Elusive Togetherness

Author: Paul Lichterman
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 1400842956
Size: 34.41 MB
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Many scholars and citizens alike have counted on civic groups to create broad ties that bind society. Some hope that faith-based civic groups will spread their reach as government retreats. Yet few studies ask how, if at all, civic groups reach out to their wider community. Can religious groups--long central in civic America--create broad, empowering social ties in an unequal, diverse society? Over three years, Paul Lichterman studied nine liberal and conservative Protestant-based volunteering and advocacy projects in a mid-sized American city. He listened as these groups tried to create bridges with other community groups, social service agencies, and low-income people, just as the 1996 welfare reforms were taking effect. Counter to long-standing arguments, Lichterman discovered that powerful customs of interaction inside the groups often stunted external ties and even shaped religion's impact on the groups. Comparing groups, he found that successful bridges outward depend on group customs which invite reflective, critical discussion about a group's place amid surrounding groups and institutions. Combining insights from Alexis de Tocqueville, John Dewey, and Jane Addams with contemporary sociology, Elusive Togetherness addresses enduring questions about civic and religious life that elude the popular "social capital" concept. To create broad civic relationships, groups need more than the right religious values, political beliefs, or resources. They must learn new ways of being groups.

A Shared Future

Author: Richard L. Wood
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 022630616X
Size: 33.24 MB
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Faith-based community organizers have spent decades working for greater equality in American society, and more recently have become significant players in shaping health care, finance, and immigration reform at the highest levels of government. In A Shared Future, Richard L. Wood and Brad R. Fulton draw on a new national study of community organizing coalitions and in-depth interviews of key leaders in this field to show how faith-based organizing is creatively navigating the competing aspirations of America’s universalist and multiculturalist democratic ideals, even as it confronts three demons bedeviling American politics: economic inequality, federal policy paralysis, and racial inequity. With a broad view of the entire field and a distinct empirical focus on the PICO National Network, Wood and Fulton’s analysis illuminates the tensions, struggles, and deep rewards that come with pursuing racial equity within a social change organization and in society. Ultimately, A Shared Future offers a vision for how we might build a future that embodies the ethical democracy of the best American dreams. An interview of the authors on the subject of faith leaders organizing for justice (Peace Talks Radio, copyright Good Radio Shows, Inc.) can be heard at this link: https://beta.prx.org/stories/190030

The Oxford Handbook Of Cultural Sociology

Author: Jeffrey C. Alexander
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0199703442
Size: 48.81 MB
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Since sociologists returned to the study of culture in the past several decades, a pursuit all but anathema for a generation, cultural sociology has emerged as a vibrant field. Edited by three leading cultural sociologists, The Oxford Handbook of Cultural Sociology presents the full theoretical and methodological vitality of this critically significant new area.The Handbook gathers together works by authors confronting the crucial choices all cultural sociologists face today: about analytic priorities, methods, topics, epistemologies, ideologies, and even modes of writing. It is a vital collection of preeminent thinkers studying the ways in which culture, society, politics, and economy interact in the world. Organized by empirical areas of study rather than particular theories or competing intellectual strands, the Handbook addresses power, politics, and states; economics and organization; mass media; social movements; religion; aesthetics; knowledge; and health. Allowing the reader to observe tensions as well as convergences, the collection displays the value of cultural sociology not as a niche discipline but as a way to view and understand the many facets of contemporary society. The first of its kind, The Oxford Handbook of Cultural Sociology offers comprehensive and immediate access to the real developments and disagreements taking place in the field, and deftly exemplifies how cultural sociology provides a new way of seeing and modeling social facts. "This groundbreaking, readable handbook [is] the first single volume to attempt to unify its diverse contemporary applications in a wide range of traditional genres of sociology...Valuable for college universities and libraries supporting undergraduate and graduate degree programs in sociology and history."-CHOICE

Avoiding Politics

Author: Nina Eliasoph
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 9780521587594
Size: 15.34 MB
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Nina Eliasoph's vivid portrait of American civic life reveals an intriguing culture of political avoidance. Despite the importance for democracy of open-ended political conversation among ordinary citizens, 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 over two years, listening to them talk - and avoid talking - about the wider world, together and in encounters with government, media, and corporate authorities. She shows how citizens create and express ideas in everyday life, contrasting their privately expressed convictions with their lack of public political engagement. Her book challenges received ideas about culture, power and democracy, while exposing the hard work of producing apathy.

Partisan Publics

Author: Ann Mische
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 1400830818
Size: 20.30 MB
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During the 1980s and 1990s, Brazil struggled to rebuild its democracy after twenty years of military dictatorship, experiencing financial crises, corruption scandals, political protest, and intense electoral contention. In the midst of this turmoil, Ann Mische argues in this remarkable book, youth activists of various stripes played a vital and unrecognized role, contributing new forms of political talk and action to Brazil's emerging democracy. Drawing upon extensive and rich ethnography as well as formal network analysis, Mische tracks the lives of young activists through intersecting political networks, including student movements, church-based activism, political parties, nongovernmental organizations, and business and professional organizations. She probes the problems and possibilities they encountered in combining partisan activism with other kinds of civic involvement. In documenting activists' struggles to develop cross-partisan publics of various kinds, Mische explores the distinct styles of communication and leadership that emerged across organizations and among individuals. Drawing on the ideas of Habermas, Gramsci, Dewey, and Machiavelli, Partisan Publics highlights political communication styles and the forms of mediation and leadership they give rise to--for democratic politics in Brazil and elsewhere. Insightful in its discussion of culture, methodology, and theory, Partisan Publics argues that partisanship can play a significant role in civic life, helping to build relations and institutions in an emerging democracy.

Crafting Citizenship

Author: M. Hurenkamp
Publisher: Springer
ISBN: 1137033614
Size: 59.28 MB
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According to politics and the media, immigration and individualization drive citizens apart but in neighbourhoods social life is often thriving, depending on the talents of particular citizens or of local institutions. This book examines new forms of active citizenship and the actual conditions that hinder social cohesion.

Hollywood Faith

Author: Gerardo Marti
Publisher: Rutgers Univ Pr
ISBN:
Size: 59.55 MB
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In Christianity, as with most religions, attaining holiness and a higher spirituality while simultaneously pursuing worldly ideals such as fame and fortune is nearly impossible. So how do people pursuing careers in Hollywood's entertainment industry maintain their religious devotion without sacrificing their career goals? For some, the answer lies just two miles south of the historic center of Hollywood, California, at the Oasis Christian Center. In Hollywood Faith, Gerardo Marti shows how a multiracial evangelical congregation of 2,000 people accommodates itself to the entertainment industry and draws in many striving to succeed in this harsh and irreverent business. Oasis strategically sanctifies ambition and negotiates social change by promoting a new religious identity as “champion of life”—an identity that provides people who face difficult career choices and failed opportunities a sense of empowerment and endurance. The first book to provide an in-depth look at religion among the “creative class,” Hollywood Faith will fascinate those interested in the modern evangelical movement and anyone who wants to understand how religion adapts to social change.