To Break Our Chains

Social Cohesiveness and Modern Democracy

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Jerome Braun, known for his writings in interdisciplinary social science, in this book provides a concrete reference for such abstract issues of social theory as democracy from a cross-cultural perspective, alienation in modern society, and the relation between social cohesiveness and political democracy. This book also includes a great deal of writing on practical issues ranging from nihilism to figurehead politicians to working-class life. In the summary section it deals with the kinds of things critical theorists like to comment on, but rarely with so much practical insight.
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Biographical Note

Jerome Braun, M.A. (1976), Labor and Industrial Relations, University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana writes and lectures in interdisciplinary social science, with emphasis on culture and personality and democracy from a cross-cultural perspective. He also writes on pragmatic critical theory.

Table of contents

Introduction

PART I: VALUES AND CHARACTER: ON HOW TO MAKE TRAGEDY UNNECESSARY
1. Values from a Pragmatic Perspective
2. Alienation, the Short Version
3. Prospects for Democracy: Individualism/Collectivism as Sources of Association/Community
4. Character and Civil Society
5. Ethics for an Impersonal Age
6. The Place of Optimism in American Life
7. The Rationality of Psychological Fulfillment in Adolescents’ Lives: The Production of Personal Relationships and Self-Identity
8. Nihilism: East and West
9. Making Friends in the Non-Western World
10. Aspects of Hysteria in America, Brazil, Germany, and Africa

PART II: PRACTICAL ISSUES
11. Figurehead Politicians and Democracy
12. Social Engineering and Public Relations Stunts
13. Liberalism at the Crossroads
14. What Does the Working Class Really Want?
15. Foolish Ritualism and Democracy
16. The Place of Law in a Democracy
17. The “Star” System in America
18. What is Happiness? The Loss of Human Nature in Psychiatry
19. The Lowering of Professional Standards in America

PART III: THE GOALS OF SOCIETY: JUSTICE AND FREEDOM
20. Liberal and Authoritarian Versions of Democracy
21. Culture and Civil Society
22. Democracy and Civil Society
23. The Ecological Society
24. Plutocracy and the Labor Movement
25. Industrial Democracy for the 21st Century
26. The Great Weakness of American Government

PART IV: CONCLUSION
27. Modern and Postmodern Views of Democracy
28. Nation-Building and Social Solidarity
29. Reason and Morality in Community: Some Conclusions

References
Index

Readership

This book will be of interest to students of political and cultural sociology, sociology of alienation, sociology of culture, political science, political anthropology, political psychology, cultural studies and social theory.

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