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American Mythos

Author: Robert Wuthnow
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 9781400827022
Size: 30.66 MB
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America was built on stories: tales of grateful immigrants arriving at Ellis Island, Horatio Alger-style transformations, self-made men, and the Protestant work ethic. In this new book, renowned sociologist Robert Wuthnow examines these most American of stories--narratives about individualism, immigration, success, religion, and ethnicity--through the eyes of recent immigrants. In doing so, he demonstrates how the "American mythos" has both legitimized American society and prevented it from fully realizing its ideals. This magisterial work is a reflection and meditation on the national consciousness. It details how Americans have traditionally relied on narratives to address what it means to be strong, morally responsible individuals and to explain why some people are more successful than others--in short, to help us make sense of our lives. But it argues that these narratives have done little to help us confront new challenges. We pass laws to end racial discrimination, yet lack the resolve to create a more equitable society. We welcome the idea of pluralism in religion and values, yet we are shaken by the difficulties immigration presents. We champion prosperity for all, but live in a country where families are still homeless. American Mythos aptly documents this disconnect between the stories we tell and the reality we face. Examining how cultural narratives may not, and often do not, reflect the reality of today's society, it challenges readers to become more reflective about what it means to live up to the American ideal.

American Mythos

Author: Robert Wuthnow
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 9780691125046
Size: 64.53 MB
Format: PDF, Mobi
View: 1511
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America was built on stories: tales of grateful immigrants arriving at Ellis Island, Horatio Alger-style transformations, self-made men, and the Protestant work ethic. In this new book, renowned sociologist Robert Wuthnow examines these most American of stories--narratives about individualism, immigration, success, religion, and ethnicity--through the eyes of recent immigrants. In doing so, he demonstrates how the "American mythos" has both legitimized American society and prevented it from fully realizing its ideals. This magisterial work is a reflection and meditation on the national consciousness. It details how Americans have traditionally relied on narratives to address what it means to be strong, morally responsible individuals and to explain why some people are more successful than others--in short, to help us make sense of our lives. But it argues that these narratives have done little to help us confront new challenges. We pass laws to end racial discrimination, yet lack the resolve to create a more equitable society. We welcome the idea of pluralism in religion and values, yet we are shaken by the difficulties immigration presents. We champion prosperity for all, but live in a country where families are still homeless. American Mythos aptly documents this disconnect between the stories we tell and the reality we face. Examining how cultural narratives may not, and often do not, reflect the reality of today's society, it challenges readers to become more reflective about what it means to live up to the American ideal.

Deep Space And Sacred Time

Author: Jon G. Wagner
Publisher: Praeger Publishers
ISBN: 9780275962258
Size: 38.59 MB
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The authors of this text argue that for many contemporary Americans, Star Trek fills the role of a secular humanist mythology, exploring and mediating the ambiguities of modern culture while offering a sense of hope and empowerment in an orderly cosmos. Its poetics of religion, gender, progress and human difference have evolved to meet the changing needs of liberalism from the Vietnam era to the age of postmodern cynicism.

Reimagining America

Author: Charles Mabee
Publisher: Mercer University Press
ISBN: 9780865541481
Size: 37.79 MB
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"'The American character," Charles Mabee writes, "is grounded in the metaphor of universal scientific and technological experiment," an experiment in which some may see God at work and others may not. Americans are a "religious" people, but they are also "scientific." Both theologicans and scientists must confront the antagonism between the "particularistic" world view inherited from the Judeo-Christian tradition and the "fundamentally universal orientation" of science. Modern study of the Bible, grounded in "scientific method," has liberated the text from the imperatives of ecclesiastical dogma; it's practitioners "have constructed elaborate safeguards against subjective interpretation." Yet the subjective component of biblical study remains - " only now the name of this component is science itself . . ."--Jacket.

Gale Researcher Guide For Washington Irving And The American Mythos

Author: Sian Silyn Roberts
Publisher: Gale, Cengage Learning
ISBN: 1535848839
Size: 18.22 MB
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Gale Researcher Guide for: Washington Irving and the American Mythos is selected from Gale's academic platform Gale Researcher. These study guides provide peer-reviewed articles that allow students early success in finding scholarly materials and to gain the confidence and vocabulary needed to pursue deeper research.

Myths America Lives By

Author: Richard T. Hughes
Publisher: University of Illinois Press
ISBN: 0252050800
Size: 52.97 MB
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Six myths lie at the heart of the American experience. Taken as aspirational, four of those myths remind us of our noblest ideals, challenging us to realize our nation's promise while galvanizing the sense of hope and unity we need to reach our goals. Misused, these myths allow for illusions of innocence that fly in the face of white supremacy, the primal American myth that stands at the heart of all the others.

Saving America

Author: Robert Wuthnow
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 9780691119267
Size: 54.25 MB
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On January 29, 2001, President George W. Bush signed an executive order creating the White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives. This action marked a key step toward institutionalizing an idea that emerged in the mid-1990s under the Clinton administration--the transfer of some social programs from government control to religious organizations. However, despite an increasingly vocal, ideologically charged national debate--a debate centered on such questions as: What are these organizations doing? How well are they doing it? Should they be supported with tax dollars?--solid answers have been few. In Saving America? Robert Wuthnow provides a wealth of up-to-date information whose absence, until now, has hindered the pursuit of answers. Assembling and analyzing new evidence from research he and others have conducted, he reveals what social support faith-based agencies are capable of providing. Among the many questions he addresses: Are congregations effective vehicles for providing broad-based social programs, or are they best at supporting their own members? How many local congregations have formal programs to assist needy families? How much money do such programs represent? How many specialized faith-based service agencies are there, and which are most effective? Are religious organizations promoting trust, love, and compassion? The answers that emerge demonstrate that American religion is helping needy families and that it is, more broadly, fostering civil society. Yet religion alone cannot save America from the broad problems it faces in providing social services to those who need them most. Elegantly written, Saving America? represents an authoritative and evenhanded benchmark of information for the current--and the coming--debate.

After The Baby Boomers

Author: Robert Wuthnow
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 9781400831227
Size: 16.48 MB
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Much has been written about the profound impact the post-World War II baby boomers had on American religion. But the lifestyles and beliefs of the generation that has followed--and the influence these younger Americans in their twenties and thirties are having on the face of religion--are not so well understood. It is this next wave of post-boomers that Robert Wuthnow examines in this illuminating book. What are their churchgoing habits and spiritual interests and needs? How does their faith affect their families, their communities, and their politics? Interpreting new evidence from scores of in-depth interviews and surveys, Wuthnow reveals a generation of younger adults who, unlike the baby boomers that preceded them, are taking their time establishing themselves in careers, getting married, starting families of their own, and settling down--resulting in an estimated six million fewer regular churchgoers. He shows how the recent growth in evangelicalism is tapering off, and traces how biblical literalism, while still popular, is becoming less dogmatic and more preoccupied with practical guidance. At the same time, Wuthnow explains how conflicts between religious liberals and conservatives continue--including among new immigrant groups such as Hispanics and Asians--and how in the absence of institutional support many post-boomers have taken a more individualistic, improvised approach to spirituality. Wuthnow's fascinating analysis also explores the impacts of the Internet and so-called virtual churches, and the appeal of megachurches. After the Baby Boomers offers us a tantalizing look at the future of American religion for decades to come.