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The Rights Revolution: Rights and Community in Modern America / Edition 1
     

The Rights Revolution: Rights and Community in Modern America / Edition 1

by Samuel Walker
 

ISBN-10: 019509025X

ISBN-13: 9780195090253

Pub. Date: 09/28/1998

Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA

The most dramatic change in American society in the last forty years has been the explosive growth of personal rights, a veritable "rights revolution" that is perceived by both conservatives and liberals as a threat to traditional values and our sense of community. Is it possible that our pursuit of personal rights is driving our country toward moral

Overview

The most dramatic change in American society in the last forty years has been the explosive growth of personal rights, a veritable "rights revolution" that is perceived by both conservatives and liberals as a threat to traditional values and our sense of community. Is it possible that our pursuit of personal rights is driving our country toward moral collapse?
In The Rights Revolution, Samuel Walker answers this question with an emphatic no. The "rights revolution," says Walker, is the embodiment of the American ideals of morality and community. He argues that the critics of personal rights—from conservatives such as Robert Bork to liberals such as Michael Sandel—often forget the blatant injustices perpetrated against minorities such as women, homosexuals, African-Americans, and mentally handicapped citizens before the civil ights movement. They attack "identity politics" policies such as affirmative action, but fail to offer any reasonable solution to the dilemma of how to overcome exclusion in a society with such a powerful legacy of discrimination.
Communitarians, who offer the most comprehensive alternative to a rights-oriented society, rarely define what they mean by community. What happens when conflicts arise between different notions of community?
Walker concedes that the expansion of individual rights does present problems, but insists that the gains far outweigh the losses. And he reminds us that the absolute protection of our individual rights is our best defense against discrimination and injustice. The Rights Revolution is an impassioned call to honor the personal rights of all American citizens, and to embrace an enriched sense of democracy, tolerance, and community in our nation.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780195090253
Publisher:
Oxford University Press, USA
Publication date:
09/28/1998
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
240
Product dimensions:
5.80(w) x 8.30(h) x 1.00(d)
Lexile:
1470L (what's this?)

Table of Contents

INTRODUCTION vii
Chapter One THE PROBLEM OF RIGHTS
3(28)
Justice Thomas's Indictment
The New American Jeremiahs
The Conservative Assault on Rights
The Revolt of the African American Conservatives
Disillusionment on the Left
The Uneasy Liberals
The Communitarian Vision
Conclusion: The Problems with Rights
Chapter Two THE TRANSFORMATION OF AMERICAN LIFE
31(30)
The New Fabric of Daily Life
Aspects of the Rights Revolution
The Schools and the Workplace: Two Case Studies
An Inventory of Rights
The Irony of Anti-Rights Talk
An International Perspective
Conclusion
Chapter Three BELONGING TO AMERICA: RIGHTS AND MEMBERSHIP
61(28)
"No Dogs or Jews"
Rights, Membership, and Community
Membership for the Obnoxious
School Prayer and the Symbols of Membership
Race Discrimination and Membership
The Tragedy of the Japanese Americans
Conclusion: Rights and Membership
Chapter Four SPEAKING AND BELONGING: FREE SPEECH AND COMMUNITY
89(26)
Banned in Boston
Sanger, Censorship, and Sex
The First Amendment and the Civil Rights Movement
Coming Out and Coming In: Lesbians, Gay Men, Free Speech, and Membership
Is the Fetus a Member of the Community? The Social Value of Offensive Speech"
Conclusion
Chapter Five THE CONFINED AND THE ACCUSED
115(29)
Kenneth Donaldson: Harmless but Confined
The "Willowbrook Wars"
The Process We Are Due: Individual Rights and Institutional Reform
Conclusion
Chapter Six THE LIMITS OF COMMUNITARIANISM
144(36)
The Communitarian Alternative
The Communitarian Network Platform
Balancing Rights and Responsibilities: Lessons from Abroad?
Corporate Responsibilities to Communities
The Mantra of "Community"
Conclusion: The Communitarian Failure
Chapter Seven CONCLUSION: NEW RULES FOR AMERICAN SOCIETY
180(4)
How Do We Wish to Live?
NOTES 184(27)
INDEX 211

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