This is treacherous conceptual territory, as what constitutes "American culture" is a matter of great dispute. Williams, Christian Century Mr.
A stimulating, thoughtful, and well-reasoned argument on the state of the nation. While there is little dissent among Americans over essential values, racism still abounds.
His recent books include Coercion and Consent and International Orders. Extremism, zealotry, public confrontation and interest-based politics all fly in the face of those assumptions and make Americans profoundly uneasy.
The assumption that a society has sacred qualities puts a premium on maintaining "community" and leads to worries that social harmony is fragile. Introducing a balanced viewpoint into this inten Is the United States a nation of materialistic loners whose politics are dictated by ethnic, racial, religious, or sexual identities?
The authors manage the difficult task of being both brief and nuanced. Bellah, University of California, Berkeley "In this provocative book, the authors hold a mirror up to the nation and find.
Is America Breaking Apart? The authors manage the difficult task of being both brief and nuanced. Americans seem to fear that their society is breaking apart, but how accurate is this portrayal and how justified is the fear? This is what America has become in the eyes of many commentators.
They do identify several central values such as antiauthoritarianism, egalitarianism and individualism that they claim are widely shared by Americans of all social strata. They find that this shared belief paradoxically leads Americans to exaggerated worries about disunity, since they are afraid that disagreements among co-equals will rend apart a fragile community based solely on consensus and caring.
Broad in scope and ambition, this short book draws a realistic portrait of a society that is among the most powerful and stable in the world, yet is perennially shaken by self-doubt. The book is an important corrective to the sensationalist literature that contributes to the problems it supposedly decries.
Though they do not question its advantages for economic prosperity, neither do they equate stability with justice. Their book is a vivid, sweeping response to the doomsayers in the reassessment of our society.
Political stability was far from preordained, the authors claim; rather, it was won through some specific political decisions made by our leaders, and by the violent repression of alternative visions of how the nation might be structured.
Hall and Lindholm successfully explain why the country continues to cohere despite all the clamor over multiculturalism and a politics of difference. He then held a joint appointment in the Committee on Social Studies and the Department of Anthropology at Harvard, where he remained until Hall and Lindholm worry about the American conception of society as the voluntary aggregation of self-interested individuals-a conception that endangers sociability and cooperation.
They have a strong sense of history and of theory, and they write well, making compelling arguments in a civil way.
Williams, Christian Century Review "Insightful and persuasive. Introducing a balanced viewpoint into this intense debate, John Hall and Charles Lindholm demonstrate that such alarm is unfounded.
However, this hostility was balanced by an ethic of ritualized hospitality and by an idealization of friendship. Library Journal Review As [the authors] point out, in a book that is both soothing and convincing.
Add a review and share your thoughts with other readers. It militates against true social justice, the authors argue, but it does indeed help maintain societal stability. Williams, Christian Century "Insightful and persuasive As examples of the suppression of social alternatives, the authors cite the removal and often genocidal warfare against Native Americans; the forcible unification of the country into a single economic system through the Civil War; a shared racism that helped unify a variety of European-based ethnic groups; and the violent repression of socialist and workers movements during industrialization.
In sum, Hall and Lindholm argue for the idea of a shared American culture, but they make that argument by noting that much of what we share is our pragmatic, ambiguous and situational application of our values and ideals. Old contrasts between left and right are blurred and even erased in this shared quest.
The prose is at once judicious and elegant. Ethnicity as choice, race as destiny -- Two cheers for homogeneity.
Concern over the cohesiveness of American society, Hall and Lindholm argue, is actually a product of a shared cultural belief in human distinctiveness and equality. These were said to be symbolic and psychic manifestations of fundamental inclinations to attachment that were precluded by the objective circumstances of the larger system.
For example, neoconservatives worry that the trend toward "multiculturalism" is undermining our sense of collective national identity. The culture, too, comes under scrutiny: Rhys H Williams Rhys H. Here the authors predict that the homogenizing force of economic participation might still be the key to mending the wounds of racial turmoil.
By combining history, sociology, and anthropology, the authors cover a wide range of past and recent challenges to the stability of American society: Nov 03, issue Hall and Lindholm do not denounce these concerns.Is America Breaking Apart?
has 4 ratings and 0 reviews. Is the United States a nation of materialistic loners whose politics are dictated by ethnic, raci /5(4). Is America Breaking Apart? by John A. Hall,available at Book Depository with free delivery worldwide.
His first book, Generosity and Jealousy () which connects the personal and the social through the elaboration of symbolic systems and ritual analysis.
Is America Breaking Apart? (With John A. Hall). Princeton: Princeton University Press. Read the full-text online edition of Is America Breaking Apart? (). Home» Browse» Books» Book details, Is America Breaking Apart? Is America Breaking Apart? By John A.
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