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Other titles in the Princeton Studies in Cultural Sociology series:

Community: Pursuing the Dream, Living the Reality (Princeton Studies in Cultural Sociology)

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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

This book tells the story of how a human community comes to be and how aspirations for the good life confront the dilemmas and detours of real life. Suzanne Keller combines penetrating analysis of classic ideas about community with a remarkable and unprecedented thirty-year case study of one of the first "planned unit developments" in America and the first in New Jersey. Twin Rivers, this pioneering venture, featured townhouses and shared spaces for children's play and adult work and play in a society that stresses individual over collective goals and private over public concerns. Hence the timeless questions asked over millennia: How does an aggregate of strangers create an identity of place, shared goals, viable institutions, and a spirit of mutuality and reciprocity? What obstacles stand in the way and how are these overcome? And how does design generate (or deter) community spirit?

Inspired by the legacy of Plato, Rousseau, de Tocqueville, and Tönnies, Keller traces the difficult birth and the rich unfolding of Twin Rivers from a former potato field into a vibrant contemporary community. Most community studies remain at a highly descriptive level. This book has both broader and deeper aims, endeavoring to develop principles of the common life as we enter the age of cyberspace.

Keller reveals the community of Twin Rivers through a multidimensional social microscope, having monitored the community from the day it opened by participant observation, attitude surveys, the study of collective records, and nearly 1,000 in-depth interviews with homeowners. She offers fascinating insight into how residents maintain privacy, relate to neighbors, cope with social conflict, and develop ideas about the common good. She shows that Twin Rivers residents remain hopeful about the possibility of community despite variable success in achieving their desires. Indeed, she argues that the hard-won experience, more than the utopian ideal, is the true measure of community.

Keller concludes that, despite the homogenizing effects of mass communication and globalization, local communities will continue to proliferate in the foreseeable future--due to changing lifestyles and the continuing quest for roots. This important and engaging book will be appreciated by social scientists, architects, physical planners, developers and lenders, and community leaders as well as by the general reader interested in creating a bridge between individualism and community.

Synopsis:

"Suzanne Keller's thoughtful insights and analysis are especially valuable in these rapidly changing times of both great promise and great danger, as we strive to improve our own communities and develop a genuine world community at peace and with opportunity for all. This fascinating and well-written book is a timely contribution to our understanding of what it takes to create a successful community, and it deserves to be widely read."--Senator Edward M. Kennedy

"Suzanne Keller's Community is sociology at its best, in the tradition of Robert K. Merton, Robert S. Lynd, and Herbert Gans. . . . [A] lucid and fascinating study."--Daniel Bell, Henry Ford II Professor of Social Sciences, Emeritus, Harvard University

"Keller's book is masterful. It surveys the main arguments that have been advanced about the relationships between modernity and community and with sparse, easily absorbed prose sets forth an understanding of what community is and what it is not."--Robert Wuthnow, Princeton University, author of Poor Richard's Principle

"Community continues to be a central concept in sociology and every decade one or two noteworthy books come along that address it. This is such a book. Suzanne Keller nicely combines classical theory, a unique long-term case study, and informed reflections."--Albert Hunter, Northwestern University, author of Symbolic Communities

Synopsis:

This book tells the story of how a human community comes to be and how aspirations for the good life confront the dilemmas and detours of real life. Suzanne Keller combines penetrating analysis of classic ideas about community with a remarkable and unprecedented thirty-year case study of one of the first "planned unit developments" in America and the first in New Jersey. Twin Rivers, this pioneering venture, featured townhouses and shared spaces for children's play and adult work and play in a society that stresses individual over collective goals and private over public concerns. Hence the timeless questions asked over millennia: How does an aggregate of strangers create an identity of place, shared goals, viable institutions, and a spirit of mutuality and reciprocity? What obstacles stand in the way and how are these overcome? And how does design generate (or deter) community spirit?

Inspired by the legacy of Plato, Rousseau, de Tocqueville, and Tönnies, Keller traces the difficult birth and the rich unfolding of Twin Rivers from a former potato field into a vibrant contemporary community. Most community studies remain at a highly descriptive level. This book has both broader and deeper aims, endeavoring to develop principles of the common life as we enter the age of cyberspace.

Keller reveals the community of Twin Rivers through a multidimensional social microscope, having monitored the community from the day it opened by participant observation, attitude surveys, the study of collective records, and nearly 1,000 in-depth interviews with homeowners. She offers fascinating insight into how residents maintain privacy, relate to neighbors, cope with social conflict, and develop ideas about the common good. She shows that Twin Rivers residents remain hopeful about the possibility of community despite variable success in achieving their desires. Indeed, she argues that the hard-won experience, more than the utopian ideal, is the true measure of community.

Keller concludes that, despite the homogenizing effects of mass communication and globalization, local communities will continue to proliferate in the foreseeable future--due to changing lifestyles and the continuing quest for roots. This important and engaging book will be appreciated by social scientists, architects, physical planners, developers and lenders, and community leaders as well as by the general reader interested in creating a bridge between individualism and community.

About the Author

Suzanne Keller is Professor of Sociology Emeritus at Princeton University. She was the first woman in the history of Princeton to receive tenure. Her many writings include "The Urban Neighborhood" and "Beyond the Ruling Class" (both Random House), the pioneering textbook "Sociology" (McGraw-Hill), and hundreds of articles on a wide range of subjects.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780691123257
Editor:
Dimaggio, Paul
Editor:
Lamont, Michele
Author:
Keller, Suzanne
Publisher:
Princeton University Press
Location:
Princeton
Subject:
Sociology - General
Subject:
Sociology
Subject:
Political Science and International Relations
Subject:
History
Subject:
Community
Subject:
Community life - New Jersey
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Series:
Princeton Studies in Cultural Sociology
Publication Date:
February 2005
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
College/higher education:
Language:
English
Illustrations:
18 halftones. 38 tables.
Pages:
352
Dimensions:
9 x 6 in 17 oz

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Related Subjects

History and Social Science » Sociology » General
Science and Mathematics » Environmental Studies » Environment

Community: Pursuing the Dream, Living the Reality (Princeton Studies in Cultural Sociology) New Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$34.25 In Stock
Product details 352 pages Princeton University Press - English 9780691123257 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , "Suzanne Keller's thoughtful insights and analysis are especially valuable in these rapidly changing times of both great promise and great danger, as we strive to improve our own communities and develop a genuine world community at peace and with opportunity for all. This fascinating and well-written book is a timely contribution to our understanding of what it takes to create a successful community, and it deserves to be widely read."--Senator Edward M. Kennedy

"Suzanne Keller's Community is sociology at its best, in the tradition of Robert K. Merton, Robert S. Lynd, and Herbert Gans. . . . [A] lucid and fascinating study."--Daniel Bell, Henry Ford II Professor of Social Sciences, Emeritus, Harvard University

"Keller's book is masterful. It surveys the main arguments that have been advanced about the relationships between modernity and community and with sparse, easily absorbed prose sets forth an understanding of what community is and what it is not."--Robert Wuthnow, Princeton University, author of Poor Richard's Principle

"Community continues to be a central concept in sociology and every decade one or two noteworthy books come along that address it. This is such a book. Suzanne Keller nicely combines classical theory, a unique long-term case study, and informed reflections."--Albert Hunter, Northwestern University, author of Symbolic Communities

"Synopsis" by , This book tells the story of how a human community comes to be and how aspirations for the good life confront the dilemmas and detours of real life. Suzanne Keller combines penetrating analysis of classic ideas about community with a remarkable and unprecedented thirty-year case study of one of the first "planned unit developments" in America and the first in New Jersey. Twin Rivers, this pioneering venture, featured townhouses and shared spaces for children's play and adult work and play in a society that stresses individual over collective goals and private over public concerns. Hence the timeless questions asked over millennia: How does an aggregate of strangers create an identity of place, shared goals, viable institutions, and a spirit of mutuality and reciprocity? What obstacles stand in the way and how are these overcome? And how does design generate (or deter) community spirit?

Inspired by the legacy of Plato, Rousseau, de Tocqueville, and Tönnies, Keller traces the difficult birth and the rich unfolding of Twin Rivers from a former potato field into a vibrant contemporary community. Most community studies remain at a highly descriptive level. This book has both broader and deeper aims, endeavoring to develop principles of the common life as we enter the age of cyberspace.

Keller reveals the community of Twin Rivers through a multidimensional social microscope, having monitored the community from the day it opened by participant observation, attitude surveys, the study of collective records, and nearly 1,000 in-depth interviews with homeowners. She offers fascinating insight into how residents maintain privacy, relate to neighbors, cope with social conflict, and develop ideas about the common good. She shows that Twin Rivers residents remain hopeful about the possibility of community despite variable success in achieving their desires. Indeed, she argues that the hard-won experience, more than the utopian ideal, is the true measure of community.

Keller concludes that, despite the homogenizing effects of mass communication and globalization, local communities will continue to proliferate in the foreseeable future--due to changing lifestyles and the continuing quest for roots. This important and engaging book will be appreciated by social scientists, architects, physical planners, developers and lenders, and community leaders as well as by the general reader interested in creating a bridge between individualism and community.

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