The Lonely Crowd: A Study of the Changing American Character, Abridged and Revised Edition
"The Lonely Crowd is considered by many to be the most influential book of the twentieth century. Its now-classic analysis of the "new middle class" in terms of inner-directed and other-directed social character opened exciting new dimensions in our understanding of the psychological, political, and economic problems that confront the individual in contemporary American society. The 1969 abridged and revised edition of the book is now reissued with a new foreword by Todd Gitlin that explains why the book is still relevant to our own era."--BOOK JACKET.Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved
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LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - LibraryThing
Originally published in 1950, this fascinating sociological analysis was one of the assigned readings for a college course I once took on the intellectual history of twentieth-century America, and has - despite its flaws - been very influential in shaping my own ideas about conformity and independent thinking. An examination of the various "character types" to be found in the American middle class, Riesman, Glazer and Denney's magnum opus tackles the difficult topic of conformity, seeking to determine what type of person is most dominant in society, and the implications this has for autonomous thought and action. The authors lay out three basic character types, comprising: the "tradition-directed" person, who takes his or her behavioral cues from long-established social patterns; the "inner-directed" one, who is motivated largely by internal moral/ethical concerns and standards; and the up-and-coming "other-directed" type, who is zealously tuned in to the behavior of their group (whatever that might be). While all of these "types" represent ways of being in the world that allow the individual to integrate into society, and are thus all, to one extent or another, encouraging of conformity (there being, thankfully, no cartoon-like Ayn Rand characters in The Lonely Crowd), Riesman et. al. note that it is the third and final character type alone - the "other-directed" - that emphasizes behavioral conformity for its own sake. Paradoxically, it is this same type - the one the authors believed was rapidly coming to dominance in the American culture at the time they were writing - that also seemed to offer, through its emphasis on self-analysis, the possibility of a shift toward a more autonomous "inner-directed" type. That shift toward greater autonomy, and the seeking after it, was something the authors envisioned as occurring in a number of counter-cultural arenas (notably: "Bohemia," "sex," and "tolerance"), although it is instructive to note that they also observed that supposedly rebellious enclaves could be as rigidly conformist, internally, as anything they opposed externally. Although it has been some years since I last picked it up, I can still call to mind the mixture of admiration and frustration I experienced, when first reading The Lonely Crowd (a memorable title, if ever there was one). On the one hand, I found the authors' character-type analysis very persuasive, particularly as I think that the "other-directed" type has continued to dominate the American scene. On a personal level, as someone raised in a progressive home - someone who had always been willing to champion unpopular causes - I found the discussion of conformity within counter-cultural groups very enlightening. It seems self evident to me now, but the idea that rebellion might go hand in hand with obedient conformity, that the mores of the dominant society might simply have been replaced by those of a smaller group, was revelatory. But although there is no denying the importance of this book, as a means of understanding 20th-century American culture, it is not without significant flaws. The limitations inherent in an analysis that focuses exclusively on the middle class, however dominant that class might be, leap immediately to mind, all the more so given the racial divisions that run alongside class ones, in the American model. Prescient in some ways, and oblivious in others, The Lonely Crowd is still a book that I would recommend to all readers with an interest in group and identity formation, and issues of independence and conformity.
Review: The Lonely Crowd: A Study of the Changing American CharacterUser Review - Goodreads
Very good book that leaves you with a new look on society and looooots of questions. Basically the author's point is that poor people who have to work hard, have other worries than what other people ...
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THE LIVES THEY LIVED; Big Thinkster - New York Times
THE LIVES THEY LIVED; Big Thinkster. E-MAIL · Print; Save. By CHARLES MCGRATH. Published: December 29, 2002. In midcentury America, sociologists for a while ...
query.nytimes.com/ gst/ fullpage.html?res=9F05E1DB143CF93AA15751C1A9649C8B63
PEP Web - The Lonely Crowd: By David Riesman, in collaboration ...
Harris, hi (1952). The Lonely Crowd: By Dav... New Haven: Yale University Press, 1950. 386 pp.. Psychoanal Q., 21:258-260. Print ...
Robert Fulford's column about David Riesman's The Lonely Crowd
... by a work of sociology that has now been re-released in paperback, The Lonely Crowd: A Study of the Changing American Character (Yale University Press), ...
Harvard Gazette: Memorial Minute: David Riesman, author of 'The ...
At a meeting of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences on October 21, 2003, the following Minute was placed upon the records
www.hno.harvard.edu/ gazette/ 2003/ 11.13/ 18-mm.html
Comments on “Dennis Wrong: <Emphasis Type="Italic">The Lonely ...
Sociological Forum, Vol. 7, No, 2, 1992. Review Essays. Comments on "Dennis Wrong: The. Lonely. Crowd. Revisited". David Riesman I ...
www.springerlink.com/ index/ V87170VV3M0G76HJ.pdf
The Lonely Crowd - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Jump to: navigation, search. The Lonely Crowd, a 1950 sociological analysis by David Riesman, along with Nathan ...
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JSTOR: The Lonely Crowd: A Study of the Changing American Character.
RIESMAN, DAVID (REUEL DENNEY AND NATHAN GLAZER, COLLABORATORS) The Lonely Crowd: A Study of the Changing American Character. New Haven: Yale University ...
Riesman D, Denney R & Glazer N. The lonely crowd: a study of the ...
Riesman D. The lonely crowd: a study of the changing American character. Garden City, NY:. Doubleday, 1953. 359 p. 3. ........................., The lonely ...
www.garfield.library.upenn.edu/ classics1980/ A1980JZ27500001.pdf
The Lonely Crowd: Information and Much More from Answers.com
The Lonely Crowd David Riesman's book The Lonely Crowd: A Study of the Changing American Culture (1950), coauthored with Nathan Glazer and Reuel
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David Riesman: The Lonely Crowd - Associated Content
David Riesman writes of three very different character types in his book The Lonely Crowd. The first type, tradition directed, is driven by cultural demands ...
www.associatedcontent.com/ article/ 13832/ david_riesman_the_lonely_crowd.html