The Search for Political Community: American Activists Reinventing Commitment / Edition 1

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This book challenges the myth that individualism necessarily weakens commitments to the common good. It examines environmental and other activist groups in which individualism sometimes enhances political commitment. Rather than criticize individualism and favor a return to "traditional" values, Paul Lichterman examines the untraditional, personalized politics of many recent social movements and invites us to rethink common understandings of commitment, community, and individualism in a post-traditional world.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"The Search for Political Community is theoretically stimulating.... both wide-ranging and synthetic....This book does more than merely draw upon new social movement theory and social science writings on the culture of modernity to analyze the environmental movement. Lichterman uses this movement for the purpose of developing fresh conceptual tools that help us to understand the new repertoires of collective action dotting the Americna political landscape." Verta Taylor, Mobilization

"The Search for Political Community represents participant observation at its best: thoughtful, lucid, and always challenging." Todd Gitlin, New York University

"...this work will interest specialists in communitariansim, activism, and perhaps environmenatl poilitics." J. Heyrman, Choice

"This is a provocative book....The controversial nature of the well-researched, well-argued thesis is in fact a strength....I certainly recommend this book to scholars interested in the future of the environmental movements generally." Eric L. HIrsch, Contemporary Sociology

"The mark of fine scholarship is its being able to say something new and significant and, in so doing, stimulate important future research agendas. Paul Lichterman has succeeded on both of these fronts." Ira Silver, American Journal of Sociology

"Paul Lichterman's book is a good example of how social science knowledge can inform community practice." James Midgley, Social Science Review

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521483438
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 6/28/2003
  • Series: Cambridge Cultural Social Studies Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 292
  • Product dimensions: 5.98 (w) x 8.98 (h) x 0.67 (d)

Table of Contents

1. Personalism and political commitment; 2. Personalized politics: the case of the US Greens; 3. Speaking out in suburbia; 4. Imagining community, organizing community; 5. Culture, class, and life-ways of activism; 6. Personalized politics and cultural radicalism since the 1960s; 7. The search for political community; Appendices.

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