Did urbanization kill "community" in the nineteenth century, or even earlier? Many historians and social scientists proclaim that it did, but Thomas Bender says no. In this highly regarded volume, now in paperback exclusively from Johns Hopkins, Bender argues not only that community survived the trials of industrialization and urbanization but that it remains a fundamental element of American society today.
Taking a historical perspective on the question, Bender explores the changing structure and meaning of community in America and its persistence in the networks of shared experiences, concerns, and understandings. He defines community as based upon human experience rather than upon locality, and evaluates the usefulness of conventional social theory in interpreting that experience through history. The book's conclusions challenge the advocates of "community-collapse" scenarios, maintaining that, despite dramatic social change, both the capacity and the need for community endure.
Community and Social Change in America bridges the gap between historical scholarship and social theory to yield a more realistic portrayal of community in America's past and its importance today and in the future.
|Publisher:||Johns Hopkins University Press|
|Series:||Sanford-Erpf Lecture Series|
|Edition description:||New Edition|
|Product dimensions:||6.00(w) x 1.25(h) x 9.00(d)|
Table of Contents
|Chapter 1||Introduction: The Meanings of Community||3|
|Chapter 2||Social Theory and the Problem of Community||15|
|Chapter 3||Community in American History||45|
|Community in American Historiography||45|
|Locality as Community, 1630-1870||61|
|Community and the Bifurcation of Society, 1850-1900||108|
|Chapter 4||Social Networks and the Experience of Community||121|
|Chapter 5||Epilog: History and Community Today||143|