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NONTHEMATIC / Vol. 46, No. 3 (Fall 1979)

October 1, 1979

Arien Mack, Editor

 

Table of Contents

 

Richard Lowenthal

Political Legitimacy and Cultural Change in West and East

In this essay, the concept of legitimacy is applied exclusively to the subject for which it was originally coined: the legitimacy of a political order. The question asked is: In what conditions
and in what way may the cultural values held by the members of a modern industrial society influence the legitimacy of its political order?

 

Talcott Parsons

The Symbolic Environment of Modern Economies

This article constitutes an attempt to characterize a phase of the reactions, especially of intellectuals, toward the modern industrial economy. It attempts to go a step beyond the analysis of the economy's place in the society as a whole to consider the broader cultural framework as also of major importance. Instead of its being mainly an analysis of the social structure, it concentrates on the symbolic meaning of the kind of concern for "things economic" which the modern, especially Western world has shown and certain ways in which this meaning has come to be symbolized. The thesis is that, following the notable book of Louis Dumont,l the antithesis between the socialist and the "capitalist" versions of what Dumont calls the economic ideology conceals a common ideological selectivity which exalts the relative importance of the economic realm over others to an unacceptable degree.

 

John P. Diggins

The Socialization of Authority and the Dilemmas of American Liberalism

Surveys the theories of Charles Horton Cooley, George Herbert Mead, and Talcott Parsons regarding authority and society in the United States.

 

Robert Nisbet

The Octopus Revisited

Briefly reviews the history of graduate programs in the United States and William James's "The Ph.D Octopus" (1903); analyzes the quality and usefulness of graduate degrees.

 

David Gutmann

Killers and Consumers: The Terrorist and His Audience

Describes the political and psychological effects of terrorism upon those who view it from a distance.

 

Harold Kaplan

Henry Adams: The Metapolitics of Power and Order

Discusses Henry Brooks Adams and his ideology stressing the relationships he saw between power, education, and order; he was a transitional figure in American thought as intellectuals made the break from idealism to realism.

 

Virginia Held

Property Rights and Interests

Most writers on property have recognized it as a set of rights. John Locke defined 'property' so widely as to mean by it rights to "life, liberty, and estate." Most usage since has narrowed the meaning of the term to what Locke meant by “estate.” Standard interpretations see property as consisting of rights to possess, use, manage, dispose of, and keep others away from, things. But property is also a set of interests, for if the things we own become worthless, we no longer have property.

 

Martin E. Marty

In Every Way Religious

Surveys religious trends on the campuses of colleges and universities during 1954-79; the attitudes toward institutional religion have changed, but more individualized beliefs have emerged, and religious involvement still is present.

 

Emil Oestereicher

The Privatization of the Self in Modern Society

Narcissism may be considered an extreme manifestation of the problem of self-identity. Sociologists and historians such as Riesman and Lasch consider the preponderance of the narcissistic personality a relatively recent phenomenon. They see a radical break between the inner-directed and individualized self of the nineteenth century and the other-directed and narcissistic self of today. In this paper I shall briefly argue that this radical break between the supposedly individualized self of the past and the narcissistic self of today is grossly overexaggerated.

 

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