluted by other "lateralisms" (Summers, 1991)-- more needs to be done before it can be considered proven beyond reasonable doubt.
    • 2009, Wolfgang Fikentscher, Law and Anthropology: Outlines, Issues, and Suggestions, →ISBN, page 160:
      There are other "lateralisms". A widely used pattern is bilateralism: International relations are regarded in a bilateral framework solely between two partners.
  3. (medicine) Dominance or specialization by one side of the body; lateralization.
    • 1888, Charles Hamilton Hughes, The Alienist and Neurologist - Volume 9, page 415:
      Tonnini has found also that there is a difference of temperature in the two sides of the body, and of sensibility in them, so that one of the salient characters of moral insanity was lateralism, or, so to speak, sensory left-handedness, that is, more sensibility on one side than on the other, and signally so on the left ; the same fact obtained with regard to motility.
    • 1962, Richard Sydney Allison, The Senile Brain: A Clinical Study, page 49:
      Blau gives a list of some 40 tests by which handedness or " preferred lateralism " may be determined.
    • 2012, S.J. Kogan & E.S. Hafez, Pediatric Andrology, →ISBN, page 66:
      If the human testis is induced by a particular molecule, this kind of lateralism would indicate unilateral presence or absence of the molecule or its receptor.
  4. Lateral thinking; the process of approaching a subject from multiple sides, or an instance of this process.
    • 2001, Peter Davison, Reviving the muse: essays on music after modernism, page 238:
      The point of lateralism is to strike a compromise between what will sell and what ought to be explored.
    • 2004, William Gibson, Pattern Recognition, →ISBN:
      Like someone who'd learned how best to cope with chronic illness, he never allowed himself to think of his paranoia as an aspect of self. It was there, constantly and intimately, and he relied on it professionally, but he wouldn't allow it to spread, become jungle. He cultivated it on its own special plot, and checked it daily for news it might bring: hunches, lateralisms, frank anomalies.
    • 2011, Barry McCrea, In the Company of Strangers, →ISBN:
      The key queer technique that “Ithaca” showcases is lateralism, a parenthetical vision in which any given account of reality is constantly revised and expanded to house ever more elements that have been occluded or excised.
    • 2014, Dalma Kalogjera-Sackellares, Lateral Intelligence or Zsa-Zsa's Transform, →ISBN, page 112:
      Some of his verbal productions are literalisms. A fair number of them, however, are lateralisms—although superficially, many of them look like foolish literalisms.