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The Civil Sphere

by

The Civil Sphere Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

What binds societies together and how can these social orders be structured in a fair way? Jeffrey C. Alexander's masterful work, The Civil Sphere, addresses this central paradox of modern life. Feelings for others--the solidarity that is ignored or underplayed by theories of power or self-interest--are at the heart of this novel inquiry into the meeting place between normative theories of what we think we should do and empirical studies of who we actually are. Solidarity, Alexander demonstrates, creates inclusive and exclusive social structures and shows how they can be repaired. It is not perfect, it is not absolute, and the horrors which occur in its lapses have been seen all too frequently in the forms of discrimination, genocide, and war. Despite its worldly flaws and contradictions, however, solidarity and the project of civil society remain our best hope: the antidote to every divisive institution, every unfair distribution, every abusive and dominating hierarchy. This grand, sweeping statement and rigorous empirical investigation is a major contribution to our thinking about the real but ideal world in which we all reside.

Synopsis:

How do real individuals live together in real societies in the real world?

Jeffrey Alexander's masterful work, The Civil Sphere, addresses this central paradox of modern life. Feelings for others--the solidarity that is ignored or underplayed by theories of power or self-interest--are at the heart of this novel inquiry into the meeting place between normative theories of what we think we should do and empirical studies of who we actually are. A grand and sweeping statement, The Civil Sphere is a major contribution to our thinking about the real but ideal world in which we all reside.

About the Author

Jeffrey C. Alexander is Lillian Chavenson Saden Professor of Sociology at Yale University, and a Director of the Center for Cultural Sociology. He is also the author of The Meanings of Social Life: A Cultural Sociology (Oxford, 2003).

Table of Contents

Introduction

PART I. CIVIL SOCIETY IN SOCIAL THEORY

1. Possibilites of Justice

2. Real Civil Societies: Dilemmas of Institutionalization

Civil Society I

Civil Society II

Return to Civil Society I?

Toward Civil Society III

3. Bringing Democracy Back In: Realism, Morality, Solidarity

Utopianism: The Fallacies of Twentieth-Century Evolutionism

Realism: The Tradition of Thrasymachus

Morality and Solidarity

Complexity and Community

Cultural Codes and Democratic Communication

PART II. STRUCTURES AND DYNAMICS OF THE CIVIL SPHERE

4. Discourses: Liberty and Repression

Pure and Impure in Civil Discourse

The Binary Structures of Motives

The Binary Structures of Relationships

The Binary Structures of Institutions

Civil Narratives of Good and Evil

Everyday Essentialism

The Conflict over Representation

5. Communicative Institutions: Public Opinion, Mass Media, Polls, Associations

The Public and Its Opinion

The Mass Media

Fictional Media

Factual Media

Public Opinion Polls

Civil Associations

6. Regulative Institutions (1): Voting, Parties, Office

Civil Power: A New Approach to Democratic Politics

Revisiting Thrasymachus: The Instrumental Science of Politics

Constructing and Destructing Civil Power (1): The Right to Vote and Disenfranchisement

Constructing and Destructing Civil Power (2): Parties, Partisanship, and Election Campaigns

Civil Power in the State: Office as Regulating Institution

7. Regulative Institutions (2): The Civil Force of Law

The Democratic Possibilities of Law

Bracketing and Rediscovering the Civil Sphere: The Warring Schools of Jurisprudence

The Civil Morality of Law

Constitutions as Civil Regulation

The Civil Life of Ordinary Law

Solidarity

Individuality

Legalizing Social Exclusion: The Antidemocratic Face of Law

8. Contradictions: Uncivilizing Pressures and Civil Repair

Space: The Geography of Civil Society

Time: Civil Society as Historical Sedimentation

Function: The Destruction of Boundary Relations and Their Repair

Forms of Boundary Relations: Input, Intrusion, and Civil Repair

PART III. SOCIAL MOVEMENTS IN THE CIVIL SPHERE

9. Social Movements as Civil Translations

The Classical Model

The Social Science of Social Movements (1): Secularizing the Classical Model

The Social Science of Social Movements (2): Inverting the Classical Model

The Social Science of Social Movements (3): Updating the Classical Model

Displacing the Classical Model: Rehistoricizing the Cultural and Institutional Context of Social Movements

Social Movements as Translations of Civil Societies

10. Gender and Civil Repair: The Long and Winding Road through M/otherhood

Justifying Gender Domination: Relations between the Intimate and Civil Spheres

Women's Difference as Facilitating Input

Women's Difference as Destructive Intrusion

Gender Universalism and Civil Repair

The Compromise Formation of Public M/otherhood

Public Stage and Civil Sphere

Universalism versus Difference: Feminist Fortunes in the Twentieth Century

The Ethical Limits of Care

11. Race and Civil Repair (1): Duality and the Creation of a Black Civil Society

Racial Domination and Duality in the Construction of American Civil Society

Duality and Counterpublics

The Conditions for Civil Repair: Duality and the Construction of Black Civil Society

Duality and Translation: Toward the Civil Rights Movement

12. Race and Civil Repair (2): The Civil Rights Movement and Communicative Solidarity

The Battle over Representation: The Intrusion of Northern Communicative Institutions

Translation and Social Drama: Emotional Identification and Symbolic Extension

The Montgomery Bus Boycott: Martin Luther King and the Drama of Civil Repair

13. Race and Civil Repair (3): Civil Trauma and the Tightening Spiral of Communication and Regulation

Duality and Legal Repair

The Sit-In Movement: Initiating the Drama of Direct Action

The New Regulatory Context

The Freedom Rides: Communicative Outrage and Regulatory Intervention

Failed Performance at Albany: Losing Control over the Symbolic Code

Birmingham: Solidarity and the Triumph of Tragedy

14. Race and Civil Repair (4). Regulatory Reform and Ritualization

The First Regulatory Repair: From Birmingham to the Civil Rights Act of 1964

The Second Regulatory Repair: Rewinding the Spiral of Communication and Regulation

The End of the Civil Rights Movement: Institutionalization and Polarization

PART IV. MODES OF INCORPORATION INTO THE CIVIL SPHERE

15. Integration between Difference and Solidarity

Convergence between Radicals and Conservatives

Recognition without Solidarity?

Rethinking the Public Space: Fragmentation and Continuity

Implications for Contemporary Debates

16. Encounters with the Other

The Plasticity of Common Identity

Exclusionary Solidarity

Forms of Out-Group Contact

Nondemocratic Incorporation

Internal Colonialism and the Civil Sphere

Varieties of Incorporation and Resistance in Civil Societies

17. Three Pathways to Incorporation

The Assimilative Mode of Incorporation

The Hyphenated Mode of Incorporation

The Exception of Race: Assimilation and Hyphenation Delayed

The Multicultural Mode of Incorporation

18. The Jewish Question: Anti-Semitism and the Failure of Assimilation

Jews and the Dilemmas of Assimilative Incorporation

Anti-Semitic Arguments for Jewish Incorporation: The Assimilative Dilemma from the Perspective of the Core Group

Initial Jewish Arguments for Self-Change: The Assimilative Dilemma from the Perspective of the Out-Group

The Post-Emancipation Period: Religious and Secular Modes of Jewish Adaptation to the Dilemmas of Assimilation

Restructuring Organized Judaism

Religious Conversion

Secular Revolution

New Forms of Symbolic Reflection and Social Response in the Fin de Siècle: The Dilemmas of Assimilation Intensify

Irony and Absurdity: New Religious and Secular Literary Genres

Zionism: The Effort to Withdraw from Western Civil Society

The Crisis of Anti-Semitic Assimilation in the Interwar Period: Resolving the Dilemmas of Assimilation by Going Backward

Restrictions on Jewish Incorporation in the Unites States

Europe's "Final Solution" to the Jewish Question: Resolving the Dilemmas of Assimilation by Eliminating the Jews

19. Answering the Jewish Question in America: Before and After the Holocaust

The Dilemmas of Jewish Incorporation and Communicative Institutions: Factual and Fictional Media

The Dilemmas of Jewish Incorporation and Regulative Institutions: The Law

The Failure of the Project: Jewish Exclusion from American Civil Society

Anticivil Exclusion from Education

Anticivil Exclution from Economic Life

Just Fate or Dangerous Exclusion?

Responding to Nazism and Holocaust: America's Decision to be "With the Jews"

Beyond the Assimilative Dilemma: The Postwar Project of Jewish Ethnicity

Making Jewish Identity Public: The Multicultural Mode of Jewish Incorporation

Making the Good Jew "Bad": Phillip Roth's Confidence

The Universitality of Jewish Difference: Woody Allen as Cultural Icon

The Dialectic of Differentiation and Identification: A Crisis in American Jewry?

20. Conclusion: Civil Society as a Project

Notes

Bibliography

Index

Product Details

ISBN:
9780195162509
Author:
Alexander, Jeffrey
Publisher:
Oxford University Press, USA
Author:
null, Jeffrey C.
Author:
Alexander, Jeffrey C.
Subject:
Sociology - General
Subject:
Pluralism (social sciences)
Subject:
Methods
Subject:
Social interaction
Subject:
Sociology | Theory
Subject:
Sociology | Theory and Methods
Subject:
Civil society
Subject:
Cultural pluralism
Subject:
Sociology | Theory & Methods
Subject:
S
Subject:
ociology | Theory & Methods
Edition Description:
french morocco leather black POB13
Series Volume:
No. 928
Publication Date:
20060831
Binding:
HARDCOVER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
5pt. type
Pages:
816
Dimensions:
6.1 x 9.3 x 2 in 2.806 lb

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Related Subjects

History and Social Science » Politics » General
History and Social Science » Sociology » General
History and Social Science » World History » General

The Civil Sphere New Hardcover
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Product details 816 pages Oxford University Press, USA - English 9780195162509 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , How do real individuals live together in real societies in the real world?

Jeffrey Alexander's masterful work, The Civil Sphere, addresses this central paradox of modern life. Feelings for others--the solidarity that is ignored or underplayed by theories of power or self-interest--are at the heart of this novel inquiry into the meeting place between normative theories of what we think we should do and empirical studies of who we actually are. A grand and sweeping statement, The Civil Sphere is a major contribution to our thinking about the real but ideal world in which we all reside.

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