Beyond Individualism by Michael J. PioreBeyond Individualism by Michael J. Piore

Beyond Individualism

byMichael J. Piore

Hardcover | March 19, 1995

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The Reagan and Bush years have left us with a troublesome dilemma: how to balance our budget deficit against our social deficit. This book takes up the urgent question of how, in a time of economic crisis and constraint, we can meet the pent-up demand for spending on our nation's neglected poor, infirm, and disadvantaged, old and young. Michael Piore's ambitious response is to develop a new social theory that balances individual preferences against the claims and responsibilities of the community. By explaining the role of groups in economic and social life, this theory makes sense of a host of perplexing social phenomena and policy issues, from equal employment opportunity to international competitiveness to the decline of organized labor, from multicultural education to health insurance to the underclass.

Piore traces our difficulties in addressing these issues to the limits of liberal social theory, particularly its sharp distinctions between individuality and community. He offers an alternative view of individuality as emerging through the discussions and debates conducted among a community's members. These discussions, Piore suggests, have turned inward, away from the borderlands where social groups and economic organizations meet--and therein lies the crux of some of the country's deepest political and economic problems. His book points beyond the liberal conception of politics as a negotiation among competing interests and of policymaking as technical decisionmaking. Instead, it prescribes a politics focused on the process of discussion and debate itself, a politics that enlarges the borderlands by broadening the range of people who talk to one another and the range of topics they address.

Michael J. Piore is David W. Skinner Professor of Economics and Management at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He is the author of several books, including, with Charles F. Sabel, The Second Industrial Divide.
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Title:Beyond IndividualismFormat:HardcoverDimensions:215 pages, 9.25 × 6.14 × 0.03 inPublished:March 19, 1995Publisher:Harvard

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0674068971

ISBN - 13:9780674068971

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Reviews

From Our Editors

The Reagan and Bush years left us with a troublesome dilemma: how to balance our budget deficit against our social deficit. This book takes up the urgent question of how, in a time of budgetary stringency, we can meet the pent-up demand for spending on our nation's neglected poor, ill, and disadvantaged, old and young. Michael Piore's response is to develop a new social theory that balances individual preferences against the claims and responsibilities of the community. By explaining the role of groups in economic and social life, this theory makes sense of a host of perplexing social phenomena and policy issues, from equal employment opportunity to international competitiveness to the decline of organized labor, from multicultural education to health insurance to the underclass. Piore traces our difficulties in addressing these issues to the limits of liberal social theory, particularly its sharp distinctions between individuality and community. He offers an alternative view of individuality as emerging through the discussions and debates conducted among a commun

Editorial Reviews

The Reagan and Bush years have left us with a troublesome dilemma: how to balance our budget deficit against our social deficit. This book takes up the urgent question of how, in a time of economic crisis and constraint, we can meet the pent-up demand for spending on our nation's neglected poor, infirm, and disadvantaged, old and young. Michael Piore's ambitious response is to develop a new social theory that balances individual preferences against the claims and responsibilities of the community. By explaining the role of groups in economic and social life, this theory makes sense of a host of perplexing social phenomena and policy issues, from equal employment opportunity to international competitiveness to the decline of organized labor, from multicultural education to health insurance to the underclass.Piore traces our difficulties in addressing these issues to the limits of liberal social theory, particularly its sharp distinctions between individuality and community. He offers an alternative view of individuality as emerging through the discussions and debates conducted among a community's members. These discussions, Piore suggests, have turned inward, away from the borderlands where social groups and economic organizations meet--and therein lies the crux of some of the country's deepest political and economic problems. His book points beyond the liberal conception of politics as a negotiation among competing interests and of policymaking as technical decisionmaking. Instead, it prescribes a politics focused on the process of discussion and debate itself, a politics that enlarges the borderlands by broadening the range of people who talk to one another and the range of topics they address.Most books are lucky if they have one important, original idea. Beyond Individualism has many. It explores the political and economic challenge which the new identity groups in the United States have generated. Its synthesis of cognitive psychology and economic theory to resolve the conflict between individualism and collective community is brilliant.