The Limits of Social Cohesion
Conflict and Mediation in Pluralist Societies
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Limits of Social Cohesion by Peter L. Berger
Book DescriptionNormative conflicts center on fundamental disagreements over issues of public morality and the identity of a society. In thinking about normative conflicts on a global scale, two principal questions arise. First, are there common characteristics of such conflicts worldwide? Second, which institutions polarize such conflicts and which can serve to mediate them? This pathbreaking book, edited by renowned sociologist Peter Berger, examines both questions through findings gained from a study of normative conflicts in eleven societies located in different parts of the world and at different levels of economic development.On both points, the findings have proved surprising. Although there are, of course, normative conflicts peculiar to individual societies, two features emerged as common to most of the societies examined: one concerns disputes over the place of religion in the state and in public life; the other is a clash of values between a cultural elite and the broad masses of the population. Often the two features coincide. For instance, in many countries the elite is the least religious group within the population, and therefore, resentments against the elite are often mobilized under religious banners.On the institutional question, the study started out with a bias toward the institutions of so-called "civil society"--that is, the institutions that stand between the personal life of individuals and the vast mega-structures of a modern society. The finding is that the same institutions can either polarize or mediate normative conflicts. The conclusion suggests one must ask not just what sort of institutions one looks to for social cohesion, but what ideas and values inspire these institutions.Comprising reports from some of the leading scholars dealing with normative conflict, this book is an important contribution to understanding the cultural fault lines that threaten social cohesion.
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Book DetailsISBN: 9780813367194
(229mm x 152mm x 24mm)
Imprint: Westview Press Inc
Publisher: The Perseus Books Group
Publish Date: 23-Apr-1999
Country of Publication: United States
Books By Author Peter L. Berger
Global Pentecostalism in the 21st Century, Paperback (October 2013)
Focuses on cultural developments among second- and third-generation adherents in regions with large Pentecostal communities, considering the impact of these developments on political participation, citizenship, gender relations, and economic morality.
Modern Anthropology of India, Hardback (May 2013)
The Modern Anthropology of India is an accessible textbook providing a critical overview of the ethnographic work done in India since 1947. It assesses the history of research in each region and serves as a practical and comprehensive guide to the main themes dealt with by ethnographers.
Adventures of an Accidental Sociologist, Hardback (June 2011)
Peter Berger is arguably one of the best known living sociologists. Since the 1960s he has been writing on many aspects of the contemporary social scene, and several of his published works are considered classics. This memoir explains not only how he became a social scientist but also the many adventures that his calling led to.
Many Globalizations, Paperback (October 2003)» View all books by Peter L. Berger
This is the first attempt to account for the cultural impact of globalisation in the lives of ordinary citizens from ten countries. The results of the study portray vast numbers of people intermixing participation in a global economy with indigenous values and lifestyles.
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Author Biography - Peter L. Berger
Peter L. Berger is director of the Institute for the Study of Economic Culture at Boston University.
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