Title Page, Copyright, Series Information, Dedication

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Contents

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About the Author

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pp. xi-xi

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Introduction: Tiny Publics as Social Order

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pp. 1-18

IF ALL POLITICS is local, so, I argue, is almost everything else. Action, meaning, authority, inequality, organization, and institution—all . . .

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Chapter 1: The Power of Groups

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pp. 19-33

WE RESIDE in a universe of groups, a world of tiny publics. Through the associations we share with others—close and knotted ties—we find affiliation that allows us to conclude that others . . .

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Chapter 2: The Dynamics of Idioculture

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pp. 34-51

THE CONCEPT of culture has become so thoroughly enshrined throughout the social sciences that it sometimes has escaped attention how little we know of culture in situ—culture as it is played . . .

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Chapter 3: The Power of Constraints and Exteriority

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pp. 52-67

AS A RULE, we should avoid playing havoc with the slogans of others. Yet, in this chapter, I mischievously invert the title of Randall Collins’s (1981) influential essay, “On the . . .

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Chapter 4: Norms and Action

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pp. 68-88

MORALITIES, ETHICS, laws, customs, beliefs and doctrines, far from trifling concerns, depend on interpersonal relations, arenas of action, and shared understandings. Perhaps the fact that we . . .

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Chapter 5: The Performance of Ideology

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pp. 89-106

GROUPS CAN be self-contained, focused on their expressive culture, but their potential goes much deeper: small groups serve as the very basis of political life when they establish the conditions for . . .

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Chapter 6: Wispy Communities

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pp. 107-123

IN A HOTEL in Louisville, men and women from thirty-five states and four countries, many of them strangers at the outset, gather for a long weekend. They intend to pay homage to a cult film that is dearly . . .

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Chapter 7: Tiny Publics in Civil Society

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pp. 124-139

I TURN FROM the constellation of groups as building blocks within the cultural order to the analysis of groups as fostering a politics built on the local: How do groups constitute and organize political life within . . .

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Chapter 8: The Extension of the Local

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pp. 140-156

A SOCIOLOGY THAT focuses exclusively on small, interacting groups is a limited discipline. Apart from a few microscopic “tribal” societies, most groups connect with other groups. This . . .

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Chapter 9: Action and Its Publics

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pp. 157-177

IN HIS PROVOCATIVE, transformative fashion, emphasizing the power of the local, James Joyce posed a challenge for thinking about society. For insights to be universal, they must be local first. This is, of course, . . .

Notes

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pp. 179-184

References

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pp. 185-213

Index

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pp. 215-221