As modern societies become increasingly individualistic, this fascinating book examines how we can maintain and revive local communities and community life. It demonstrates how the major developments and processes of our time, notably globalization, post-industrialism and de-traditionalization, contribute to this individualism to the detriment of community life. The author examines how community is a necessary and important component of human life and discusses possible ways in which to arrest its decline. In this regard, strategies geared to fostering trust and social capital are outlined as the basis for reinvigorating community life. The volume provides a coherent and distinct analysis of community as well as offering concrete policy prescriptions to counter the excessive individualism of our times. In both the nature and scope of its analysis, it offers a unique contribution to an extremely important issue in the contemporary period, one that increasingly preoccupies politicians, academics and ordinary citizens.
’An original, sophisticated and fluent analysis. This book provides an up to date and thorough analysis, both theoretically and empirically, of current trends of social atomization and outlines practical methods for rebuilding community.’ Dr Luke Martell, University of Sussex, UK ’Paul Hopper has admirably charted the rise, decline, and potential revival of community with wide-ranging practical and theoretical implications. 'Rebuilding Communities in an Age of Individualism' is a major theoretical contribution to the debates on liberalism and communitarianism, and will be of great interest to students, academics, activists and ordinary citizens.’ Dr Darrow Schecter, University of Sussex, UK
Contents: Introduction. An Age of Individualism: Post-Fordism and individualism; Detraditionalization and the rise of individualism; Globalization and the individual; Community and social capital. Rebuilding Communities: Public-spiritedness and community; The retreat into tribalism; Communitarianism, liberalism and public-spiritedness; Citizenship - a modest proposal; Conclusion; Notes; Bibliography; Index.