DIY: The Search for Control and Self-Reliance in the 21st Century: 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

DIY: The Search for Control and Self-Reliance in the 21st Century

1st Edition

By Kevin Wehr


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From the driveway mechanic to the backyard gardener, many diverse people are "doing it themselves" by building or repairing the stuff of their daily lives without the aid of experts. Do It Yourself uses Habermas’s colonization of the lifeworld as a frame and mobilizes Marx’s concepts of alienation and mystification to examine how social behaviors can be a conscious reply to a complex and fast-moving world, a nostalgia for simpler times past, or a just an economic impulse. Each main chapter is anchored by an extended empirical example: back-to-the-land, home-schooling, and self-government.

Table of Contents

1. A Good Idea, in Theory 2. Home and Food 3. School and Work 4. Government and Media 5. Conclusion: The Search for Control

About the Author

Kevin Wehr is Associate Professor of Sociology at the California State University, Sacramento, where he specializes in environmental, political, and cultural sociology. He received his Ph.D. in 2002 and his M.S. in 1998 from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, and his B.A. in 1994 from the University of California Santa Cruz. His other works include America’s Fight over Water: The Environmental and Political Effects of Large-Scale Water Systems and Hermes on Two Wheels: The Sociology of Bicycle Messengers.

About the Series

Framing 21st Century Social Issues

The goal of this new, unique Series is to offer readable, teachable "thinking frames" on today’s social problems and social issues by leading scholars, all in short 60 page or shorter formats, and available for view on

For instructors teaching a wide range of courses in the social sciences, the Routledge Social Issues Collection now offers the best of both worlds: originally written short texts that provide "overviews" to important social issues as well as teachable excerpts from larger works previously published by Routledge and other presses.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Customs & Traditions
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Sociology / General