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Publishers Weekly"Cooperation can be defined...as an exchange in which the participants benefit from the encounter." Given that, what are the impacts of trends that reduce cooperation, such as class segregation in income and locales, temporary jobs in place of lifelong careers, and the "tribal" political divide? Citing current and historical sources, as well as providing numerous examples and anecdotes, NYU and London School of Economics sociology professor Sennett (The Craftsman) explores the origins of cooperation, the myriad factors that have led (and lead) to its erosion-making it "less open, less dialogic"-and its impact on society. Sennet argues that changes in the "social triangle...of earned authority, mutual respect and cooperation during a crisis," have resulted in an uncooperative character type who is becoming more common in modern society, one who-in search of "reassuring solidarity amid economic insecurity"-acts according to the "brutally simple" paradigm of "us-against-them coupled with you-are-on-your-own." Sennett concludes with skills that can enhance cooperation and community, citing a "repair" workshop as a useful metaphor for a cooperative society. Although Sennett's writing is engaging and he provides an interesting perspective on modern society, his final call for a commitment to community is a weak ending to an otherwise compelling study.
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