Core Values in American Life: Living with Contradictions (Hardback)
  • Core Values in American Life: Living with Contradictions (Hardback)
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Core Values in American Life: Living with Contradictions (Hardback)

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£80.99
Hardback 198 Pages / Published: 30/05/2014
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What values do Americans hold dear? What happens when real-world situations cause those values to conflict? To better understand the intellectual map of how American society works, Arthur G. Neal and Helen Youngelson-Neal analyze values prominent in American word and deed. These values appear in our nation's formal documents-rights and privileges prominently emphasized in the US Constitution and inscribed on the Statue of Liberty. They have shaped the historical destiny and, indeed, include those values most extensively propagated by the general population.

Using these criteria, the authors identify individualism, the pursuit of happiness, freedom, consumerism, materialism, equality of opportunity, technology, mastery of the environment, quality of marriage, and national unity as the core American values. Core values provide the raw materials for the construction of contemporary society as a moral community, wherever that community is located. Such values are clusters of ideas that are central to self-identities; they generate a sense of collective belonging and membership. As such, core values define the existing social order and advance a set of ideas for depicting a desirable future. The analysis presented here helps us understand contemporary conflicts inherent in the American value system and the problems confronted by Americans as they try to live within the limitations and contradictions of value systems.

Publisher: Taylor & Francis Inc
ISBN: 9781412853941
Number of pages: 198
Weight: 408 g
Dimensions: 229 x 152 x 18 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS

"Core Values in American Life does more than any other text I've seen to explain what it means to be an American. In its exploration of the core values of intrinsic importance in American life, it embodies our culture's deepest contradictions. What undergirds our culture wars? It begins with chapters discussing the traditional values espoused in our Constitution--individualism, the pursuit of happiness, freedom--before moving to more talked-about issues of today--consumerism, materialism, technology, the environment, all of which have roots in earlier times. The book is fact-filled, engrossing, well-written, and inclusive, a substantive cultural study in under two hundred pages."

--Kathy Merlock Jackson, Ph.D., Editor, The Journal of American Culture

"The contentious and often polarized landscape of America these days can seem alarming, especially to those who grew up before the rancor of contemporary media pundits. But we come by it naturally, in the sense that our society has been in the throes of contradictory core values from its inception. . . . The authors invite us to gaze reflectively into a looking glass that features outstanding social science intellectuals from the nineteenth, twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Along the way, they remind us of struggles and clashes that clouded the pursuit of happiness or the achievement of a more perfect union for past generations while positing pivotal value choices taking shape in our personal and public lives right now."

--Rhonda M. Zingraff, Ph.D., James Madison University


"Core Values in American Life does more than any other text I've seen to explain what it means to be an American. In its exploration of the core values of intrinsic importance in American life, it embodies our culture's deepest contradictions. What undergirds our culture wars? It begins with chapters discussing the traditional values espoused in our Constitution--individualism, the pursuit of happiness, freedom--before moving to more talked-about issues of today--consumerism, materialism, technology, the environment, all of which have roots in earlier times. The book is fact-filled, engrossing, well-written, and inclusive, a substantive cultural study in under two hundred pages."

--Kathy Merlock Jackson, Ph.D., Editor, The Journal of American Culture

"The contentious and often polarized landscape of America these days can seem alarming, especially to those who grew up before the rancor of contemporary media pundits. But we come by it naturally, in the sense that our society has been in the throes of contradictory core values from its inception. . . . The authors invite us to gaze reflectively into a looking glass that features outstanding social science intellectuals from the nineteenth, twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Along the way, they remind us of struggles and clashes that clouded the pursuit of happiness or the achievement of a more perfect union for past generations while positing pivotal value choices taking shape in our personal and public lives right now."

--Rhonda M. Zingraff, Ph.D., James Madison University


-Core Values in American Life does more than any other text I've seen to explain what it means to be an American. In its exploration of the core values of intrinsic importance in American life, it embodies our culture's deepest contradictions. What undergirds our culture wars? It begins with chapters discussing the traditional values espoused in our Constitution--individualism, the pursuit of happiness, freedom--before moving to more talked-about issues of today--consumerism, materialism, technology, the environment, all of which have roots in earlier times. The book is fact-filled, engrossing, well-written, and inclusive, a substantive cultural study in under two hundred pages.-

--Kathy Merlock Jackson, Ph.D., Editor, The Journal of American Culture

-The contentious and often polarized landscape of America these days can seem alarming, especially to those who grew up before the rancor of contemporary media pundits. But we come by it naturally, in the sense that our society has been in the throes of contradictory core values from its inception. . . . The authors invite us to gaze reflectively into a looking glass that features outstanding social science intellectuals from the nineteenth, twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Along the way, they remind us of struggles and clashes that clouded the pursuit of happiness or the achievement of a more perfect union for past generations while positing pivotal value choices taking shape in our personal and public lives right now.-

--Rhonda M. Zingraff, Ph.D., James Madison University

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