By Robert Wuthnow
Robert Wuthnow has been praised as certainly one of "the country's top social scientists" via columnist David Brooks, who hails his writing as "tremendously valuable." The ny instances calls him "temperate, balanced, compassionate," including, "one can't yet appreciate Mr. Wuthnow's views." a number one authority on faith, he now addresses some of the most profound topics: the top of the world.
In Be Very Afraid, Wuthnow examines the human reaction to existential threats--once a question for theology, yet now looming ahead of us in a number of varieties. Nuclear guns, pandemics, worldwide warming: each one threatens to ruin the planet, or no less than to annihilate our species. Freud, he notes, famously taught that the normal mental reaction to an overpowering threat is denial. in truth, Wuthnow writes, the other is right: we search methods of absolutely assembly the probability, of doing something--anything--even if it's wasteful and time-consuming. The atomic period that all started with the bombing of Hiroshima sparked a flurry of job, starting from duck-and-cover drills, basement bomb shelters, and marches for a nuclear freeze. All have been arguably ineffectual, but each one sprang from an innate wish to take motion. it'd be something if our responses have been basically unnecessary, Wuthnow observes, yet they could really be damaging. either the general public and policymakers are inclined to version reactions to grave threats on how we met prior ones. The reaction to the terrorist assaults of September 11, for instance, echoed the chilly War--citizens went out to shop for duct tape, mimicking 1950s-era civil safeguard measures, and the management introduced expensive conflicts in a foreign country.
Offering perception into our responses to every thing from An Inconvenient Truth to the chicken and swine flu epidemics, Robert Wuthnow offers a profound new knowing of the human response to existential vulnerability.
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Additional info for Be Very Afraid: The Cultural Response to Terror, Pandemics, Environmental Devastation, Nuclear Annihilation, and Other Threats
Second, investment will concentrate in older areas such as China and Russia leaving little for the new areas of the global south such as Africa and Latin America. Hence, the global North-South gap will grow. indd 29 3/31/2010 5:55:20 PM 30 SOCIAL THEORY OF FEAR Coupled with that, the third factor is disparate demographics with continuing high population growth in the South and little growth in the North. Those in the South will exert massive pressure for migration—especially among the middle strata, educated persons—thereby lowering wages of similarly situated white-collar workers in the North.
Indd 29 3/31/2010 5:55:20 PM 30 SOCIAL THEORY OF FEAR Coupled with that, the third factor is disparate demographics with continuing high population growth in the South and little growth in the North. Those in the South will exert massive pressure for migration—especially among the middle strata, educated persons—thereby lowering wages of similarly situated white-collar workers in the North. Denizens in the North will apply political pressure in favor of repressive limitation against migration—the formerly so-called dangerous classes (immigrants and marginalized racial and ethnic groups).
The feudal political system differed from that of the ancient world, as relations between producers and exploiters were derived from transgenerational personal bonds. Custom bound both lord and peasant. Unlike the Roman imperial system where the Empire intervened, the manor was the main economic and political unit: “the lord’s estate became the state” (Katz 1989:57). Repeatedly, throughout the middle ages, strong men—Charlemagne (742–814), Frederick Barbarossa (1122–1190), and others who were less successful—tried to reestablish a world empire modeled on Rome.