The Wild West / Edition 1

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Overview

This book, written by the author of the celebrated volume Six Guns and Society, explains why the myth of the Wild West is popular around the world. It shows how the cultural icon of the Wild West speaks to deep desires of individualism and liberty and offers a vision of social contract theory in which a free and equal individual (the cowboy) emerges from the state of nature (the wilderness) to build a civil society (the frontier community). The metaphor of the Wild West retained a commitment to some limited government (law and order) but rejected the notion of the fully codified state as too oppressive (the corrupt sheriff).

Compelling and magnificently suggestive, the book unpacks one of the core icons of our time.

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Editorial Reviews

Professor Frederic Jameson
"In this ingenious new book, Wright offers an introduction to the theory of capitalist market individualism – from social contract theory via Adam Smith, Marx and Weber all the way to Keynes—by analyzing its propositions in the myths of the frontier and the Western. The comparison is most illuminating, both for the reality and its ideology. Wright’s valuable filmographies make this an excellent teaching instrument."
Frederic Jameson
"In this ingenious new book, Wright offers an introduction to the theory of capitalist market individualism – from social contract theory via Adam Smith, Marx and Weber all the way to Keynes—by analyzing its propositions in the myths of the frontier and the Western. The comparison is most illuminating, both for the reality and its ideology. Wright’s valuable filmographies make this an excellent teaching instrument."
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780761952336
  • Publisher: SAGE Publications
  • Publication date: 6/18/2001
  • Series: Sociology Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 212
  • Product dimensions: 6.14 (w) x 9.21 (h) x 0.45 (d)

Meet the Author

Will Wright is Professor and Chair of Department of Sociology at the University of Southern Colorado

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Table of Contents

Introduction
The Individualist Cowboy
PART ONE: INDIVIDUALISM
The Social Contract
'Natural' Individuals
The Invisible Hand
PART TWO: INDUSTRIAL PROBLEMS
Marx
The Revolutionary and the Cowboy
Weber
Bureaucracy and the Cowboy
Durkheim
Endless 'Frontiers'
PART THREE: MYTHICAL INSIGHTS
Separating the Women
Removing the Indians
Sustaining the Wilderness
Conclusion
The Wild Individualist West

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