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Habits of the Heart: Individualism and Commitment in American Life

Habits of the Heart Individualism and Commitment in American Life Meanwhile the authors antidote to the American sickness a quest for democratic community that draws on our diverse civic and religious traditions has contributed to a vigorous scholarly and popular d

  • Title: Habits of the Heart: Individualism and Commitment in American Life
  • Author: Robert N. Bellah William M. Sullivan Steven M. Tipton Richard Madsen Ann Swidler
  • ISBN: 9780520205680
  • Page: 185
  • Format: Paperback
  • Meanwhile, the authors antidote to the American sickness a quest for democratic community that draws on our diverse civic and religious traditions has contributed to a vigorous scholarly and popular debate Attention has been focused on forms of social organization, be it civil society, democratic communitarianism, or associative democracy, that can humanize the market anMeanwhile, the authors antidote to the American sickness a quest for democratic community that draws on our diverse civic and religious traditions has contributed to a vigorous scholarly and popular debate Attention has been focused on forms of social organization, be it civil society, democratic communitarianism, or associative democracy, that can humanize the market and the administrative state In their new Introduction the authors relate the argument of their book both to the current realities of American society and to the growing debate about the country s future With this new edition one of the most influential books of recent times takes on a new immediacy.

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    About "Robert N. Bellah William M. Sullivan Steven M. Tipton Richard Madsen Ann Swidler"

    1. Robert N. Bellah William M. Sullivan Steven M. Tipton Richard Madsen Ann Swidler

      Robert N Bellah was Elliott Professor of Sociology Emeritus at the University of California at Berkeley.Bellah graduated summa cum laude from Harvard College with a B.A in social anthropology in 1950 His undergraduate honors thesis on Apache Kinship Systems won the Phi Beta Kappa Prize and was published by the Harvard University Press In 1955, he received a Ph.D from Harvard University in Sociology and Far Eastern Languages and published his doctoral dissertation, Tokugawa Religion, in 1957 After two years of postdoctoral work in Islamic Studies at McGill University in Montreal, he began teaching at Harvard in 1957 and left 10 years later as Professor of Sociology to move to the University of California, Berkeley From 1967 to 1997, he served as Ford Professor of Sociology.Other works include Beyond Belief, Emile Durkheim on Morality and Society, The Broken Covenant, The New Religious Consciousness, Varieties of Civil Religion, Uncivil Religion, Imagining Japan and, most recently, The Robert Bellah Reader The latter reflects his work as a whole and the overall direction of his life in scholarship to understand the meaning of modernity Continuing concerns already developed in part in Civil Religion in America and The Broken Covenant, led to a book Bellah co authored with Richard Madsen, William Sullivan, Ann Swidler and Steven Tipton Habits of the Heart Individualism and Commitment in American Life published by the University of California Press in 1985 The same group wrote The Good Society, an institutional analysis of American society, published by Alfred A Knopf in 1991.On December 20, 2000, Bellah received the United States National Humanities Medal The citation, which President William Jefferson Clinton signed, reads The President of the United States of America awards this National Humanities Medal to Robert N Bellah for his efforts to illuminate the importance of community in American society A distinguished sociologist and educator, he has raised our awareness of the values that are at the core of our democratic institutions and of the dangers of individualism unchecked by social responsibility.In July 2008, Bellah and Professor Hans Joas, who holds appointments in both the University of Chicago and Freiburg University in Germany, organized a conference at the Max Weber Center of the University of Erfurt on The Axial Age and Its Consequences for Subsequent History and the Present, attended by a distinguished group of international scholars interested in comparative history and sociology At the conclusion of the conference, the University of Erfurt awarded Bellah an honorary degree Harvard University Press published the proceedings of this conference as The Axial Age and Its Consequences in 2012.In September of 2011 the Belknap Press of Harvard University Press published Religion in Human Evolution From the Paleolithic to the Axial Age, the result of Bellah s lifetime interest in the evolution of religion and thirteen years of work on this volume.Preview a book about Robert Bellah by University of Padua, Italy, Sociology Professor Matteo Bortolini.News and Articles Commenting on Robert Bellah s PassingComments on the Passing of Robert N Bellah by Jeffrey C AlexanderAmerican Journal of Cultural Sociology, July 31, 2013Robert Bellah, Sociologist of Religion, Dies at 86Tricycle, July 31, 2013In Memoriam Robert N BellahPacific Church News The Episcopal Diocese of California , July 31, 2013Robert Bellah, 1927 2013Harvard University Press Blog, July 31, 2013The Passing of Robert BellahAssociation for the Sociology of Religion, July 31, 2013Robert Bellah, preeminent American sociologist of religion, dies at 86 by Yasmin Anwar,UC Berkeley News Center, August 1, 2013Remembering Robert Bellah by Jeff GuhinJeff Guhin s blog , Thursday, August 1, 2013Robert Bellah Departs by Mark Silk,Religion News Service, August

    620 Comments

    1. This multi-authored sociological study, first published in 1985 and updated in 1996, posits a common core belief among Americans, “the belief that economic success or misfortune is the individual’s responsibility, and his or hers alone.” This individualism “values independence and self-reliance above all else.” I thought about this recently after experiencing Verdi’s early opera, “Ernani,” in which the governing virtue was honor, little thought or spoken about today in our countr [...]


    2. This book made me want to bash my head in. Boring, repetitive, and I was forced to finish it for class. If the bookstore doesn't buy it back, I'm setting it on fire and laughing maniacally.


    3. A canonical text of American sociology in the 1980s, sure to be at the center of reading lists about the 1980s. A quintessential examination of the mental space of middle class white America, in the late Cold War years, the book is a curiously normative document framed as a piece of positive sociology. Its immense popularity stems probably from precisely this balancing act, as well as the great learning wrapped up within Bellah's mellifluous if curiously relaxed and at times repetitive prose. De [...]


    4. As a former student of sociology with intense curiosity about modern social/political/economic phenomena, I really enjoyed this book and would probably give a copy as a gift to student friends. What I especially liked was the ending where the six (3 pairs) American visions of the public good are outlined, ending with the Administered Society vs. Economic Democracy, neither of which sound pleasant. I especially like how this analysis unfolds from a "classical republican" perspective and maintains [...]


    5. One of those rare examples of academic writing that escaped to the hoi polloi. The title comes from a phrase used by Tocqueville in his observations of American culture. Bellah, et al examine modern therapeutic culture and how it contrasts with the deepest, in some ways subconscious desires of society and ideas of the "good life."In 1985 I'm certain this was paradigm-shifting stuff and I'm also certain it inspired much of the reappraisals of modernity as well as those committed,long-standing pro [...]


    6. This is an exceptional sociological examination of American society. The authors use Democracy in America as an interpretive horizon for the evolution of American Society in the late 20th century. Where de- Tocqueville's America was politically and socially engaged, the socio-economic factors that have emerged in the last 40 years have worked to undermine communal opportunity. The authors provide a nice balance between case studies and social science. An exceptional read.


    7. The gist: Individualism (whether economic or spiritual) cannot provide meaning, however worthy the freedom it offers may be. Nor can the weak forms of association found in "lifestyle enclaves," inhabited as they are only by similar people who join seeking personal fulfillment. A meaningful life can only be lived in a community, sustained by tradition and by service to others.


    8. To become a missional community in our culture, we need this instruction from a cultural anthropologist's view. This book outlines how Americans are living as products of their surrounding culture. It helps us see the forest through the trees.


    9. Every American should read this book. It perfectly explains why our society has reached the current fractious, even destructive point it has.


    10. Enlightening and shocking and overwhelming. One gets every indication this is a sociological masterpiece. The opposite of a 'light summer read', yet spending the summer underlining, circling, and contemplating the sentences in this book was as demanding as it was satisfying. There is too much to summarize here, but one day, maybe.


    11. A contemporary classic of religious sociology. Recommended for anyone sincerely interested in understanding the role of religion in American society and culture.


    12. Some interesting points that may help some people to lead a better life. But I've heard this all before and it's a bit convoluted.



    13. ¿Cómo es vivir en Estados Unidos? Esta parece ser la pregunta fundamental que los autores de este gigantesco estudio trataron de responder. A través de una gran cantidad de entrevistas y testimonios, pero especialmente, de un fino sentido crítico, los autores nos plantean un detallado retrato de la vida norteamericana, del ciudadano común, el que vive en una ciudad cualquiera de una región cualquiera de los Estados Unidos, pero sin la pretensión de querer describir una especie de "individ [...]


    14. Bellah (et al) are primarily concerned with discussing the inevitable overlap of private and public life in American society. Based on 200+ interviews with a representative population of white middle-class America, Bellah draws the conclusion that, as much as Americans are focused on attaining self-reliance and individualism, individualism (i.e. private life) is most meaningful when it is complemented by engagement with society (i.e. public life). He asserts, “individuality and society are not [...]


    15. I am intrigued. More and more lately, I find myself questioning my lifelong premise that there is a particular purpose for my life, and that it is my duty to discover and fulfill that purpose. One may even be hard pressed to prove conclusively that there is any particular purpose, at all, to our individual lives. It may be that my life has whatever purpose and meaning I choose to assign to it. I'm not particularly comforted by that, but now that I have made it through the Preface to the 2008 Edi [...]


    16. Relevant for Our TimesUsing interviews of a wide cross section of people, Bellah dissects the problems we face in the post-modern world, relates them to the findings of Tocqueville ~150 years earlier, provides historical continuity and context with the development of the US and finally offers an approach for change that would need to be of the magnitude of the civil rights movement. It really blew my mind, in a good way.


    17. Sociological studywith a focus upon Christianity and American individualismt my style. This was a class assignment, and the sociology in the book is quite the turn-off. It is dryly written and unengaging, for the layman. It provides the reader with analysis of all of America's problems in regards to individualism, but offers no solutions - highly frustrating.


    18. 1985 sociological study which offers some genuinely profound insights into how Americans talk themselves into narratives of self-made people and idealized small towns, although markedly biased by its date (amazingly, women were starting to not see men as "permanent meal tickets" and small town companies were civic minded and hadn't off-shored all the jobs yet).


    19. Next to De Tocqueville, an excellent work on American culture.The Appendix contains an extremely helpful explanation of the difference between research universities and traditional colleges. Research universities have increased the material prosperity of America, but have impoverished America culturally.


    20. This book was part of a Sociology of Culture graduate class. I am an atheist and generally tend to loathe how religion separates us from one another, and the message that I got from this book was that religion is a wonderful thing that is necessary to hold society together. I found that very depressing.


    21. I skimmed this book and referenced it heavily for an undergraduate research project. The book was given to me and is signed and endorsed to me by my academic advisor. I have long been plagued by guilt for never actually reading it cover to cover. Now I have.


    22. I had to read it for my Civic Engagement & Social Action class. Since I do go to a Catholic university I thought it was appropriate for my school and he actually came to my school and spoke to our community about religion and other topics in sociology.


    23. This is pretty dense book to read, almost as bad as a textbook. But worth it. I loved the ideas about community and the way the authors talked about American values such as independence and how people validate their idea of service. If you can stay with it to the end, this book is worth reading.


    24. I could not get through this book. The whining, self-centeredness, and limited scope of types of people included made the generalizations impossible to stomach. It is probably best loved by children of the 60s, or people who spend their time trying to "find themselves."


    25. (I totally didn't read the conclusion but I was done in the way that mattered)this was actually not bad but I realize the only chapters that held my interest were the ones about failing marrige, therapy, and religion so idk


    26. This is a good book, but it is an old book. It is very insightful for 1985, unfortunately I think that society has changed quite a bit since then. I'm not saying that their findings are contradicted, but rather complicated, by more recent shifts.


    27. So far, I have paralysis by analysis. I am hoping it goes away soon by "this is what it all means ending." I am not hopeful though.




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