John Wiley & Sons What Makes a Social Crisis? Cover In this book Jeffrey Alexander develops a new sociological theory of social crisis and applies it to.. Product #: 978-1-5095-3824-9 Regular price: $57.05 $57.05 In Stock

What Makes a Social Crisis?

The Societalization of Social Problems

Alexander, Jeffrey C.

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1. Edition September 2019
180 Pages, Hardcover
Textbook

ISBN: 978-1-5095-3824-9
John Wiley & Sons

Short Description

In this book Jeffrey Alexander develops a new sociological theory of social crisis and applies it to a wide range of cases, from the church paedophilia crisis to the #MeToo movement. He argues that crises are triggered not by objective social strains but by the discourse and institutions of the civil sphere. When strains become subject to the utopian aspirations of the civil sphere, there emerges widespread anguish about social justice and the future of democratic life. Once admired institutional elites come to be represented as perpetrators and the civil sphere becomes legally and organizationally intrusive, demanding repairs in the name of civil purification. Resisting such repair, institutional elites foment backlash, and a war of the spheres ensues.

This major new work by one of the world's leading social theorists will be of great interest to students and scholars in sociology, politics, and the social sciences generally.

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In this book Jeffrey Alexander develops a new sociological theory of social crisis and applies it to a wide range of cases, from the church paedophilia crisis to the #MeToo movement. He argues that crises are triggered not by objective social strains but by the discourse and institutions of the civil sphere. When strains become subject to the utopian aspirations of the civil sphere, there emerges widespread anguish about social justice and the future of democratic life. Once admired institutional elites come to be represented as perpetrators and the civil sphere becomes legally and organizationally intrusive, demanding repairs in the name of civil purification. Resisting such repair, institutional elites foment backlash, and a war of the spheres ensues.

This major new work by one of the world's leading social theorists will be of great interest to students and scholars in sociology, politics, and the social sciences generally.

Preface and Acknowledgements
Introduction: Societalization in Society
Chapter 1: What Is Societalization and How Does it Happen?
Chapter 2: Who Are the Agents of Societalization?
Chapter 3: Why Does Societalization NOT Happen?
Chapter 4: Church Pedophilia
Chapter 5: Financial Crisis
Chapter 6: Phone Hacking
Chapter 7: #MeToo
Conclusion: Societalization in Theory
Notes
References
"This thrilling book starts with John Dewey's puzzle: when and how does a problem that is troubling only a few people in a specific social sphere get transformed into a moral crisis for the whole of society? With his unique mixture of knowledge and imagination, Jeffrey Alexander formulates an elegant and complex answer to this question and, in so doing, highlights a central mechanism in the normative ordering of contemporary societies."
Axel Honneth, Columbia University


"Few concepts better describe our age than that of 'crisis', from the economic meltdown of 2008 to the #MeToo movement of today. In a dazzling variety of case studies, Alexander shows that these crises suggest not collapse but vitality, not 'danger and impurity' but sacredness and the quest for order. Read this urgent and startling book to understand why Jeffrey Alexander is one of the world's leading social and cultural theorists."
Eva Illouz, École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales, Paris
Jeffrey C. Alexander is the Lillian Chavenson Saden Professor of Sociology at Yale University.

J. C. Alexander, University of California, Los Angeles