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Expressive Individualism in America

Bellah, Robert N., Madsen, Richard, Sullivan, William M., Swidler, Ann, and Tipton, Steven M. The Good Society. New York: Vintage/Random House, 1992.

Continued dominance of "expressive individualism" in mainstream American culture has fostered alienation from the wider community and damaged trust of shared values and institutions, endangering the myth of the "American century". Even community involvement becomes territorial, alienating; social science, determined to be "scientific," discourages a humanist perspective in favor of quantifiable social analysis and technocratic solutions--with no benefit to either institutions or persons analyzed and in the midst of social disintegration. As critique of social scientism, advocates human-centered renewal of community and culture, centered in democratic institutions, to reawaken sense of shared social experience.

Black, George. The Good Neighbor: How the U.S. Wrote the History of Central America and the Caribbean. New York: Pantheon Books, 1988.

An account of U.S. imperialism south of its borders since the 1890s but particularly during the 1980s, anchored in official policies fed by popular-culture American stereotypical attitudes toward its "backyard." Interprets source material, quoting pithy statements supporting thesis of increasingly serious anticommunist American militaristic "morality plays" throughout the region--as against American blindness to emergent regional nationalism.

Bordin, Ruth. Women and Temperance. Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1981.

Bordin describes the beginnings of the temperance movement as a political force in the nineteenth century and shows how the Women's Christian Temperance Union would give way to the Anti-Saloon League at the turn of the century. These organizations would begin the process of changing minds so that by 1920 the Volstead Act could become law. The WCTU is the organization given the most attention, and though it lost...

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Expressive Individualism in America. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 11:14, August 14, 2020, from