Provides a balanced introduction to the defining features of contemporary American society.
American society today provides a balanced introduction to the defining features of contemporary American society. Includes the ways in which the US can be considered 'exceptional' - the character of the 'American dream', the role of ethnicity and race, and the differences between the regions. Considers in depth a number of contemporary debates including the claim that the US economy has lost its capacity to generate wealth and stimulate mobility, that there has been a process of civic disengagement as voluntary organisations have lost members, and that the traditional family is in decline. Includes a thorough investigation of the effects of the terrorist attacks of September 11 and their aftermath. Looks at the arguments put forward by those who assert that a common American identity has given way to a multitude of conflicting identities structured around factors such as race, ethnicity, gender and sexuality.
1. American exceptionalism
2. The American dream and the modern economy
3. Individualism and conformity
4. Communities, civic decline and Bowling Alone
5. The family, sex, and sexuality
6. Race, ethnicity, and 'Balkanisation'
7. 'One nation indivisible': the American regions
8. September 11th and after