The Civil Sphere by Jeffrey C. AlexanderThe Civil Sphere by Jeffrey C. Alexander

The Civil Sphere

byJeffrey C. Alexander

Paperback | September 15, 2008

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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 orself-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 berepaired. 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: theantidote 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.

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).

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Title:The Civil SphereFormat:PaperbackDimensions:816 pages, 9.25 × 6.13 × 0.68 inPublished:September 15, 2008Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0195369300

ISBN - 13:9780195369304

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Table of Contents

IntroductionPART I. CIVIL SOCIETY IN SOCIAL THEORY1. Possibilites of Justice2. Real Civil Societies: Dilemmas of InstitutionalizationCivil Society ICivil Society IIReturn to Civil Society I?Toward Civil Society III3. Bringing Democracy Back In: Realism, Morality, SolidarityUtopianism: The Fallacies of Twentieth-Century EvolutionismRealism: The Tradition of ThrasymachusMorality and SolidarityComplexity and CommunityCultural Codes and Democratic CommunicationPART II. STRUCTURES AND DYNAMICS OF THE CIVIL SPHERE4. Discourses: Liberty and RepressionPure and Impure in Civil DiscourseThe Binary Structures of MotivesThe Binary Structures of RelationshipsThe Binary Structures of InstitutionsCivil Narratives of Good and EvilEveryday EssentialismThe Conflict over Representation5. Communicative Institutions: Public Opinion, Mass Media, Polls, AssociationsThe Public and Its OpinionThe Mass MediaFictional Media: Factual Media: Public Opinion PollsCivil Associations6. Regulative Institutions (1): Voting, Parties, OfficeCivil Power: A New Approach to Democratic PoliticsRevisiting Thrasymachus: The Instrumental Science of PoliticsConstructing and Destructing Civil Power (1): The Right to Vote and DisenfranchisementConstructing and Destructing Civil Power (2): Parties, Partisanship, and Election CampaignsCivil Power in the State: Office as Regulating Institution7. Regulative Institutions (2): The Civil Force of LawThe Democratic Possibilities of LawBracketing and Rediscovering the Civil Sphere: The Warring Schools of JurisprudenceThe Civil Morality of LawConstitutions as Civil RegulationThe Civil Life of Ordinary LawSolidarity: Individuality: Legalizing Social Exclusion: The Antidemocratic Face of Law8. Contradictions: Uncivilizing Pressures and Civil RepairSpace: The Geography of Civil SocietyTime: Civil Society as Historical SedimentationFunction: The Destruction of Boundary Relations and Their RepairForms of Boundary Relations: Input, Intrusion, and Civil RepairPART III. SOCIAL MOVEMENTS IN THE CIVIL SPHERE9. Social Movements as Civil TranslationsThe Classical ModelThe Social Science of Social Movements (1): Secularizing the Classical ModelThe Social Science of Social Movements (2): Inverting the Classical ModelThe Social Science of Social Movements (3): Updating the Classical ModelDisplacing the Classical Model: Rehistoricizing the Cultural and Institutional Context of Social MovementsSocial Movements as Translations of Civil Societies10. Gender and Civil Repair: The Long and Winding Road through M/otherhoodJustifying Gender Domination: Relations between the Intimate and Civil SpheresWomen's Difference as Facilitating InputWomen's Difference as Destructive IntrusionGender Universalism and Civil RepairThe Compromise Formation of Public M/otherhoodPublic Stage and Civil SphereUniversalism versus Difference: Feminist Fortunes in the Twentieth CenturyThe Ethical Limits of Care11. Race and Civil Repair (1): Duality and the Creation of a Black Civil SocietyRacial Domination and Duality in the Construction of American Civil SocietyDuality and CounterpublicsThe Conditions for Civil Repair: Duality and the Construction of Black Civil SocietyDuality and Translation: Toward the Civil Rights Movement12. Race and Civil Repair (2): The Civil Rights Movement and Communicative SolidarityThe Battle over Representation: The Intrusion of Northern Communicative InstitutionsTranslation and Social Drama: Emotional Identification and Symbolic ExtensionThe Montgomery Bus Boycott: Martin Luther King and the Drama of Civil Repair13. Race and Civil Repair (3): Civil Trauma and the Tightening Spiral of Communication and RegulationDuality and Legal RepairThe Sit-In Movement: Initiating the Drama of Direct ActionThe New Regulatory ContextThe Freedom Rides: Communicative Outrage and Regulatory InterventionFailed Performance at Albany: Losing Control over the Symbolic CodeBirmingham: Solidarity and the Triumph of Tragedy14. Race and Civil Repair (4). Regulatory Reform and RitualizationThe First Regulatory Repair: From Birmingham to the Civil Rights Act of 1964The Second Regulatory Repair: Rewinding the Spiral of Communication and RegulationThe End of the Civil Rights Movement: Institutionalization and PolarizationPART IV. MODES OF INCORPORATION INTO THE CIVIL SPHERE15. Integration between Difference and SolidarityConvergence between Radicals and ConservativesRecognition without Solidarity?Rethinking the Public Space: Fragmentation and ContinuityImplications for Contemporary Debates16. Encounters with the OtherThe Plasticity of Common IdentityExclusionary SolidarityForms of Out-Group ContactNondemocratic IncorporationInternal Colonialism and the Civil SphereVarieties of Incorporation and Resistance in Civil Societies17. Three Pathways to IncorporationThe Assimilative Mode of IncorporationThe Hyphenated Mode of IncorporationThe Exception of Race: Assimilation and Hyphenation DelayedThe Multicultural Mode of Incorporation18. The Jewish Question: Anti-Semitism and the Failure of AssimilationJews and the Dilemmas of Assimilative IncorporationAnti-Semitic Arguments for Jewish Incorporation: The Assimilative Dilemma from the Perspective of the Core GroupInitial Jewish Arguments for Self-Change: The Assimilative Dilemma from the Perspective of the Out-GroupThe Post-Emancipation Period: Religious and Secular Modes of Jewish Adaptation to the Dilemmas of AssimilationRestructuring Organized Judaism: Religious Conversion: Secular Revolution: New Forms of Symbolic Reflection and Social Response in the Fin de Siecle: The Dilemmas of Assimilation IntensifyIrony 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 BackwardRestrictions 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 HolocaustThe 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 SocietyAnticivil 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 EthnicityMaking Jewish Identity Public: The Multicultural Mode of Jewish IncorporationMaking 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 ProjectNotesBibliographyIndex

Editorial Reviews

"All sociologists, social scientists or writers probably nurture some secret ambition of writing a mega book that will immortalize them by its originality, the persuasiveness of arguments, impact, or its sheer size. For Jeffrey Alexander, this is it. A magisterial book, a contribution tosocial theory that will be talked about, criticized and never overlooked."--Asian Journal of Social Science