The civic sociology of Herbert Blumer speaks to the fundamental
problem of modernity: how freedom and equity can be ensured when
institutional and personal relations are threatened by disparate
groups and factions -- in short, by difference.
Balancing essays on Herbert Blumer with Blumer's own writings on
race relations, labor and management conflict, urbanization, and
popular culture, this volume -- originally published as Social
Order and the Public Philosophy -- establishes Blumer's thought as
a basis for a public policy that remains faithful to the essential
character of human life in a permanently pluralized and segmented
Stanford M. Lyman and Arthur J. Vidich situate Blumer's ideas in
the context of earlier public philosophers, such as William Graham
Sumner, Herbert Croly, and Walter Lippmann. They consider the
implications of Blumer's works for America's most pressing social
issues and propose a sophisticated civic sociology of their own
based on his studies and methods. Their new afterword affirms the
rich harvest Blumer's philosophy continues to yield for postmodern
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