David Riesman with Nathan Glazer and Reuel Denney; Foreword by Todd Gitlin The Lonely Crowd is considered by many to be the most influential book of. The Lonely Crowd. A study of the changing. American character by David Riesman with Nathan Glazer and Reuel Denney. Abridged edition with a preface. Lonely Crowd. A Study of the. Changing American Character. By. DAVID RIESMAN. IN COLLABORATION WITH. Reuel Denney and Nathan Glazer.

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The Chronicle of Higher Education. Because of what I saw to be a fearless examination of the conformity and monotony of American society, it had an eno When this book was published inin paperback three years later, and a condensed version init was not criwd widely admired by intellectuals but also a best-seller.

The Lonely Crowd: A Study of the Changing American Character

Aug llnely, Liz rated it liked it. The traditional type is someone who could have been born at any time over the lastyears or so. Riesman’s book, The Lonely Crowd, a sociological study of modern conformity, which postulates the existence of the “inner-directed” and “other-directed” personalities.

Oct 19, Brad is currently reading it Shelves: Depressing, interesting, and really relevant.

The Lonely Crowd: A Study of the Changing American Character by David Riesman

None of this is supported by any evidence whatever. Campbell thinks modern Americans need to reclaim some “primitive” ways of conceiving the world.

The prediction that work and play would become increasingly difficult to differentiate was fascinating and one of a string of predictions that are more true today than could they ever have been in By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

Also, I don’t agree with most of his theories. She is much more interested in relationships with those around her. Even though he describes the other-directed society as obsessed with other people, he seems to say that this is a superficial and fake kind of sociability.


Like Nicholas Carr in The Shallows, Riesman identifies how literate culture is unlike the world of oral traditions it succeeded or the incessantly connected world of mass media that has followed. Riesman argues that the character of post WWII American society impels individuals to “other-directedness”, the preeminent example being modern suburbia, where individuals seek their neighbors approval and fear being outcast from their community.

But since the other-directed could only identify themselves through references to others in their communities and what they earned, owned, consumed, believed in they inherently were restricted in their ability to know themselves.

Riesman basically calls for a balance of inner- and other-directed attitudes. The third type is the other directed person. Life is more about being marginally different from those around you – the world is changing so fast that it is hard to be provided with a moral compass, but encouraging kids to be not too different from those around them seems a fairly safe strategy. From Wikipedia, the free criwd. Elders, therefore, are important in this kind of society.

Read this a long long time ago Id have t This book is incredibly dry and hard loneely get through. Just a moment while we sign you in to your Goodreads account.

Politics should not be based on popularity or transactions.

He describes inner-directed people as hardworking and able to live with very little comfort, but bragging with newly acquired wealth is also inner-directed. Aug 01, William rated it really liked it Shelves: How Scientific Illiteracy Threatens our Future.

But we must never forget that riexman barriers could frequently be organized as defenses for the individual, once their flanks were turned by energy and talent, they provided the freedom in which autonomy as well as rentier complacency could flourish.

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By the s, the other-directed character was beginning to dominate society. Gradually an other-direction took hold, that is, the social forces of how others were living—what they consumed, what they did with their time, what their views were toward politics, work, play, and so on.

Two Billion More Bourgeois. All in all a very interesting book that makes you think think think Rentier capitalism is a term currently used to describe economic practices of parasitic monopolization of access to any physical, financial, intellectual, etc. There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Riesman’s research sample is based on the Northeast and riesma middle to upper classes.

Mar 29, Jan Notzon rated it liked it.

A major component of this shift involved a move toward consumption-based identity: Both are worth reading. Good can come from being other-directed; internal ideas, such as the invisible hand of capitalism, can be restraining or terrifying.

I mean, I know that I’m being presentist and I’m ignoring more deeply-rooted critiques of the actual theory in the book The problem with this happening in humans is that the worry over production concentrates us on the material world and its consequent attention to science and engineering. The age of crrowd media has proved just how prescient this analysis is. This section does not cite any sources.

Id have to say I’m a mix of each society he described so what exactly does that make my society? Quotes from The Lonely Crowd The abridged and revised edition of the book is now reissued with a new foreword by Todd Gitlin that explains why the book is still relevant to our own era.