The Active Society Revisited

Front Cover
Wilson C. McWilliams
Rowman & Littlefield, 2006 - 352 pages
The Active Society, published in 1968, is the most ambitious book in Amitai Etzioni's remarkable career. It is sociology in the grand tradition, with at least one foot outside its own time. In it, Etzioni confronts the great modern irony- that setting out to become the masters of nature, humans become mastered by their own instruments- championing the sense of agency and aiming to demonstrate that humanity can direct its own creations, or at least, that societies can aspire to a greater measure of authentic self-government. In this new collection of essays, Wilson Carey McWilliams brings together scholars in a range of disciplines to analyze the significance and shortcomings of this important work. They comment on the importance of Etzioni's contributions, the magnitude of his achievement, and the extent to which The Active Society speaks to contemporary social and political life.

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Contents

Introduction
1
Macroscopic Action On Amitai Etzionis Contribution to Social Theory
13
The Cultural Dimensions of The Active Society
23
The Cybernetic Institutionalist
53
The Constitution of ActivityEtzionis Foundation of Social Theory in Collective Action and Collective Actors
71
The Actively Drifting Society
89
Communitarianism The Highest State of Progressivism The Active Society Revisited
117
The Teamwork of Sisyphus PostFordist Capitalism Corporate Culture and Etzionis Active Society
137
The Eagle and the Worm The Active Society from a Community Organizers Perspective
209
Searching for Active Citizenship
223
Courting Megalogues Judicial Power in the Active Society
247
Community Formation Gender Issues and the Evolution of International Law A Perspective on Amitai Etzionis The Active Society
261
Lighting Damp Logs Social Movements Liberal Democracy and the Politics of Transformation
285
From the Active Society to the Good Society The Second Sailing of Amitai Etzioni
311
The Active Society Revisited A Response
333
Contributors
349

Membership and Belonging Etzionis Authenticity and the Existential Challenges of Liberalism
167
Swing Low Sweet Chariot Transformation and Religious Tradition
193

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About the author (2006)

Wilson Carey McWilliams was professor of political science at Rutgers University. He was the author and editor of a number of books including /Beyond the Politics of Disappointment?: American elections, 1980-1998/ and a regular contributor to several journals of opinion.

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