1st Edition

The Lonely Quest
Constructing the Self in the Twenty-First Century United States





ISBN 9781138049611
Published December 20, 2018 by Routledge
228 Pages

USD $42.95

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Book Description

Today the United States is a country divided along lines of gender, economic inequality, educational level, and political affiliation. Democrats typically select a different range of matters of serious public concern compared to Republicans. Many Americans describe difficulty in coming to terms with the demands placed on them in their work, communities, and personal lives and achieving satisfaction. The institutional crises that pervade our politics, economy, educational systems, and communities have inspired a contemporary crisis: a widespread inability for many to live as integrated, effective selves in the twenty-first century United States. Drawing on a wide range of historical and contemporary research, The Lonely Quest explores the dilemma of constructing the self in the U.S. today.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements

Preface:
Is it Hard to Make Arrangements with Yourself?


Chapter One:
Exploring Mankind’s Past: Social Character under Tribalism, Feudalism, and Early Industrialism.

Chapter Two
Documenting the Divide: Social Division in the Twenty-First Century United States

Chapter Three
The Social Self: Early and Mid-Twentieth Century American Sociological Theories

Chapter Four
The Formation of the Self under the Conditions of Globalized Capitalism

Chapter Five
Self Identity in Field Studies in Twenty-First Century American Class Settings: Implications for Modernist Theories

Chapter Six
Life Projects in the Twenty-First Century United States: Rising Inequality, Global Capitalism, Neo-Liberal Government, and the Great Recession.

Conclusion
Individualism and Meritocracy: Prospects for Constructing Self Identity under the Conditions of Twenty-First Century Modernity

Index

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Author(s)

Biography

Robert C. Hauhart is a professor in the Department of Society and Social Justice at Saint Martin's University, Lacey, WA. He is the author, most recently, of Seeking the American Dream: A Sociological Inquiry (2016) and the recipient of a Fulbright Scholar Award to Slovenia for Spring, 2019.

Reviews

The Lonely Quest is an important, timely and well-researched book. Individualism is undergoing profound transformation at the current social-historical juncture, and Hauhart writes with special conviction, insight and verve.  This excellent book is a sophisticated glimpse into the new individualisms of our possible futures.
Anthony Elliott, Research Professor and Executive Director, Hawke EU Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence, University of South Australia

The Lonely Quest takes up the immense and pressing question of how individuals create (or fail to create) an integrated and effective self in the globalized, unequal, and socially fragmented context of the contemporary United States. Hauhart digests a broad literature, across a range of disciplines, to present what has been theorized about the self, puncturing theoretical balloons along the way. He offers an important caution: Few have the structural and institutional resources necessary to create fulfilling selves – and our cultural pillars of individualism and meritocracy exacerbate the deficit. Lest we think this is simply an "individual" issue, he cautions against the social outcomes of "failed identity." The Lonely Quest is a good and important contribution.
Dennis J. Downey, California State University Channel Islands; President-Elect (2019-20) of the Pacific Sociological Association