Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Description → Analysis

In an engaging way NYT columnist David Brooks described U.S. society and where it could be in his 2012 The Social Animal: The Hidden Sources of Love, Character, and Achievement. He embeds facts within the story of a couple as children and as adults. His books points to possibilities, suggested by his subtitle.

Published just days later, Richard Sennet offered an analysis relating to some of what Mr. Brooks described. Of Mr. Sennet’s Together: The Rituals, Pleasures and Politics of Cooperation. In ThinkingFaith John Battle wrote
that it sounds as if it should provide a handy manual of how to proceed. This book, however, is far more challenging than that; Sennett provides a deep critique of the way our societies are developing in the twenty-first century. Sennett’s starting point is his assertion that modern society is actively de-skilling people in practising cooperation: ‘...We are losing the skills of cooperation needed to make a complex society work.’ ...‘Cooperation oils the machinery of getting things done and sharing with others can make up for what we may individually lack. Cooperation is embedded in our genes but cannot remain stuck in routine behaviour, it needs to be deepened and developed.’
One reader suggested on Amazon.com that Mr. Sennet’s volume needs a workbook. Many “far more challenging” analyses of this sort often do. Perhaps Mr. Sennet or someone else will provide one. Read Mr. Battles review.
Wiki-image by Anna Bauer of many-to-many wiki used by CC BY-SA 3.0.

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