New PDF release: A Nation Of Meddlers

By Charles Edgley, Dennis Brissett

ISBN-10: 0813333083

ISBN-13: 9780813333083

ISBN-10: 1429489529

ISBN-13: 9781429489522

There has been a time while the word “It’s none of your small business” intended whatever. no longer anymore. A boorish and chronic military of meddlers, built with righteous indignation and a powerful array of theories and applied sciences, has made virtually everyone’s enterprise its personal. Meddling within the lives of others is now the republic’s so much noticeable obsession. From nationwide crusades opposed to undesirable conduct similar to consuming, smoking, and playing to the efforts of a bunch in Woodbury, Minnesota, to create a fragrance-free paintings atmosphere, americans are meddling into every one others lives as by no means prior to. frequently masquerading as social trouble or group involvement, the modern meddlers intrude within the identify of such a lot every thing: health and wellbeing, defense, the commonweal, God, and “for the sake of the children.”Working in the symbolic interactionist culture of cultural research and feedback, Charles Edgley and Dennis Brissett learn this emergent phenomenon with insightful and provocative descriptions approximately how we got here to be this fashion, why meddling is so beautiful, and the way meddling is packaged and advertised. Their end bargains clever and infrequently witty cautions in regards to the right courting among the person and society.

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Example text

Such thinking was common among reformers who were loathe to draw lines in their enthusiasm for making the world right. The reformist tendencies of the Jacksonian era were instrumental in leading to the smorgasbord of meddling reform that occurred at the end of the nineteenth century. By then we saw the establishment of the Social Purity Movement, which urged The Roots of Meddling 31 sexual abstinence before, and sometimes even during, marriage. This was joined by the Anti-Cigarette Movement, the Social Hygiene Movement, The Society of Sanitary and Social Prophylaxis, various anti-alcohol movements that in the next few decades would coalesce into the vast experiment called prohibition, and a strident vegetarianism, (both moral and dietary) that would radically change, if not the entire world as its proponents had envisioned, at least what Americans ate for breakfast (Carson, 1957).

If this country could attain perfection by reforming its people and its institutions, the rest of the world would have held up a shining example of human perfection. Nourishing these ideas were movements on both sides of the Atlantic. Jeremy Bentham's utilitarianism—the greatest good for the greatest number—seemed to Americans as perfect a set of ideas as had ever come along: "[Bentham's] belief that utility constituted the final test of ideas and institutions struck Jacksonian America as exactly right" (Nye, 1974: 34).

Aversion to risk, for example, has become a national obsession and has made meddling in the name of health and safety a virtually unchallengeable argument as well as a growth industry for those who would "protect" us. The regulatory environment of the government bureaucracy, coupled with tort legislation, has turned injury and accident into a national lottery in which every citizen hopes he or she may one day hit the jackpot Such a deplorable situation has been allowed and even encouraged by a citizenry that wants to be protected from every imaginable risk to which human lives are subject.

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A Nation Of Meddlers by Charles Edgley, Dennis Brissett


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