Together : The Rituals, Pleasures and Politics of Cooperation


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Living with people who differ--racially, ethnically, religiously, or economically--is the most urgent challenge facing civil society today. We tend socially to avoid engaging with people unlike ourselves, and modern politics encourages the politics of the tribe rather than of the city. In this thought-provoking book, Richard Sennett discusses why this has happened and what might be done about it.Sennett contends that cooperation is a craft, and the foundations for skillful cooperation lie in learning to listen well and discuss rather than debate. In "Together" he explores how people can cooperate online, on street corners, in schools, at work, and in local politics. He traces the evolution of cooperative rituals from medieval times to today, and in situations as diverse as slave communities, socialist groups in Paris, and workers on Wall Street. Divided into three parts, the book addresses the nature of cooperation, why it has become weak, and how it could be strengthened. The author warns that we must learn the craft of cooperation if we are to make our complex society prosper, yet he reassures us that we can do this, for the capacity for cooperation is embedded in human nature.

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  • Paperback | 336 pages
  • 144.78 x 223.52 x 25.4mm | 453.59g
  • Yale University Press
  • United States
  • English
  • 0300188285
  • 9780300188288
  • 216,705

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Review quote

"A whirlwind of big ideas. Sennett is a worthy warrior, armed with abundant evidence of our better natures./i>--Connie Schultz "Washington Post "

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About Professor Richard Sennett

Richard Sennett founded and served as first director of the New York Institute of the Humanities and is now a professor of sociology at both New York University and the London School of Economics.

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