Habits of the Heart: Individualism and Commitment in American Life

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University of California Press, Sep 17, 2007 - Social Science - 410 pages
3 Reviews
First published in 1985, Habits of the Heart continues to be one of the most discussed interpretations of modern American society, a quest for a democratic community that draws on our diverse civic and religious traditions. In a new preface the authors relate the arguments of the 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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I had to read this for a class at my University. It's incredibly outdated, has a lot of superfluous information, and taught me nothing even remotely relevant to day-to-day life in 2013.

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solid quote from it, amazing book: “Tocqueville saw a variety of unique features in American democracy, especially what he called equality of condition and, famously, individualism…he worried about the consequences of the tendency toward individualism…individualism that Tocqueville warned is the Achilles heel of the American experiment. As he described it, ‘Each one of them [the citizens], withdrawn into himself, is almost unaware of the fate of the rest. Mankind, for him, consists in his children and his personal friends. As for the rest of his fellow citizens, they are nothing.’ ” (page ix) 

Selected pages

Contents

The Pursuit of Happiness
3
Culture and Character The Historical Conversation
27
PRIVATE LIFE
53
Finding Oneself
55
Love and Marriage
85
Reaching Out
113
Individualism
142
PUBLIC LIFE
165
Citizenship
196
Religion
219
The National Society
250
Transforming American Culture
275
Social Science as Public Philosophy
297
Notes
309
Glossary
333
Index
337

Getting Involved
167

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About the author (2007)

Recipient of the National Humanities Medal, Robert N. Bellah is Elliott Professor of Sociology Emeritus, University of California, Berkeley. Richard Madsen is Professor of Sociology, University of California, San Diego. William M. Sullivan is Senior Scholar at the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. Ann Swidler is Professor of Sociology, University of California, Berkeley. Steven M. Tipton is Professor of Sociology and Religion at Emory University and the Candler School of Theology.

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