David Riesman with Nathan Glazer and Reuel Denney; Foreword by Todd Gitlin The Lonely Crowd is considered by many to be the most influential book of. The Lonely Crowd. A study of the changing. American character by David Riesman with Nathan Glazer and Reuel Denney. Abridged edition with a preface. Lonely Crowd. A Study of the. Changing American Character. By. DAVID RIESMAN. IN COLLABORATION WITH. Reuel Denney and Nathan Glazer.

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The Lonely Crowd: A Study of the Changing American Character by David Riesman

View all 5 comments. A modern society that is other directed is awash in advertising and consumption. The inner-directed people of the industrial era were driven by a single-minded sense of davix to make themselves as useful and virtuous as possible, be they protestant, atheists or builders of socialism.

Unlike earlier Americans who looked inward towards their moral compass we depend on our peers for our values. It was quite interesting but I almost gave up. He saw, as few others did, that this occurred not only in public matters but also in private ones, in the pursuit of pleasure and in the development of a whole style of life. Tradition-directed social types obeyed rules established a long time in the past and rarely succeeded in modern society, with its dynamic changes.

Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. Some of the trends Reisman et al talk about have intensified like political disengagement of the population and leaving politics to junkies and professionals what the book refers to as inside dopers. Certainly he gives a different image of our industrial-era ancestors that the one we often have, that of boring people deprived of individuality.


But besides that, what is thee supposed to mean and why is it important? Even though lonfly describes the other-directed society as obsessed with other people, he seems to say that this is a superficial and fake kind of sociability. Instead of living according to traditions, or conforming to the values of organized religion, of the familyor societal codes, the new middle class gradually adopted a crowwd in the way people lived with each other.

Aug 21, Liz rated it liked it. Market researchers know as well as anyone that their methods need not be used simply to manipulate people into buying the goods and cultural riesmaan that already exist or to dress them up in marginal differentiations but can be employed to find out not so much what people want but what with liberated fantasy they might want.

There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Also, I don’t agree with most of his theories.

Jul 08, Vegan Viajo rated it liked it. The push to fit in damages inner traditions of morality and philosophy.

The Lonely Crowd: A Study of the Changing American Character

Riesman was a major public intellectual as well as a sociologist, representing an early example of what sociologists now call “public sociology. This book still matters. In traditional societies, people are oriented toward tradition unsurprisingly and may have very little conception of their individuality.


One can connect Riesman’s critique of llnely to Joseph Campbell’s inner-directed davif your bliss” philosophy. I’m going to have to come back to this one at a later time. The book’s title was chosen by the publisher, not by Riesman or his co-authors Nathan Glazer and Reuel Denney.

Return to Book Page. An other-directed person, meanwhile, based their morality and identity on their social group.

Crowd manipulation Managing the news Media manipulation. The abridged and revised edition of the book is now reissued with a new foreword by Todd Gitlin that explains why the book is still relevant to our own era. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

The consumerist society of today he describes as other-directed, i.

He explores how societies in various stages of population growth or decline inculcate different orientations withing individuals. He described the industrial era as individualistic yet also ascribes to it things that most people would consider anything but individualistic.

The Lonely Crowd – Wikipedia

None of this is supported by any evidence whatever. Those who are other-directed need assurance that they are emotionally in tune with others. The Lonely Crowd is considered by many to be the most influential book of the twentieth century.