small town america finding community shaping the future

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Small Town America

Author : Robert Wuthnow
ISBN : 9781400846498
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 49. 70 MB
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More than thirty million Americans live in small, out-of-the-way places. Many of them could have joined the vast majority of Americans who live in cities and suburbs. They could live closer to more lucrative careers and convenient shopping, a wider range of educational opportunities, and more robust health care. But they have opted to live differently. In Small-Town America, we meet factory workers, shop owners, retirees, teachers, clergy, and mayors--residents who show neighborliness in small ways, but who also worry about everything from school closings and their children's futures to the ups and downs of the local economy. Drawing on more than seven hundred in-depth interviews in hundreds of towns across America and three decades of census data, Robert Wuthnow shows the fragility of community in small towns. He covers a host of topics, including the symbols and rituals of small-town life, the roles of formal and informal leaders, the social role of religious congregations, the perception of moral and economic decline, and the myriad ways residents in small towns make sense of their own lives. Wuthnow also tackles difficult issues such as class and race, abortion, homosexuality, and substance abuse. Small-Town America paints a rich panorama of individuals who reside in small communities, finding that, for many people, living in a small town is an important part of self-identity.

Red State Religion

Author : Robert Wuthnow
ISBN : 9780691150550
Genre : History
File Size : 42. 76 MB
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No state has voted Republican more consistently or widely or for longer than Kansas. To understand red state politics, Kansas is the place. It is also the place to understand red state religion. The Kansas Board of Education has repeatedly challenged the teaching of evolution, Kansas voters overwhelmingly passed a constitutional ban on gay marriage, the state is a hotbed of antiabortion protest--and churches have been involved in all of these efforts. Yet in 1867 suffragist Lucy Stone could plausibly proclaim that, in the cause of universal suffrage, "Kansas leads the world!" How did Kansas go from being a progressive state to one of the most conservative? In Red State Religion, Robert Wuthnow tells the story of religiously motivated political activism in Kansas from territorial days to the present. He examines how faith mixed with politics as both ordinary Kansans and leaders such as John Brown, Carrie Nation, William Allen White, and Dwight Eisenhower struggled over the pivotal issues of their times, from slavery and Prohibition to populism and anti-communism. Beyond providing surprising new explanations of why Kansas became a conservative stronghold, the book sheds new light on the role of religion in red states across the Midwest and the United States. Contrary to recent influential accounts, Wuthnow argues that Kansas conservatism is largely pragmatic, not ideological, and that religion in the state has less to do with politics and contentious moral activism than with relationships between neighbors, friends, and fellow churchgoers. This is an important book for anyone who wants to understand the role of religion in American political conservatism.

Acts Of Compassion

Author : Robert Wuthnow
ISBN : 140082057X
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 52. 68 MB
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Robert Wuthnow finds that those who are most involved in acts of compassion are no less individualistic than anyone else--and that those who are the most intensely individualistic are no less involved in caring for others.

Meaning And Moral Order

Author : Robert Wuthnow
ISBN : 0520909259
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 89. 10 MB
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Meaning and Moral Order goes beyond classical, neoclassical, and poststructural theories of culture in its attempt to move away from problems of meaning to a more objective concept of culture. Innovative, controversial, challenging, it will compel scholars to rethink many of the assumptions on which the study of ideology, ritual, religion, science, and culture have been based.

Loose Connections

Author : Robert Wuthnow
ISBN : 0674007972
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 78. 92 MB
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Robert Wuthnow shows that in America there has been a significant change in group affiliations away from traditional civic organizations toward affiliations that respond to individual needs and collective concerns. Many Americans are finding new ways to help one another through short-term task-oriented networks such as the Internet and nonprofit associations. Wuthnow looks at the challenges that must be faced if these innovative forms of civic involvement are to flourish, and calls for resources to be made available to strengthen the more constructive and civic dimensions of these organizations.

After The Baby Boomers

Author : Robert Wuthnow
ISBN : 1400831229
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 86. 40 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.

The New Geography Of Jobs

Author : Enrico Moretti
ISBN : 9780547750149
Genre : Business & Economics
File Size : 52. 7 MB
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"A persuasive look at why some U.S. cities have prospered in recent decades while others have declined."—Bloomberg Businessweek We’re used to thinking of the United States in opposing terms: red versus blue, haves versus have-nots. But today there are three Americas. At one extreme are the brain hubs—cities like San Francisco, Boston, and Durham—with workers who are among the most productive, creative, and best paid on the planet. At the other extreme are former manufacturing capitals, which are rapidly losing jobs and residents. The rest of America could go either way. For the past thirty years, the three Americas have been growing apart at an accelerating rate. This divergence is one the most important developments in the history of the United States and is reshaping the very fabric of our society, affecting all aspects of our lives, from health and education to family stability and political engagement. But the winners and losers aren’t necessarily who you’d expect. Enrico Moretti’s groundbreaking research shows that you don’t have to be a scientist or an engineer to thrive in one of the brain hubs. Carpenters, taxi-drivers, teachers, nurses, and other local service jobs are created at a ratio of five-to-one in the brain hubs, raising salaries and standard of living for all. Dealing with this split—supporting growth in the hubs while arresting the decline elsewhere—is the challenge of the century, and The New Geography of Jobs lights the way. "Moretti has written a clear and insightful account of the economic forces that are shaping America and its regions, and he rightly celebrates human capital and innovation as the fundamental sources of economic development."—Jonathan Rothwell, The Brookings Institution

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