America the Anxious


Book Description

The author embarks on a pilgrimage to investigate how the national obessession with happiness infiltrates all areas of life, from religion to parenting, from the workplace to academia. She attends a Landmark Forum self-help course, visits Zappos headquarters in Las Vegas (a "happiness city"), looks into the academic "positive psychology movement" and spends time in Utah with Mormons, officially America's happiest people.




Anxious Parents


Book Description

Annotation Peter N. Stearns examines mounting pressures on modern families. Surveying popular media, "expert" childrearing manuals, newspapers, and journals, Stearns shows how schooling, physical and emotional vulnerability and the rise of commercialism became primary concerns for parents.




An Anxious Age


Book Description

We live in a profoundly spiritual age, but not in any good way. Huge swaths of American culture are driven by manic spiritual anxiety and relentless supernatural worry. Radicals and traditionalists, liberals and conservatives, together with politicians, artists, environmentalists, followers of food fads, and the chattering classes of television commentators: America is filled with people frantically seeking confirmation of their own essential goodness. We are a nation desperate to stand of the side of morality--to know that we are righteous and dwell in the light. In An Anxious Age, Joseph Bottum offers an account of modern America, presented as a morality tale formed by a collision of spiritual disturbances. And the cause, he claims, is the most significant and least noticed historical fact of the last fifty years: the collapse of the mainline Protestant churches that were the source of social consensus and cultural unity. Our dangerous spiritual anxieties, broken loose from the churches that once contained them, now madden everything in American life. Updating The Protestant Ethic and the Sprit of Capitalism, Max Weber's sociological classic, An Anxious Age undertakes two case studies of contemporary social classes adrift in a nation without the religious understandings that gave them meaning. Looking at the college-educated elite he calls "the Poster Children," Bottum sees the post-Protestant heirs of the old mainline Protestant domination of culture: dutiful descendants who claim the high social position of their Christian ancestors even while they reject their ancestors' Christianity. Turning to the Swallows of Capistrano, the Catholics formed by the pontificate of John Paul II, Bottum evaluates the early victories--and later defeats--of the attempt to substitute Catholicism for the dying mainline voice in public life. Sweeping across American intellectual and cultural history, An Anxious Age traces the course of national religion and warns about the strange angels and even stranger demons with which we now wrestle. Insightful and contrarian, wise and unexpected, An Anxious Age ranks among the great modern accounts of American culture.




Anxious Decades


Book Description

"Impressively detailed. . . . An authoritative and epic overview."--Publishers Weekly




Driving After Class


Book Description

"A paradoxical situation emerged in the late 1990s: the dramatic upscaling of the suburban American dream, even as the possibilities for achieving and maintaining it diminished. Driving After Class explores middle-class anxieties and suburban life duringthose years. Drawing on nineteen months of ethnographic research in a suburban New Jersey town as McMansions sprouted up next to subdivisions of moderately sized colonial-style homes and infrastructural essentials like schools and roads became overburdened, each chapter throws into relief subtle gradations within the middle class and among middle-class sensibilities, and brings to life the ways that people were reorienting themselves--both consciously and unconsciously--to the discursive and material displacement of postwar liberal approaches to middle-class life in favor of newly dominant neoliberal logics. The ethnographic moments illustrated in the book, drawn from fieldwork in people's homes, their town hall, and their SUVs, reveal the ways that efforts to appease feelings of insecurity--whether through place-making practices, childrearing strategies, or 'had-to-have' purchases--often made people (and their neighbors) feel and be less secure. The economics and cultural politics of the constellation of these ways of being, which I have termed 'rugged entitlement,' ended up steering many children, youth, and parents into ambivalence about the structuring and texture of their everyday lives: it is exhausting work to be strategically and persistently driving after class. But more often than not, unable to imagine the possibility of crafting another way of life, most curbed these unsettling doubts and resolutely fueled up for the ride"--Provided by publisher.




Ambitious and Anxious


Book Description

Over the past decade, a wave of Chinese international undergraduate students—mostly self-funded—has swept across American higher education. From 2005 to 2015, undergraduate enrollment from China rose from under 10,000 to over 135,000. This privileged yet diverse group of young people from a changing China must navigate the complications and confusions of their formative years while bridging the two most powerful countries in the world. How do these students come to study in the United States? What does this experience mean to them? What does American higher education need to know and do in order to continue attracting these students and to provide sufficient support for them? In Ambitious and Anxious, the sociologist Yingyi Ma offers a multifaceted analysis of this new wave of Chinese students based on research in both Chinese high schools and American higher-education institutions. Ma argues that these students’ experiences embody the duality of ambition and anxiety that arises from transformative social changes in China. These students and their families have the ambition to navigate two very different educational systems and societies. Yet the intricacy and pressure of these systems generate a great deal of anxiety, from applying to colleges before arriving, to studying and socializing on campus, and to looking ahead upon graduation. Ambitious and Anxious also considers policy implications for American colleges and universities, including recruitment, student experiences, faculty support, and career services.




Reflections of an Anxious African American Dad


Book Description

The purpose of this book is an awkward discussion of Eric Heard’s life to his son. He talks about his life in a candid way that tries to explain his anxiety as an African American dad. It is an open and honest account of his life through the life of a child that has been through a lot in his life. It is a reflection on his life that has been shaped by his childhood experiences.




An Anxious Pursuit


Book Description

In An Anxious Pursuit, Joyce Chaplin examines the impact of the Enlightenment ideas of progress on the lives and minds of American planters in the colonial Lower South. She focuses particularly on the influence of Scottish notions of progress, tracing the extent to which planters in South Carolina, Georgia, and British East Florida perceived themselves as a modern, improving people. She reads developments in agricultural practice as indices of planters' desire for progress, and she demonstrates the central role played by slavery in their pursuit of modern life. By linking behavior and ideas, Chaplin has produced a work of cultural history that unites intellectual, social, and economic history. Using public records as well as planters' and farmers' private papers, Chaplin examines innovations in rice, indigo, and cotton cultivation as a window through which to see planters' pursuit of a modern future. She demonstrates that planters actively sought to improve their society and economy even as they suffered a pervasive anxiety about the corrupting impact of progress and commerce. The basis for their accomplishments and the root of their anxieties, according the Chaplin, were the same: race-based chattel slavery. Slaves provied the labor necessary to attain planters' vision of the modern, but the institution ultimately limited the Lower South's ability to compete in the contemporary world. Indeed, whites continued to wonder whether their innovations, some of them defied by slaves, truly improved the region. Chaplin argues that these apprehensions prefigured the antimodern stance of the antebellum period, but she contends that they were as much a reflection of the doubt inherent in theories of progress as an outright rejection of those ideas.




The Anxious Years


Book Description




American Nightmares


Book Description

Popular hazards or, how we insist similar social problems are different -- American nightmares or, why sociologists hate the American dream / written with David Schweingruber -- Evaluating predictions or, how to compare the Maya calendar, Social Security, and climate change -- Future talk or, how slippery slopes shape concern -- Memories as problems or, how to reconsider Confederate flags and other symbols of the past /written with Lawrence T. Nichols -- Economicization or, why economists get more respect than sociologists -- Afterword : the future of American nightmares