Avoiding Politics: How Americans Produce Apathy in Everyday Life
Nina Eliasoph's vivid portrait of American civic life reveals an intriguing culture of political avoidance. Open-ended political conversation among ordinary citizens is said to be the fount of democracy, but many Americans try hard to avoid appearing to care about politics. To discover how, where, and why Americans create this culture of avoidance, the author accompanied suburban volunteers, activists, and recreation club members for two and a half years, listening to them talk - and avoid talking - about the wider world, both within their groups and in their encounters with government, the media, and corporate authorities. This is a unique book which challenges received ideas about culture, power, and democracy, while exposing the hard work of producing apathy. Its clear exposition of the qualitative methods used also makes it exceptionally useful for students of political and cultural sociology, communications, and politics.
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The mysterious shrinking circle of concern
Volunteers trying to make sense of the world
The institutional setting for volunteering the Caring Adult Network
Close to home and for the children trying really hard not to care
Humor nostalgia and commercial culture in the postmodern public sphere
Rituals of consumption
Creating ignorance and memorizing facts how Buffaloes understood politics
Strenuous disengagement and cynical chic solidarity
Activists carving out a place in the public sphere for discussion
Other editions - View all
active activists Amargo Americans asked assumed avoid backstage beliefs Buffaloes called citizens close clubs concern considered contexts conversation corporate country-western create culture dance debate described discussion effort example fact feel gonna hard heard human ideas ignorance imagine important incinerator individual institutions interests interview involved issues jokes kids kind knowledge lack less live look matter mean meetings minded never nuclear offered officials opinions organizations parents participation political practice present problems protesters public sphere publicly question reason reporters rituals self-interest sense shared silence simply social someone sound speak speech story talk tell thing thought told toxic tried trying usually volunteers wanted waste wider world workers worried