This book explores the construction and maintenance of alternative worlds of common sense. Employing a comparative approach, Dr. Pepinsky monitors events in Norway and the United States over several decades, treating these countries as prototypes of societies that are classifiable as modern Western democracies, but which exhibit marked contrasts in size and cultural homogeneity. She examines the conditions under which different social realities are generated, the assumptions that they presuppose, and the practices that sustain them. She then goes on to analyze the methods by which continuity is maintained and the grounds upon which changes are legitimized over time. Pepinsky directs her book at an interdisciplinary audience. She addresses problems of increasing concern in the social sciences and in the world at large. Cultural differences in modal perspective affect the formulation of public policies and also contribute to intergroup tensions, as interpersonal relations are simultaneously becoming intercultural encounters within many contemporary societies. Researchers and students in social and cross-cultural psychology, ethnography, sociology, and political science will find this work of considerable interest.