Habits of the Heart: Individualism and Commitment in American Life

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Robert Neelly Bellah
Harper & Row, 1985 - Civics - 355 pages
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This classic work of sociology explores the traditions Americans use to make sense of themselves and their society. "(A) brilliant analysis. Easily the richest and most readable study of American society . . . since The Lonely Crowd".--Newsweek.

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About the author (1985)

Robert N. Bellah, an American sociologist, received his Ph.D. from Harvard University in 1955 and teaches at the University of California at Berkeley. He is best known for his work on community and religion. Although he has written on religions in nonwestern cultures, he has focused much of his research on the notion of civil religion in the West. To Bellah, American society confronts a moral dilemma whereby communalism competes with individualism for domination. His most important book, Habits of the Heart (1985), considers the American character and the decline of community. Bellah holds that the radical split between knowledge and commitment is untenable and can result only in a stunted personal and intellectual growth. He argues for a social science guided by communal values.

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