Political Imagination and Community
Publication Year: 2006
Published by: Penn State University Press
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There were multitudes who provided advice and encouragement at key points in the genesis of this book. First and foremost, John Zarobell read and talked about every draft. He would get up so I could sleep and he never stopped thinking the project mattered. ...
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This is a book about imagining a better world. While I was growing up, I moved every year. I was a spectator of the world around me, but everyone else looked as though he or she were a participant. I assumed that if only I was one of them, I would feel at home, I would belong. ...
1 The Politics of Imagining Communities
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The term “community” has a paradoxical presence in our everyday discourse. While many people lament not being part of a “real community,” they nonetheless use the word repeatedly to refer to groups. The problem became clearer to me after reading Hervé Varenne’s study of Appleton, Wisconsin, ...
2 A Room Full of Mirrors: Community and the Promise of Identity
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Classical liberalism took individual identity as a given: first there were individuals, then these individuals formed society. There have been critics of this claim for as long as it has been made. For example, Rousseau described how the individual fundamentally changes with the establishment of society. ...
3 Habits of the Hearth: Families and Politics in Theory and Practice
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In “The Difficulty of Imagining Others” Elaine Scarry (1999) builds upon the supposition that we simply cannot imagine others in a way that provides for morality, equality, and respect. To rectify this problem, she suggests that we employ institutions to aid our failed imaginations. ...
4 Citizens Without States? Bringing Community into Institutions
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The state has always been viewed with a certain amount of distrust in the United States. Even with its tentacles firmly bound by separation of powers, popular election, federalism, and bureaucratic process, it is a commonplace belief that the state is an interfering evil only slightly less dangerous than the alternative—anarchy. ...
5 Consuming Community
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Dorothy Smith has written about the interchange between text and “reality” or, rather, that which is “outside-the-text” (1999). She is critical of poststructuralist theory, claiming that it has no referent outside of itself. Without the dynamic relationship between theory and the world, theory becomes meaningless, ...
6 Utopian Vision as Commodity Fetish: Social Imagineering in Postmodern Capitalism
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The tradition established by T�nnies in Community and Society remains the dominant mode of interpreting community. As this tradition would have it, society is alienating, individualistic, bureaucratic, impersonal, economic, and political. Community, in contrast, is none of these things. ...
7 Community in Practice
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How is a community built? What are the ingredients that seem to make it work? While much of the discussion thus far has been about how we imagine communities, it is important to conclude with some observations about how imagination becomes manifest in building and living in communities as well. ...
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Page Count: 168
Publication Year: 2006