Social Character in a Mexican Village

Transaction Publishers
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After the completion of the revolution in 1920, Mexico quickly became an increasingly industrialized country. The vast changes that occurred in the first fifty years after the revolution inspired Erich Fromm and Michael Maccoby to find out how the Mexican people were adapting. The result, Social Character in a Mexican Village, provides a new approach to the analysis of social phenomena. The authors applied Fromm's theories of psychoanalysis to the study of groups. They devised an ingenious method of questionnaires, which, combined with direct observation, clearly revealed the psychic forces that motivated the peasant population. In his new introduction, Michael Maccoby thoroughly explains the basis of the study, how it originated, and how it was carried out. He goes on to delineate the results and determine their impact on the present day. Social Character in a Mexican Village throws new light on one of the world's most pressing problems, the impact of the industrialized world on the traditional character of the peasant. This ground-breaking work will be invaluable to the work of sociologists, anthropologists, and psychoanalysts.
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A part of Harper Perennial’s special “Resistance Library” highlighting classic works that illuminate the “Age of Trump”: A striking reissue of Erich Fromm’s classic work on the existential importance of resisting the forces of authoritarianism, and how disobedience is essential to freedom.

“Human history began with an act of disobedience, and it is not unlikely that it will be terminated by an act of obedience.”—from On Disobedience

In On Disobedience, Erich Fromm writes that the authoritarian dictatorships of the 20th century produced an “organization man” to follow directives blindly, no matter how abhorrent. At the same time, a kind of conformity has arisen in western democracies, only brought about by more subtle means of massive consumerism. In democracies, where the power to implement irreversible destruction rests in the hands of the few, the individual also needs to retain his ability to dissent and to speak “no” to those in power.

In the face of these conformist pressures in whichever form they take, modern man must seek an authentic expression in order to retain his deepest sense of self. Fromm sees both capitalism and totalitarian communism moving toward a life-denying industrial bureaucracy, and berates the one system for ignoring, the other for betraying, the ideals of a true humanistic socialism in which people take precedence over things, life over property, and work over capital.

Both to ensure humankind’s preservation and for man to reclaim an authentic sense of self, Fromm maintains the necessity of the freedom to dissent. Of this form of disobedience, he writes, “it is not primarily an attitude directed against something, but for something: for man’s capacity to see, to say what he sees, and to refuse to say what he does not see. To do so he does not need to be aggressive or rebellious; he needs to have his eyes open, to be fully awake.”

As timely today as when it was first published, On Disobedience is a significant work of the 20th century that generations of readers will turn to for inspiration.

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Additional Information

Publisher
Transaction Publishers
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Published on
Dec 31, 1970
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Pages
303
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ISBN
9781412834247
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Language
English
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Genres
Social Science / Anthropology / General
Social Science / Minority Studies
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Read Aloud
Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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The chilling truth is that his story could have been mine. The tragedy is that my story could have been his.

Two kids named Wes Moore were born blocks apart within a year of each other. Both grew up fatherless in similar Baltimore neighborhoods and had difficult childhoods; both hung out on street corners with their crews; both ran into trouble with the police. How, then, did one grow up to be a Rhodes Scholar, decorated veteran, White House Fellow, and business leader, while the other ended up a convicted murderer serving a life sentence? Wes Moore, the author of this fascinating book, sets out to answer this profound question. In alternating narratives that take readers from heart-wrenching losses to moments of surprising redemption, The Other Wes Moore tells the story of a generation of boys trying to find their way in a hostile world.

BONUS: This edition contains a new afterword and a The Other Wes Moore discussion guide.

Praise for The Other Wes Moore

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